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Bills Passed to Investigate Poor Maternal/Fetal Outcomes

Conway, Arkansas newborn

So, just as a quick update to my last post: Arkansas seems to be on board with investigating our poor birth climate here in the natural state! Two bills have been passed this month that aim to look into this issue.

"With roughly half of pregnancy-related deaths being preventable, state maternal mortality review committees can be instrumental to as to understanding why women are dying during pregnancy, childbirth and the year postpartum. The committees also help in improving maternal health and preventing future deaths.

Last week, the House passed legislation to create such a review committee in Arkansas with HB1440.

Arkansas also ranks 46th in the nation for infant mortality.

In 2018, almost 11 percent of babies born in Arkansas were preterm.

To improve infant mortality, the House also passed HB1441, which directs the Department of Health to establish the Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Quality Review Committee. This committee will review data on births and develop strategies for improving birth outcomes."

Currently the conclusion from studies in other states seems to be that many hospitals are not putting into place "best practices" to save lives and that because these deaths are often not being tracked/studied, consumers are not given enough information to make choices on where to receive their healthcare.

Reading between the lines here: if consumers become more educated, hopefully they will demand more choices. More individualized care. Maybe this demand will bring more midwives to our state, better birth regulations, more providers of color and maybe even some birth centers? Maybe that's a stretch, but hey, reach for the stars, right?

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