Getting Maternity Care Right for All Women and Newborns

Statler A/B

This policy panel presents maternity care as a large clinical area that is foundational for population health with major opportunities for better outcomes and spending through Right Care. A baby is born every 8 minutes in the US, and 23% of those discharged from hospitals are childbearing women and newborns. They account for 5 of the 10 most common hospital procedures, including c-section, the nation’s most common operating room procedure. Yet most are healthy and at low risk, and current costly approaches are associated with troubling performance, including rising: maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, low birthweight and preterm birth. In addition to overuse, many beneficial practices are not reliably provided. The current maternity care system has made great strides – and should continue progress – with care of women and newborns with specialized needs. This panel’s focus on “All” Women and Newborns will show how to advance high-value care by also providing Right Care for the many women and babies that are not currently well-served: the overlapping groups of women and newborns at lower risk and of low-income and vulnerable women, including African Americans who experience large, persistent disparities in birth outcomes. We will do this by describing the current state of affairs, presenting a new consensus blueprint for transforming maternity care, and featuring both proven high-performing care models to emulate and spread and promising innovations to pilot, evaluate and refine. With clear policy support for high-value maternity care, these models and innovations can transform care to serve women and newborns well.



  • Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH, Director of Childbirth Connection Programs, National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Nan Strauss, JD, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Every Mother Counts 
  • Steven Calvin, MD, Medical Director, Minnesota Birth Center


MODERATOR: Diana R. Jolles, El Rio Community Health Center



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