NEW JERSEY — In New Jersey, a Black mother is seven times more likely to die from maternity-related complications than a white woman.
First Lady Tammy Murphy has been on a mission to reduce the Garden State’s maternal mortality by 50% over the next five years through her “Nurture New Jersey” statewide initiative.
The initiative is currently on a fast track as Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Newborn Home Nurse Visitation Law last week, which guarantees all new moms a follow-up home visit from a medical professional within two weeks of giving birth.
How quickly will those visits begin? Murphy said they will start rolling out as the year advances.
The state is in the process of training nurses on the program, but “it’s something we’ve been doing but not on such a grand scale.”
About 52% of maternity-related deaths occur postpartum, Murphy said, adding that two-thirds of those are preventable.
“Having a nurse actually step into someone’s private home where a mom feels comfortable and feels at ease is really going to be such a solve for this problem,” Murphy said.
Moms will be able to open up and nurses will be able to see if any resources are needed for the mother and family.
Since this will be available for everyone, it will also remove the stigma that some will receive when it comes to government services, according to the first lady.
“Moms always put themselves last,” Murphy said. This program will allow moms to not worry about transportation or child care for other kids since they’ll be home.
The program will roll out before a mom leaves a birthing center or hospital — she will be connected with the opportunity.
It’s currently available, but not broadly, Murphy added.
Murphy also discusses prenatal care, which is just as critical as postpartum care.