Executive Summary

With some of the worst maternal health outcomes in the nation, the need to deliver better care has never been more critical to the health and wellbeing of New Jersey communities. The midwifery model of care has been identified as a major lever of change for maternal health outcomes, yet this support remains inaccessible to the majority of those giving birth across the state, particularly those facing the highest risk of poor maternal health outcomes. The Delivering Better Care: Midwifery Practice in New Jersey report offers an entry point to unlocking the potential of midwifery practice by providing a detailed overview of the current state of midwifery in New Jersey and proposing state-specific recommendations for further exploration.

New Jersey ranks 47th in the United States for maternal health outcomes and is characterized by extraordinary racial disparities; a Black woman in New Jersey is seven times more likely to die than a white woman. As we look to improve these outcomes, midwives have been highlighted as key maternal health stakeholders in efforts to deliver better care through key initiatives such as the Nurture NJ initiative, launched by First Lady Tammy Murphy in 2019. Through the Nurture NJ Strategic Plan, the state is pursuing action-driven, systemic change following an ecosystem roadmap where all birthing people are surrounded by environments that support their health and wellbeing.

Authors: New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and The Burke Foundation

Publication Date: June 2022

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