Warrick County lawmakers: New resources available to support Hoosier moms, newborns

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Tuesday, July 7, 2020

STATEHOUSE (July 7, 2020) – To help lower Indiana's high maternal and infant mortality rates, State Reps. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) and Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) said there are new resources available for Hoosier moms and their newborns.

With the seventh-highest infant mortality rate in the nation, more than 600 Hoosier babies died before their first birthday in 2017, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. Indiana also has one of the highest maternal mortality rates. Sullivan said engaging more at-risk expectant mothers in early prenatal care is key to lowering these numbers.  

"We want to see that mothers and babies are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and after childbirth," Sullivan said. "The program is an important step to help women, especially with high-risk pregnancies, get the resources and support they need within their communities."

According to Sullivan, the recently launched Maternal and Child Health MOMS Helpline connects pregnant women to early and regular prenatal care, along with a network of prenatal and child health care services within their local communities and throughout the state. Women in need can visit in.gov/isdh and click on "MOMS Helpline," or call 1-844-MCH-MOMS (1-844-624-6667) for resources.

Bacon said the MOMS Helpline is just one of several tools Indiana offers to support expectant and new mothers. The perinatal navigator pilot program, established in 2019 through a law Sullivan and Bacon co-authored, connects expectant mothers to prenatal care, and provides referrals for wrap-around services and home-visit programs in Indiana's highest-risk counties. He said more than 10 programs are already operating.

With many Hoosier babies born addicted to drugs, and to help expectant mothers receive referrals to treatment programs early, they can also be screened for substance abuse. Bacon said women are often more motivated to seek addiction help when they become pregnant.

"Indiana has been battling high infant and maternal mortality rates for far too long," Bacon said. "This much-needed initiative is building a network of services pregnant women and their families can turn to, and hopefully we will save lives."

Visit in.gov/isdh for more resources and information on Indiana's efforts to support Hoosier moms and babies.

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville) represents House District 78,
which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
Click 
here to download a high-resolution photo.