HHS and Baby2Baby Announce Partnership to Support New Mothers with a Newborn Supply Kit During Visit by Vice President Kamala Harris
Newborn Supply Kits include critical resources to help new moms navigate early motherhood and continue the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to improve maternal and neonatal health.
HHS also launched a new website, www.hhs.gov/newbaby, for families to get critical information on health, feeding, sleeping, child development and programmatic information.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the non-profit organization Baby2Baby announced a new pilot program to distribute a one-time only Newborn Supply Kit made up of essential goods and critical maternal health items to new mothers and their infants. The announcement coincided with a visit by Vice President Kamala Harris, and HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, January Contreras to the nonprofit’s Los Angeles headquarters and warehouse. Harris and Contreras toured the warehouse and met with mothers to discuss maternal health and support for families.
“Every mother or mother-to-be should have access to the support they need for their family to be healthy,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “Through this partnership, our Administration continues to prioritize the maternal health of women across America.”
HHS also launched a new website, www.hhs.gov/newbaby, that includes information across all Federal agencies for families on health, feeding, sleeping, child development and programmatic information.
“The disparities in maternal and neonatal health care in this country are staggering – and unacceptable. The pilot program with Baby2Baby provides much needed supplies to mothers and their newborns,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to use every lever available to address the disparities in our health care system and provide whole-person care to pregnant people and their families. This is another strong example of government working in partnership with leaders in the community to solve problems for the American people.”
"The partnership between Baby2Baby and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services comes at a moment where the demand for essential goods for infants and families continues to rise," Baby2Baby Co-CEOs, Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof further shared. “We want to ensure that new moms have everything they need to get their babies' lives started off on the right track. When we can provide these critical items, not only can mothers pay their rent and put food on the table, but it helps their mental health by alleviating the stress of meeting their children’s most basic needs.”
The Newborn Supply Kits consist of more than 20 items including diapers and wipes, clothing, hygiene items, blankets and thermometers for newborns, and postpartum pads, lotion, cold packs, breastfeeding supplies, and carriers for new moms. HHS and Baby2Baby will first distribute 3,000 of the Newborn Supply Kits across Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico – three states experiencing deep levels of family poverty – via hospitals and community-based partner organizations. Any mother giving birth during pilot implementation at one of the partner sites will be eligible to receive a kit.
This pilot is part of the ongoing work to support President Biden’s Executive Order 14058, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government. Executive Order 14058 establishes the President’s Management Council’s cross-government effort and interagency team to tackle the designated life experience of “Having a child and early childhood.” Following the pilot program implementation, the goal is to expand this effort to significantly increase the number of families receiving these Newborn Supply Kits.
Today’s announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Blueprint, a whole of government strategy aimed at improving maternal health, particularly in underserved communities. Earlier this month, the Administration announced $8.2 million through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to expand the first-ever federally funded diaper distribution program for low-income families, and also today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded more than $65 million to 35 HRSA-funded health centers to address the maternal mortality crisis.
“We need bold solutions that recognize and respond to the unacceptable disparities in maternal health outcomes in this country,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Through this new funding, health centers will be able to tailor their response to the needs of their patients and communities and take action to save lives.”
Women in America are dying at a higher rate from pregnancy-related causes than in any other developed nation, and Black women and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women are dying at more than three and two times the rate respectively from pregnancy-related causes as White women. And maternal mental health conditions are the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting 1 in 5 women in the United States.
“The Biden-Harris Administration understands that the strength of our nation is rooted in the health and well-being of families,” said ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras. “At the Administration for Children and Families we are focused on addressing the causes and consequences of poverty with every tool at our disposal. To address the fact that one in three families in the US cannot afford all the diapers they need, we are implementing a Diaper Distribution Pilot to support diaper distribution to low-income families in 12 states and two tribes to provide breathing room to families when they need it most.”
As of today, $16.2 million have been allocated to the Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot to support projects in a total of 12 states and two tribes and HRSA-funded health centers provide essential prenatal care to nearly 550,000 people a year in communities at higher risk of pregnancy-related deaths and health center providers deliver more than 160,000 babies annually.
Read more about the Newborn Supply Kit pilot.
Read the Vice President's remarks from the visit.
Learn more about the “Having a child and early childhood" portfolio of projects.
Expecting and new parents who feel overwhelmed or are experiencing depression and anxiety, as well as their loved ones, should reach out to the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262) for support and resources. Help is just a phone call or text away.