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Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Initiatives: Featuring MOMS for the 21st Century Act

One of the key pieces of MCH legislation to date is MOMS 21. The Midwives Alliance supports the sweeping legislation to improve the health and well being of mothers and infants in the United States introduced by Congresswoman Roybal-Allard (CA 34) June 3, 2011. The purpose of the MOMS for the 21st Century Act (HR 5807), called MOMS 21 for short, is to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes by utilizing the best evidence in maternity care delivery. MOMS 21 is a call to action for consumers, care providers, administrators and payers of services to work together to improve MCH outcomes and lower costs. The MOMS 21 Act cites midwives as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, contemporary care for mothers, infants and their families.

Among the features of the MOMS 21 Act are theses:

  • Highlight maternal and child healthcare as a priority and emphasizes the need to focus on the well-being of moms and babies as part of healthcare reform
  • Establish and interagency coordinating committee for all federal agencies that deliver healthcare services to promote optimal maternity care
  • Create a Center for Excellence on Optimal Maternity Outcomes that will expand research on best practices in maternity care
  • Direct the Center for Excellence on Optimal Maternity Outcomes to conduct research on high-quality, cost-effective maternity care models
  • Establish targeted federal grant programs with aggressive educational loan repayment plans to increase and diversify the maternity workforce
  • Support the education of a culturally diverse multidisciplinary workforce, particularly to meet the needs of under-represented populations and provider shortage areas.
  • Develop a comprehensive online database for consumers and healthcare providers
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date systematic reviews of maternal and child healthcare practices and policies
  • Institute a national consumer education campaign to keep women, and those that care for women, informed about evidence-based maternity care practice