6 NJ Maternal Health Resources To Empower Women And Families


If you’re newly pregnant, in your third trimester, or just given birth, maternal health is probably on your radar. And while Maternal Health Awareness Day is recognized on January 23 each year, the support and resources moms need during their pregnancy and after don’t stop when the date passes. Whether moms need access to medical care, mental health information, or information about advocating for themselves and their babies— you can find the help you need. Scroll down for local organizations and resources that are committed to ensuring moms and their babies stay healthy. (featured photo credit: istock/LumiNola)

Nurture NJ
First Lady Tammy Murphy’s initiative, Nurture NJ, is committed to transforming New Jersey into the safest and most equitable state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby. The Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan is a  blueprint to reduce New Jersey’s maternal mortality by 50 percent over five years and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. Nurture NJ is a collection of the work of the Murphy Administration on maternal and infant health and has since initiated a report card on maternal health at NJ hospitals and helping to fulfill the infant formula shortage. 

Center For Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at RWJBarnabas Health
The Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Eatontown, part of RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, treats women and families who are pregnant, postpartum, or who are coping with the loss of a baby. The program includes evidence-based psychotherapy, support groups, and medication management, as well as complimentary therapies such as infant massage and Mommy & Me music classes to encourage bonding in a safe, judgment-free space. Patients are supported by a multidisciplinary team of maternal mental health experts from psychiatry, nursing, and social work.

The Tara Hansen Foundation
The Tara Hansen Foundation was created in honor of Tara Hansen, who passed away in 2011 due to complications from childbirth. The foundation is dedicated to the advancement of maternal health awareness. They believe that expecting parents deserve equal education on the risks associated with the mother as well as the child. 

2 Degrees Foundation
2 Degrees Foundation is working to provide every family in New Jersey with a fighting chance against stillbirth. Through raising funds for stillbirth research, supporting the implementation of the Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act, increasing stillbirth awareness and education, empowering expectant moms to advocate for themselves and their babies, and providing bereavement support for families, they are making a difference to families. Look out for several fundraising events like family photo mini sessions and yoga classes for the Foundation, and there are a variety of resources available, including information about support groups.

Speaking of Birth
Jill Wodnick is the founder of Speaking of Birth, which works to help community doula programs thrive. They work to advance excellence in childbirth education, and they promote policy work to improve maternity care. The organization provides community workshops, technical assistance for community doula development, and compassionate childbirth education. Jill Wodnick’s 3-part Lamaze childbirth courses are available online, free, and open to all expectant parents, health workers, doulas, and community partners.

The SIDS Center of New Jersey
The mission of the SIDS Center of New Jersey is to study the causes and risk factors associated with Sudden, Unexpected Infant Death. They also develop and offer risk reduction education and resources while providing bereavement support to grieving families whose infants died suddenly and unexpectedly. Parents can access a free, safe sleep app to help reduce SIDS.

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About Author

Lisa Cohen Lee is a freelance writer, editor, and mom to a tween-age boy based in Summit, NJ. Her work has appeared in print and online, including Glamour, Self, Woman’s Day, O The Oprah Magazine, NY Post, NJ Monthly, Allure.com, Prevention.com, and Brit + Co, among others. A Garden State native, Lisa is always on the lookout for new local adventures and events to entertain her son and husband. Most days, you can find her chauffeuring her son around town and trolling the coolest coffee houses for #NJMOM fuel.