Questions to Ask: Birth Equity

Birth Equity

As the November election approaches, we want to equip you with questions you can ask your candidates that are centered around the issues that are important to give kids their best childhood. That starts with birth equity. Below are some questions to get you started at each level of government.

County Level Questions

“The Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) program is funded by the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage and has two primary functions: study local deaths in childbirth and infancy to understand the causes and make recommendations and provide community education to prevent more deaths” (Pregnancy and Birth Equity, Normal Campaign). 

Will you support further funding to implement any recommendations from the FIMR and what other ways will you support the health department to improve the county’s worsening trend of mothers receiving less than adequate prenatal care

State Level Questions 

“There are a number of established programs that help moms and babies thrive. Home visiting is a highly successful strategy to improve the health and overall well-being of pregnant and parenting families. Family planning programs support the health of all women—mothers or not—across their life course. Building on the success of last year’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative—which supported the extension of Medicaid postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months, an increase in home visiting capacity by 1,000 slots and improved access to behavioral health services—this year, Gov. Whitmer proposed to expand Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies to provide professional doula care services to high-risk pregnant women, new mothers, and their families. In addition, the governor proposed initiatives to reduce health disparities, including increasing access to Centering Pregnancy and healthcare workforce diversification.” MLPP Ask Your Candidate

Would you support Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies and these proposed initiatives?

Federal Level Questions

The Biden-Harris administration in of June 2022 launched the “Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-government approach to combating maternal mortality and morbidity” (White House, 2022). This blueprint calls on congress to make Medicaid coverage available for 12 months postpartum (Michigan has already done this) in addition to including investments to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality  (White House, 2022). 

What investments will you make to address maternal morbidity and mortality?

What are your ideas for fostering a more robust and diverse maternal health care workforce (e.g. how to hire, train, and retain a diverse group of doctors, midwives, doulas, and lactation consultants). 

What is your position on supporting an increase in birth centers locations in order to increase access to midwifery-led care and provide safe alternatives for those interested in having an out-of-hospital birth.

For more ideas on questions you can ask your candidate, please visit Think Babies and MLPP  Ask Your Candidate Pages.