Maternal and Child Health

6/23/2020

Maternal and child health (MCH) programs focus on health issues concerning women, children and families, such as access to recommended prenatal and well-child care, infant and maternal mortality prevention, maternal and child mental health, newborn screening, child immunizations, child nutrition and services for children with special health care needs. States invest in healthy children and families to strengthen communities and avoid unnecessary health care costs.  

Both federal and state funds contribute to MCH-related programs, such as the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant; Medicaid; the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; the Healthy Start Initiative; the Emergency Medical Services for Children Program; and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). States play an important role in administering these programs. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau administers Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant funding to 59 states and jurisdictions. Title V is one of the largest federal block grant programs and provides support for health programs benefitting 91% of all pregnant women, 99% of infants, and 54% of children nationwide. This interactive webpage shows national Title V data as well as the contact information for each state’s MCH director and other related state health officials.

States also pass a broad range of policies to improve health for children and families, including policies related to health insurance coverage, perinatal care, maternal and infant mortality, child nutrition, mental health and substance use disorders. NCSL tracks enacted MCH legislation on topics such as maternal and infant mortality, childhood nutrition, children’s mental health, and others, in NCSL’s Maternal and Child Health Database.

Recent News and Updates

Maternal and Child Health Database, NCSL

Preventing Infant and Maternal Mortality, NCSL

Breastfeeding State Laws, NCSL

Immunization Policy Issues Overview, NCSL

Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA

The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

Updated June, 2020

This project is supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1XMC31659-02-00, Supporting State Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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