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State Strategies To Address The Impact Of COVID-19 On Maternal And Child Populations: COVID-19 Response And Recovery


This publication explores strategies Governors used in their COVID-19 response and ideas for improving future efforts and continued recovery plans.


This is the first in a series of five publications focused on COVID-19’s impact on maternal and child health (MCH) programs and populations in the U.S. Each publication focuses on a facet of MCH, including COVID-19 response and recovery, health and human services workforce, childcare, behavioral health, and community supports. The information contained in this series comes from a culmination of interviews and research conducted between early 2022 and January 2024, including an expert roundtable held in the summer of 2022.

Maternal mortality rates are higher in the United States than in similar economically developed countries. Maternal mortality and pregnancy-related death are key indicators of population health and quality of health care delivery. When mothers and parents are absent, families and communities suffer economically and psychologically.

Pregnancy-related deaths in America are preventable in 80 percent of cases. Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) women are most impacted and are more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women. This gap, illustrated in Figure 1, has remained consistent, and in 2021, maternal…

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