June 30, 2020

Maternal Health in America

The health of mothers and infants is top of mind for advocates as COVID-19 poses a new, unexpected threat to maternal care in the United States. During this unprecedented time, the mental health of new mothers is of particular concern as the number of postpartum depression cases are on the rise. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), a registered nurse, and Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns join Washington Post Live on Tuesday, June 30 at 10:30 a.m. ET to discuss the state of maternal and infant health in the U.S., the high rate of pregnancy complications for black women and how community leaders, health-care workers and governments are supporting new mothers and their children in the era of COVID-19.

Christy Turlington Burns says U.S. C-section rate needs to be addressed

One-third of all deliveries in the United States are done through cesarean sections. Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns says the rate of C-sections in the U.S. is too high, adding that women are often coerced into having medical interventions unnecessarily. ‘Because C-sections are a contributing factor to maternal mortality, and certainly morbidity, it needs to be addressed.’
  • Jun 30, 2020

Christy Turlington Burns on how hospitals can support mothers-to-be during pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, some women have had to deliver without their partners or family with them. Christy Turlington Burns shares how hospitals can make sure women have the support system they need.
  • Jun 30, 2020

Rep. Lauren Underwood shares mission of ‘Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020’

The “Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020” aims to improve maternal health in the U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) talked about the nine individual bills that make up the legislation and what they hope to address.
  • Jun 30, 2020

Rep. Lauren Underwood says tele-health can’t save an expectant mother’s life

During the coronavirus pandemic, some pregnant women have been seeing their doctors virtually, instead of in-person. But Rep. Lauren Underwood says we can’t count on tele-health to save an expectant mother’s life. “I’ve spoken to providers who told me for example that they wanted to shift many of their expectant moms to these virtual visits, but everybody couldn’t afford a blood pressure cuff…There are challenges in this COVID-19 space…quite frankly recognizing that, that tele-visit, that tele-health exchange, is not necessarily the evidence-based intervention that we can count on to save mom’s lives...We need to make sure that everything we’re doing isn’t just for convenience, but that there is a clinical effectiveness that goes along with it.”
  • Jun 30, 2020

Rep. Underwood says we have to change the culture of the health care system to address disparities

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. In Rep. Lauren Underwood’s state, Illinois, black women are six times more likely to die. With a health care system in which many black woman says they feel ignored, Underwood says we have to change the culture of the system to address this disparity. “What we do know is there is nothing inherently wrong with the woman. It is our country, it is our society, it is the way black women are treated within our health care system…We have to change the culture of our healthcare system, and a one-time webinar or training is not going to do it.’
  • Jun 30, 2020
Christy Turlington Burns

Founder, Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts (EMC) founder Christy Turlington Burns’ work in maternal health began after experiencing a childbirth related complication in 2003—an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary feature film, No Woman, No Cry, about the challenges women face throughout pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Under Christy’s leadership, Every Mother Counts has invested nearly $15 million in programs in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States focused on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Before founding Every Mother Counts, Christy received international acclaim as a model representing the world’s biggest fashion and beauty brands. She was the Founder of Nuala, a yoga lifestyle brand in partnership with Puma, co-founder of Sundari, a skincare based on the principals of Ayurveda, and author of the bestselling book, Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice. Christy has been featured on thousands of magazine covers, was one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, and Glamour Magazine’s 2013 Woman of the Year. In March 2016, EMC was recognized as one of Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-For-Profit Companies.
Rep. Lauren Underwood


Congresswoman Lauren Underwood serves Illinois’ 14th Congressional District and was sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress on January 3, 2019. Congresswoman Underwood is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first millennial to represent her community in Congress. She is also the youngest African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. Congresswoman Underwood serves on the House Committee on Education and Labor, the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, and is the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security. She also serves on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Rep. Underwood is a member of the Future Forum, a group of young Democratic Members of Congress committed to listening to and standing up for the next generation of Americans, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the LGBT Equality Caucus. As a strong supporter of addressing the gun violence epidemic, Congresswoman Underwood is a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce.
Content from Children's National

Content from Children’s National: Addressing Racial Health Disparities for Young Children & Families

Lee Beers, M.D., FAAP, pediatrician and medical director, Children’s National, and Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., director of the Developing Brain Institute, Children’s National, discuss the new Clark Parent & Child Network at Children’s National Hospital. This community network supports underserved pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age 3. Pairing clinical innovation with community partnerships, it will bridge a gap between prenatal care and early childhood development. This includes creating greater access to mental health care with increased screenings and support for pregnant women, more mental health specialists alongside pediatricians and a new mental health clinic for infants and toddlers; promoting positive home environments and building a stronger safety net for at-risk children; placing family advocates in vulnerable neighborhoods; and establishing a network of community partners to support families with social, emotional and financial challenges. The Clark Parent & Child Network at Children’s National Hospital honors an investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, which is investing in hospitals and community-based care providers in Washington, D.C. to achieve a broader vision of improved maternal and child health at the community and population level.
  • Jun 30, 2020
Lee Beers, MD, FAAP

Medical Director of Community Health and Advocacy at the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s National Hospital

Lee Beers is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Medical Director for Community Health & Advocacy within Children’s National’s Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health and Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI). She is Co-Director of the Early Childhood Innovation Network, serves as Founding Director of the D.C. Mental Health Access in Pediatrics program and oversees the public-private coalition the D.C. Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care. Dr. Beers was named President-Elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics in January 2020 and will serve as President in 2021. She also serves in a wide variety of leadership positions in the D.C. community.
Catherine Limperopoulos, PhD

Director and Principal Investigator of the Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory at Children’s National Hospital

Catherine Limperopoulos is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory, the Center for the Developing Brain, Vice-Chair of Research in Radiology and Co-Director of Research in Newborn Medicine at Children’s National. She is Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Limperopoulos is internationally recognized for her work in fetal and neonatal advanced MRI, early cerebellar development and brain injury in preterm infants. Her work has been published in JAMA Pediatrics, JAMA Network Open and other leading scientific publications. Her interdisciplinary collaborations have led to several nationally-funded networks including the National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Defense, Clinical Research Initiative for Regional and National Networks in Perinatal Research, and NeuroDevNet.
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