How the “Affordable Care Act” Could Benefit All Mamas on Bedrest

July 28th, 2010

The Affordable Care Act

On June 10, 2010, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announced that some $90 million dollars has been allocated for The Affordable Care Act (ACA) for funding of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs.

I was thrilled that “the powers that be” are recognizing that if effort and energy (as well as funds) are expended for prevention to provide care and support to high risk pregnant women and subsequently to families that have infants and children with special needs, then millions of dollars and many maternal, infant and children’s  lives can be saved.

Evidence-based research reveals that women who are at risk for preterm labor and families with children with special needs that receive home visits fare better.  Maternal and infant morbidity and mortality go down. Other countries have known this and have successful, effective home care programs that have existed for years. Let’s hope that this study will finally bring the United States in line with other countries

High risk pregnancy affects a wide variety of women-regardless of race, socioeconomic status or age. While it is common knowledge that women who don’t receive good prenatal care are at increased risk for pregnancy complications, young women, older women, African American women and women who have utilized assisted reproductive technologies in order to become pregnant are also at increased risk for pregnancy complications, going into preterm labor and delivering premature infants who in turn often have behavioral and developmental problems. Evidence-based research has proven that early intervention, such as home visits and supportive services, improves outcomes. So if pregnant women prescribed bed rest receive home visits and their needs are identified and met, then perhaps we can reduce maternal and infant rates in this country-rates that are higher than in many industrialized and “developing” nations.

African American Women have the highest perinatal mortality rate of all American women, regardless of age, socioeconomic status or prenatal care. According to the California Maternity Quality Care Collaborative, in California alone,

“In 2004, there were 13.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, above the national rate of 13.1 and well above the Healthy People 2010 target of 4.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Pregnancy-related deaths among African-American women in California were 3 times higher than rates for Whites or Hispanics (37.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for African-Americans versus 12.0 and 11.9 for Whites and Hispanics, respectively).   In addition, when researchers examined mortality rates in African American women due to the five major complications of pregnancy, they learned that these complications did not occur at higher rates in this population but African American women were 2-3 times more likely to die from the complications than were White women in the US. (Tucker, AJPH, 2007)”

This home visitation program under ACA can provide invaluable services to high risk pregnant African American women, but it may also provide insight into why African American women have such high morbidity and mortality and ways to lower these rates.

The Affordable Care Act is a good thing. It has the potential to lower maternal, infant and child morbidity and mortality in the United States. It has the potential to provide insight into why some women are at increased risk for complications and why others are not. It has the potential to completely change the way high risk pregnant women are managed. If this 5 year program definitively proves that home visits by skilled medical professionals reduces pregnancy complications and lowers maternal and infant mortality, surely home visits will be made available to all high risk American women and new standards of care will be established.

Currently, the funds can only be accessed by federal, state and local agencies, so we here at Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond are busily working to strengthen collaborations and alliances so that we may be able to qualify for these grant and in turn, be able to serve more women. Initial inquiries have been made and we will keep you, our mamas on bed rest, informed.

What do you think of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Please add your comments below and share this post with other women who may be affected or assisted by this program.

Be one of the first to learn about how Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is working at the national level to serve mamas on bed rest. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive news, updates and special offers. Subscribe now and receive a free download of “10 lower body exercises, stretches and Kegel Exercises” pregnant women can do while on prescribed bed rest.

Want more exercises while on bed rest? Order Bedrest Fitness now! It is the first set of modified prenatal exercises designed specifically for pregnant women on prescribed bed rest.

10 responses to “How the “Affordable Care Act” Could Benefit All Mamas on Bedrest”

  1. Bev Adams says:

    We have needed The Affordable Care Act for a long time
    and am so glad to have read about it. I would have loved
    to have had this 27 years ago when I was on bedrest.
    Ironically, my daughter who is a twin is expecting a twin and
    is bedrest. She is in her 28th week of pregnancy. She also
    has a two year old and a 4 year old. Her husband works
    evenings and the rest of the family work days so being
    able to help out is not always an option. I myself have a herniated disk and can’t be of much assistance. How
    does one go about getting some kind of help for them.
    If you could email me a response I would be very grateful.
    My email address is Misstaylorave@hotmail.com.
    Thank you again.

  2. Darline says:

    Bev,
    Congratulations to you and your daughter. I hope that she will be able to hang in there and have healthy babies. Help for Mamas on Bedrest is scarce at best. I only know of my company, Mothering Mamas on Baltimore and Thee Baby Lady in Florida and elsewhere. If you let me know where you are, I’ll try to help you find someone to help your daughter. sometimes doulas offer antepartum care, so check with your local doula network as well. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Benjamin Gray says:

    Ladies, I am happy to read such interesting comments regarding bed rest and how the ACA will benefit those in need of assistance. I am currently a student at and am working on a research paper that discusses just that; the link between the ACA and child/infant mortality and how it will decreae as the program becomes more wide spread, understood and funded. Also, I will be discussing in little detail what other countries have done for families in need of better health care and how the US can work off of or with these other countries agangencies to help better guide our new system of health care to benefit as many people as it possibly can. Take care to all of you and I will be tuning into any further discussions posted on this site. Take Care.
    Ben

  5. amber says:

    a mother, who is on strict bedrest, was denied a child support modification. How can one pay over 400 month without working? She has no big supportive tv family…shes has no outsid
    e income and no savings. Its sad to see the joy of pregnancy and bringing life into the world getting choked out by stress and a stubborn pregnant woman who cramps and tries to do something everyday to put something toward her debt. Her regular job will not allow her to work anymore… All the people who are evil out there…. And to watch someone who has a huge heart and tried hard get kicked around is real hard to swallow…..if anyone knows of anything i can do…or a law that backs strict bed rest let me know…tharp_a@yahoo.com

  6. Darline says:

    Amber, I don’t know how much they could help, but please contact http://www.betterbedrest.org. They are a wonderful organization and have helped thousands of women
    in just such situations. Tell them Mamas on Bedrest Sent you!! Good luck and keep us posted on this mama!

  7. lien says:

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet
    my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for
    a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
    and I look forward to your new updates.

  8. Darline says:

    I couldn’t begin to tell you. Good luck finding out.

  9. Shellie says:

    You are so cool! I don’t think I have read through something like this before.

    So nice to find somebody with genuine thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This web site is one thing that is needed
    on the web, someone with a little originality!

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