It was not your ordinary baby shower, opening precious baby gifts and playing personalized games. This was a baby shower with a life-saving mission. The Community Baby shower, an Anthem Indiana Medicaid signature event, was all about ensuring the health and safety of moms-to-be and their babies.
More than 300 people registered for last month’s event, organized, and hosted by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, in partnership with the Minority Health Coalition of Marion County (MHCMC) and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC). Expectant mothers attended workshops and visited exhibits from community organizations, where they received important information and learned about resources to help them stay healthy during and after pregnancy.
Improving maternal health outcomes is critical. According to the March of Dimes, an Anthem Foundation partner, data show that the U.S. remains among the most dangerous developed nations in the world for childbirth. Over 700 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and the CDC reports that 60 percent are preventable. Black women are three times more likely than White women to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide. Black babies are more than twice as likely as White babies to die before their first birthdays, and women of color are up to 50 percent more likely to give birth prematurely.1 Many of these deaths are due to systemic racial injustice within healthcare, and can be linked to social determinants of health, such as access to food, education, housing, and jobs.2
At Anthem, we’re focused on addressing the drivers that impact health, including the social drivers that so many expectant mothers of color face. We support several community-based initiatives making an impact in improving maternal health. We’re committed to helping reduce disparities and improve outcomes for expectant mothers by informing them of the importance of staying healthy during pregnancy.
As part of the Community Baby Shower, Anthem Indiana Medicaid presented the Inaugural 2021 Maternal & Child Visionary Award to The Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition. The award was given in memory of Dr. Chaniece Wallace, a Black doctor in Indiana, specializing in Pediatrics, who died from postpartum complications.
Improving maternal health outcomes requires a whole health, multi-system approach. Through community engagement and education, we are working to remove barriers and drive health equity for expectant mothers.
1 Health disparities. (n.d.). https://www.marchofdimes.org/mission/health-disparities.aspx
2 Pregnancy Related Deaths. (2019, May 07). https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6835a3.htm