Women Veterans are the fastest growing and most diverse group of VA health care users. Black women make up more than 30 percent of all women Veterans receiving health care at VA. With this growth, the number of Black women who are pregnant and using maternity care benefits is also likely on the rise.
The United States has the highest rates of infant and maternal deaths of any high-income country. Pregnancy-related deaths have more than doubled over the last 40 years to about 700 women a year.
April 11-17 marks the fourth National Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), which seeks solutions to health care differences that threaten the health, and sometimes the lives, of Black pregnant women and their babies.
VA recognizes that to improve maternal health outcomes for Black Veterans, and all Veterans of color, we must address the impact of bias and racism on health care delivery.
VA’s commitment to equitable, high-quality care for all pregnant Veterans
Equitable access to high-quality care is a core principle of VA’s health care mission. VA recognizes the service of Black women Veterans and is committed to respectful, quality care for all pregnant Veterans.
“Veteran-focused care that puts Veterans’ individual needs first – including their non-clinical, social needs – has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes for all women, including women of color,” said Dr. Amanda Johnson, director of Reproductive Health for VA’s Women’s Health.
“We provide maternity care coordinators who really listen to your needs and support you through every stage of your pregnancy in partnership with you and your providers.
“It’s important to talk with your provider if you’re thinking about becoming, or already are, pregnant,” she added.
Maternal Health resources for women Veterans
VA covers full maternity care from the time of the first positive pregnancy test through delivery and follow-up appointments. We also cover the first seven days of newborn care. We want to ensure you get the care you and your baby deserve.
VA offers a range of benefits and resources to support Veterans through every stage of their journey. Benefits and resources include, but are not limited to, preconception care, fertility care, maternity care coordinators, and postpartum mood and anxiety treatment.