Blog Archives

Ahead of Father’s Day, Rep. Veasey Introduces Resolution Recognizing the Importance of Father Engagement in Maternal and Infant Health

WASHINGTON – Ahead of Father’s Day 2023, North Texas Representatives Marc Veasey (TX-33) and Colin Allred (TX-32) introduced a resolution highlighting the importance of father engagement in infant and maternal health outcomes.

“As a father, I’ve witnessed the benefits of being involved in the health and well-being of my family early on,” said Representative Veasey. “ It is important that we recognize the struggles Black and Brown mothers and infants face in our health care system and find solutions that support families holistically – including providing fathers with the resources and knowledge they need to be strong advocates for mothers and babies.”

“I didn’t know my father, but long before I had my two boys I knew I would do things differently,” said Congressman Allred. “It’s why I took leave after both my boys were born, and it’s why we must pass policies that support every kind of family and ensure fathers can have that precious time to be with their children. We know that when we have paid family leave, affordable child care, and affordable health care and postpartum care – these policies lead us to better outcomes in maternal and infant health. I am proud to help lead this resolution with Congressman Veasey,” said Representative Allred.

“Science backs it up. Research backs it up. Fathers are biologically hardwired to be nurturers. Their involvement matters – and not only for the wellbeing of their children as they grow, but for the health of their partners and babies during pregnancy and postpartum. A father’s engagement during pregnancy and beyond reduces a mother’s risk of life-threatening complications that can lead to maternal mortality and morbidity, preterm labor, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It boosts their baby’s birthweight and significantly increases breastfeeding success. Dads are, in fact, the best and most effective champions and advocates for their partners, but only if we include them. And too often, dads, especially Black and Brown dads, are not included by our healthcare system.

This Father’s Day, the What to Expect Project and I are so grateful to Representatives Veasey and Allred for their passionate leadership and commitment to moms, dads and the little ones they love. Wishing them and all dads a happy and nurtured Father’s Day,” said Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and founder of the What to Expect Project.

Research confirms that positive father involvement during pregnancy supports mothers and prepares men to be active parents in their child’s life. Most notably, an increased sense of trust between parents reduces mental and physical stresses and promotes well-being. Additionally, active participation by fathers can promote timely care during pregnancy, improve mental health, can positively impact short- and long-term health outcomes of mother and child, and assist in identifying and seeking health care in cases of postpartum complications.

Booker, Menendez Introduce Resolution Designating January 23 as Maternal Health Awareness Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-N.J.) introduced a resolution recognizing January 23 as Maternal Health Awareness Day. In 2018, New Jersey became the first state to recognize January 23 as Maternal Health Awareness Day through the work of the Tara Hansen Foundation, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and other vital organizations that work to help spread awareness and stop maternal mortality. Since that time, state, advocacy and community-based organizations, and others have used January 23 as a day to raise awareness about maternal health, educate health care providers about maternal mortality, and encourage birthing people, families and providers to recognize and discuss potential signs of an emergency.

Heidi and Erik Murkoff Receive the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, presented Heidi and Erik Murkoff with the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award on June 23, for their longstanding support to military moms and dads stationed around the world. The ceremony honoring their contributions to the Armed Forces was held in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. The Murkoffs were nominated for the award, given annually, by the Department of the Navy.

Moore, Warren, Booker Introduce MAMAS First Act

Today, Congresswoman Moore, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J) and Representatives Deborah Dingell (D-Mich.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) announced the re-introduction of the Mamas First Act, vital legislation to address the maternal mortality crisis that would expand Medicaid to include doula and midwifery care. In response, she released the following statement:

“Medicaid covers 40 percent of all births and 65 percent of Black mothers’ births. As Black mothers continue to bear the burden of our maternal health crisis, dying at 3-5 times the rate of white mothers, making these investments will have an immediate impact on the most vulnerable mothers. Mothers who have access to doulas and midwives are more likely to have healthier outcomes and deliveries free of complications for them and their babies.

Houlahan Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing Bump Day

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing July 21st as Bump Day. She is joined in this effort by Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). Bump Day is a global advocacy day for maternal health, and Rep. Houlahan’s resolution not only commemorates this day but also reaffirms the United States’ leadership to end preventable maternal deaths in the United States and across the globe.

Just in Time for Mother’s Day, Houlahan Introduces Military Moms Matter Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), chair of the Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus, introduced her Military Moms Matter Act of 2021. This historic, bipartisan legislation, alongside Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK), aims to protect and support servicewomen who have just given birth, particularly during the critical postpartum stage.