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One State’s Approach to Maternal Deaths: Free Nurse Visits After Birth

One State’s Approach to Maternal Deaths: Free Nurse Visits After Birth
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One State’s Approach to Maternal Deaths: Free Nurse Visits After Birth

One State’s Approach to Maternal Deaths: Free Nurse Visits After Birth

Although she had a support network when she gave birth to her daughter, state Senator Teresa Ruiz, sponsor of the bill, said a breastfeeding specialist coming to her home reassures her about her transition to motherhood.

“I had a good support structure all around,” she said, “and I can tell you that even with all of this, and understanding my rights and standing up for myself as best I can, nothing has got me. gave that feeling of ease, until this nurse came to my house and told me what I was doing was right.

Nurses will be specially trained to go home and assess both mother and baby, checking for physical issues, breastfeeding issues, postpartum mood disorders, and any social factors affecting the family. Ms Ruiz said the home visit is also an opportunity for the nurse to connect families with other important resources they may need.

“I think back to when I was a new mother and a community nurse came out, that was very helpful,” said Cecilia Zalkind, president of Advocates for Children of New Jersey, which lobbies for policies. who advance child welfare in New Jersey. . “It’s really seeing how the family is doing, offering help and giving parents confidence that the baby is okay. “

Suzanne Spernal, vice president of women’s services at RWJBarnabas Health, a network of New Jersey healthcare providers, described the program as a “home run” that would provide key opportunities for early intervention.

“We know that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are one of the most underdiagnosed and undertreated pregnancy complications, so this gives us the opportunity to do this assessment within a week or so. two following childbirth, ”Ms. Spernal said.

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“We know that often when mothers and families suffer from some kind of life-threatening complication, they have symptoms for hours or days before coming to care,” she added. “This is an opportunity to intervene earlier so that we can possibly bypass some of these catastrophic adverse events for mom and baby. “

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