Maternal/Women's Health

More than 65% of all pregnant women in the U.S. benefit from MCHB programs.In all 50 states, we support programs and services that improve women's health before, during, and after pregnancy.

What Goals Are We Trying to Accomplish?

We focus our efforts on three key strategic priorities:

  • Improving women’s health before, during, and beyond pregnancy and across their life course;
  • Improving the quality and safety of maternity care;
  • Improving systems of maternity care including both clinical and public health systems; 

Which Programs and Initiatives Help Us Accomplish Our Goals?

  • Women’s Preventive Services initiative. Through this initiative, a coalition of clinician, academic, and consumer-focused health professional organizations identify preventive services and screenings to be used in clinical practice to improve women’s health across the lifespan.
  • Title V MCH Block Grant. As the nation's public health system for mothers, children, and families, Title V plays an important role in improving women's health before, during, and beyond pregnancy. Key national performance measures include:
    • Increase the number of women who have a preventive medical visit;
    • Reduce the number of cesarean deliveries (C-sections) among low-risk mothers;
    • Increase the number of pregnant women who have a preventive dental visit during pregnancy;
    • Decrease the number of women who smoke during pregnancy.

Title V supports the following activities:

  • Access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care for women, especially for low-income and high-risk pregnant women;
  • An increase in health assessments and follow-up diagnostic and treatment services; and
  • Toll-free hotlines and assistance with applying for services to pregnant women with infants and children eligible for Title XIX (Medicaid).
  • Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health (AIM). Building on the early successes in California, AIM works to prevent 100,000 maternal deaths and severe morbidities over the next five years. It will do this by helping states and communities implement maternal safety bundles in U.S. hospitals.

  • Healthy Start. Healthy Start works to improve pregnancy outcomes. We target communities with high rates of infant mortality and poor birth outcomes. We serve more than 60,000 women and families in 100 communities each year. Improving women's health before, during, and beyond pregnancy is our priority.


Date Last Reviewed:  August 2016