Groups urge lawmakers to extend postpartum health care coverage
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A number of organizations, including the American Heart Association and March of Dimes is working together to urge lawmakers to extend postpartum health care coverage for Alabama mothers.
On Wednesday, over 40 organizations gathered on the Alabama State House steps to call on the Alabama Legislature, the governor and the Medicaid commissioner to make Alabama mothers a priority.
“We are given 60 days after childbirth, to basically cope with the world,” said Ashley Finley.
Finley is a mother of two. Her youngest was born at 26 week. She says navigating motherhood during that time was a big task.
“I didn’t necessarily just drop into the depression, but the stress level was heavy,” Finley.
This is why Finley along with others would like to see the Alabama Legislature to extend Medicaid postpartum care from 60 days to one year after giving birth.
“The flat impact is that it will save lives,” said Nadia Richardson, founder of No More Martyrs.
Richardson says the well being of mothers must become a priority.
“We do often hear for mothers who struggle within that six months, even to a year after having a child with access to care, access to resources, access to culturally responsive health care professionals, and that causes mental distress in regards to depression anxiety,” said Richardson.
Richardson believes allocating the funds necessary to give mothers lifesaving care during a critical time would be a game changer for the state.
“Being someone who is from Alabama, I do believe this is our opportunity to showcase to the world that we do take these disparities very seriously and we do want to address them,” said Richardson.
Here is a full list of the organizations that have joined the American Heart Association in signing the letter in support of expanded postpartum coverage are:
- Alabama Arise
- Birth Well Partners Community Doula Project
- Community Enabler Developer, Inc.
- Wings Across Alabama
- NAACP – Alabama State Conference
- League of Women Voters of Alabama
- Village Maternal Services
- Hometown Organizing Project
- United Way of South Alabama
- The Knights & Orchids Society
- Council on Substance Abuse – NCADD
- Alabama Rare
- Sacred Soul Wellness LLC
- Empower Birth & Bonding LLC
- USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital
- Medical Advocacy & Outreach
- Community Foundation of NE Alabama
- Tiny Feet & Heartbeats Birth & Baby
- Human Resource Consulting, Inc.
- Alabama Academy of Family Physicians
- Resurrection Catholic Missions
- Alabama Primary Health Care Association
- Faith in Action - Alabama
- Women’s Foundation of Alabama
- The E. We Foundation
- Anniston First United Methodist Church
- 5th Episcopal District CME Church
- American Lung Association – Alabama
- NAACP – Mobile Branch
- AL Chapter- American Academy of Pediatrics
- No More Martyrs
- Zonta Club of Birmingham
- AL Council for Behavioral Healthcare
- Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham
- Nurse-Family Partnership
- United Women of Color
- AIDS Alabama
- Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
According to the American Heart Association Heart disease and stroke account for an estimated one in three deaths during pregnancy and birth. 82.7% of pregnancy-associated deaths and 38.4% of pregnancy-related deaths occurred 43-365 days postpartum – higher than any other period.
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