Maternal Warning Signs Education


While the time of delivery is often the focus of many parents' health concerns, pregnancy complications are just as likely to occur during pregnancy and the first year following birth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends educating patients about the signs of pregnancy and postpartum complications, and when to seek care, as a critical strategy for improving maternal health outcomes1. Altough most pregnancy complications are not common, they can happen to anyone, so all patients and their families need to know the warning signs.

TIMING OF PREGNANCY-RELATED DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES

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Learn more about maternal warning signs

To teach about the warning signs of maternal complication, MDMOM developed educational videos (available in both English and Spanish) that explain the warning signs identified through the Council on Patient Safety in Women's Health Care:

Warning Signs Video (English)

Warning Signs Video (Spanish)

For more information about these signs, visit the Council on Patient Safety in Women's Health Care's website or download the pamphlet in English or Spanish. MDMOM has also translated the pamphlet into French and Farsi for home visiting programs, which can be made available by request.

To hear stories of pregnant and postpartum patients who experienced a complication, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Hear Her campaign.

Empower Moms:
Implementing Warning Signs Education in Maryland

To support warning signs education in Maryland, the MDMOM program launched the Enhanced Maternal and Postpartum Warning Signs Education and Recognition for Moms (EMPOWER Moms) Initiative.

Through EMPOWER Moms, MDMOM will support home visiting programs and other community-based maternal and child health services to provide warning signs education to their clients through training and implementation tools. Home visiting programs, which pair new parents with a trained professional that provides extended parenting and health support, have a unique opportunity to reach families in the pregnancy and postpartum period with this important education. In Maryland, approximately 70 home visiting programs reach over 4,000 families a year2.

June-October 2020

Formative interviews and survey

November 2020 - February 2021

Toolkit development & pilot site recruitment

March - August 2021

Pilot with five home visiting programs

September - December 2021

Revise toolkit

January 2022

Program Scale Up

Is your organization interested in implementing warning signs education?

References & Key Resources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs: Pregnancy-Related Deaths. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/maternal-deaths/
  2. Maryland Children's Cabinet. Report on the Implementation and Outcomes of State-Funded Home Visiting Programs in Maryland; Governor's Office for Children: Annapolis, MD, 2019.
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