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 Maternal Wellness Update 


October 2021

Commitment Statement on Equity

We are committed to using written and oral language that is inclusive and straightforward. In communicating, we also seek to elevate the voices of the communities we serve by using terms and language that are rooted in communities’ strengths. 
Specific to the maternal & child health populations, we commit to acknowledge that the state of being pregnant, the act of giving birth or otherwise ending a pregnancy, and the act of parenting and caregiving are inclusive of all genders. Furthermore, we acknowledge that intersections of oppression matter, in that a person with multiple dimensions of oppression (racism, classism, gender identity, ableism, national origins, etc.) likely face additional, more complex barriers to receiving high-quality, timely care and services. To the extent that is possible, we use the term “pregnant and postpartum individuals, persons, or people” or “new and expectant parents'' in the communication products for which we have direct responsibility.  
If you would like to contribute to the developing statement, please share your thoughts through this 1-question survey. We acknowledge that in this newsletter we often share items developed by other organizations that may reflect more gendered language.

Funding Opportunity to Prevent Mortality among Pregnant & Postpartum Coloradans

Did you miss last week’s announcement and kick off? The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Maternal Mortality Prevention Program (MMPP) are pleased to announce a Request for Applications (RFA #35375). The goal of the RFA and funding opportunity is to launch a three-year initiative aimed at increasing the capacity of community organizations, groups, and collaboratives to implement community-driven solutions to reduce and prevent maternal mortality. Check out the webinar recording, presentation slides, and this Q&A

The deadline to submit applications (including project narrative, budget and required forms) is November 12 at 5:00 PM. Don’t wait until the last minute! Complete this technical assistance request form and plan to attend one of the upcoming technical assistance sessions to learn more about how to apply!  Registration is not needed. 
  • October 5, 2021, 12:00-2:00 PM, Zoom link, Meeting ID: 859 9766 5083, Passcode: 726362
  • October 20, 2021, 5:00-7:00 PM, Zoom link, Meeting ID: 816 8444 1266, Passcode: 748829

Maternal Health Manager Position Opening at CDPHE

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is hiring for a full-time Maternal Health Manager (Health Professional V, Position #1612) in the Children, Youth and Families branch. This position will oversee the Maternal Mortality Prevention Program. CDPHE is committed to increasing the diversity of our staff and providing culturally responsive programs and services. We encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds and abilities to apply. The announcement will close on October 13, 2021. To read the job announcement and to apply, please click here. Please contact Britt Hoerauf at if you have any questions.

Statewide Philanthropy Lead Positions at Caring for Colorado

Caring for Colorado is hiring three statewide philanthropy leads to manage focus areas within Caring for Colorado’s statewide philanthropy program and to support the foundation’s purpose of creating equity in health, well-being and opportunity for Colorado’s children and families. Each philanthropy lead will manage one of the following focus areas – Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Youth or Strong and Resilient Families. The person in this role is the primary liaison with grant seekers, grantees, community organizations and community leaders, and as such, the position is engaged and highly visible in the community. For more information about this position and to learn how to apply, read the full job description. Applications must be received by October 15, 2021.

Child Tax Credit Portal Extended to November 15th

It’s not too late to connect families to child tax credit payments this fall! Those who have already filed taxes received their payments automatically. Those who don’t usually file taxes due to low income or other reasons might not know they are eligible. Help get the word out through your partners and programs. Non-filers can use the IRS non-filers’ portal to sign up to receive a 50% advance this fall on next year’s refundable child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child.

New Health eMoms 2020 Data with COVID-19 Supplement

Data from the 2020 birth cohort's Survey 1.1 and COVID-19 supplement responses are now available. Click here to see the full results for the 2020 cohort of 1,028 individuals between three to six months in the postpartum period, out of 2,400 individuals who gave birth in 2020. The latest results were also shared at the Annual Maternal & Infant Care Quality Conference, hosted by the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative. Check out the YouTube recording and stay tuned for seven additional sets of survey data to be published between now and spring of 2022.


Annual Maternal and Infant Care Quality 2021 Conference 
Materials and resources, including several YouTube videos are now available from the annual conference, such as:

New Perinatal Depression Curriculum for Pediatric Providers

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently launched a curriculum to help providers in the pediatric care setting to engage in small group discussions and promote peer-to-peer learning about perinatal depression. The learning objectives correspond with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Core Competencies for residency training programs. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, participants will possess the necessary skills and knowledge when screening for and managing perinatal depression. The course is free to the public, including non-AAP members. Learners will be required to create an AAP login to obtain access to the course. Once users are logged in, click on the Teaching & Learning Resource Center.


Research Study Opportunity through Alma - Moms Supporting Moms 

The Alma Program is a mentoring program that will be delivered by trained peer mentors, who themselves are mothers who have experienced and recovered from depression during or after pregnancy. The goal of Alma is to provide peer mentoring as a resource for pregnant and postpartum women who are feeling sad, stressed, anxious or lonely. Peer mentors will provide information and motivate mothers to learn skills they can use to self-manage depressive symptoms. You can learn more about the Alma program and study team. 


