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The Postpartum Cliff and What We Are Doing About It

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As a new administration enters the White House, we’re taking a step back to look at where we’ve come from and where we need to go from here. We’re hopeful for a future in which maternal health issues receive the attention from Congress that they deserve and demand. 

While the country has made some positive strides toward improving postpartum care in 2020, there is still more to do. Last year, healthcare spending represented 18% of the U.S.’s gross domestic product— an increase of almost 200% since 2018 — and yet our rates of maternal mortality have continued to increase. 

Jollitot is targeting postpartum hypertension through a product enhancement that extends remote monitoring of blood pressure through the days and weeks following childbirth, with a goal of reducing the percentage of readmissions for postpartum hypertension to 0%. Through our partnerships, we will continue to target blood pressure complications in postpartum women and seek better solutions.

With postpartum hypertension disproportionately affecting minority women, innovations to address the problem are also tied to questions of health equity, a challenge that technology may have the potential to resolve.

The high percentage of postpartum depression and mental health issues during pregnancy continue to demand attention from the maternal health field, especially as the coronavirus pandemic left more women in need of mental health care than ever before.

Silence around mental health issues is still a major problem in our society — although more light is being shed on the issues and there has been a decrease in the stigma surrounding it, many pregnant and postpartum women report that their providers do not bring up the topic during appointments, and the conversation occurs only at the patient’s initiation. 

To address the silence and make mental health care more accessible to pregnant and new moms, while tipping providers off to at-risk patients who may be slipping through the cracks, Jollitot is developing a new maternal mental health product enhancement. The product delivers surveys and risk assessments to patients to identify their needs and connect them to the appropriate resources and gives patients access to wellness and mindfulness exercises and important educational information around mental health.

As we look back at the state of the industry, we see positive growth — notably, the DC Council’s passage of the Postpartum Coverage Expansion Act Amendment of 2020 — and we also see a lot of ground yet to cover. With an administration that has a history of supporting maternal health, we’re hopeful that the U.S. is going to take aggressive steps toward providing better care for our moms.

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