Due to evolving guidelines and preferences related to COVID-19, please contact the organizing entities to confirm whether a training or event takes place virtually. 

Strengthening Awareness of and Support for Doula Networks
October 5, 2021
Meet and Greet - Colorado Perinatal Mental Health Professionals of Color Alliance

October 6, 2021
Multicultural Maternal Mental Health Conference
October 6-8, 2021

Prenatal-to-3 Research to Policy Summit
October 7, 2021

Virtual Briefing: Perinatal Mental Health
October 8, 2021 

Systems and Policy Changes for Pregnant & Postpartum People of Color
October 14, 2021
National Alliance of Mental Health Colorado Conference & Annual Meeting
October 23-24, 2021 

Colorado Behavioral Health & Wellness Summit
October 25-28, 2021


Family Planning and Postpartum Legislative Kickoff Meeting

Register for the Family Planning and Postpartum Legislative Kickoff Meeting scheduled for 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7 when the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing will share an overview of upcoming legislation, timelines, and opportunities to engage in shaping the expanded postpartum benefit. Policy advocates, state partners, providers with experience serving these populations, and others who have unique insight into how the Department can best execute these emerging programs are encouraged to participate. 

Health First Colorado Maternity Report
Health First Colorado, Colorado’s Medicaid program, covered more than 40% of births in Colorado in 2019 (nearly 27,000).  The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing released a report that identifies numerous data points and key findings impacting maternal care and outcomes among Health First Colorado members. The findings revealed a number of risk factors leading to poor health outcomes, such as: 
  • Among members who smoked during pregnancy, 16.2% delivered a low birth weight baby compared to 9.7% among nonsmokers.
  • Nearly one out of 5 pregnant members with preexisting diabetes had premature deliveries (compared to about one out of ten pregnant members without preexisting diabetes). 
  • 14% of Black pregnant members were diagnosed with high blood pressure which was double that of any other race. 
  • White pregnant Medicaid members were three times more likely to smoke than Hispanic pregnant members.
Read the Health First Colorado Maternity Report, watch the recorded webinar and complete a survey by October 6 to give feedback on next steps to advance maternal health equity.

Firearm Relinquishment Laws Associated With Reduction In Homicide Of Pregnant And Postpartum Women

Homicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum people in the United States. Some states have implemented laws that prohibit firearm possession by perpetrators of domestic violence and developed statutory language mandating relinquishment of firearms once a person has become prohibited from possessing them. Researchers from Tulane University found that these state laws were associated with substantial reductions in homicide of pregnant and postpartum people for the 2011-2019 period. Read more

Employment, Financial and Well-being Effects of the 2021 Expanded Child Tax Credit

The 2021 temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) is unprecedented in its reach and is predicted to cut American child poverty by more than half. To understand how families were responding to the CTC, the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis utilized a probability-based online panel to survey a nationally-representative group of 1,514 American parents eligible for the credit. The survey was administered between July 8 and July 13, 2021—immediately before the first CTC payments were delivered. In this summary report, they highlight key findings from the first wave of the study, focusing specifically on how families plan to use CTC payments and their initial perceptions of the expanded credit.

Consensus Statement from the March of Dimes on the Black-White Preterm Birth Disparity

There are multiple and complex causes of preterm birth (PTB) that are reviewed in this consensus statement from a work group convened by the March of Dimes in 2017-19. The work group looked at possible causes of PTB to see how the different types of interventions resulted in different outcomes among black and white women. The work group stresses the importance of upstream interventions that address “racism in multiple forms and through multiple pathways and biological mechanisms” over downstream interventions (such as prenatal care and substance use treatment) and midstream interventions (such as stress reduction and social support).

Racial Disparities Persist in Maternity Care Despite Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid expansion is associated with lower rates of maternal and infant mortality, with the greatest benefits for Black women and infants. Expansion has also been shown to improve preconception health and utilization of preventive care. In the years following the Affordable Care Act, the United States experienced historic low rates of uninsured people of childbearing age. By 2019 however, in both states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not, racial disparities persist, especially for Hispanic/Latina individuals who lived in non-expansion states. More than 35.5 percent were found to be uninsured in 2019, the highest rate among any racial or ethnic group, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Watch the webinar.

Child Tax Credit Work Requirements Would Reduce Access for Many

The Center for Law and Social Policy published a blog addressing who would be left out of the Child Tax Credit if a work requirement were attached to it. Groups at particular risk include children of workers who are paid low wages and work in the gig economy, children of college student parents, children with disabilities, and the children of parents with disabilities.
Copyright © 2021 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment / Prevention Services Division, All rights reserved.
A monthly communication for maternal wellness and early childhood partners.

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