Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Maternal health is a key factor in the health and well-being of babies and children throughout their lifespan. Many biological, social, environmental, and physical factors affect maternal health. These include race and ethnicity, age, income level, educational attainment, health insurance, access to medical care, pre-pregnancy health, and general health status. Maternal health is also affected by individual health behaviors such as nutrition, physical wellness, and substance use. The cognitive and physical development of infants and children may be influenced by the health, nutrition, and behaviors of their mothers during pregnancy and early childhood.
The data and charts shown in this page outline some of the key health indicators for maternal health in Hillsborough County and New Hampshire (NH). Some of the health indicators impacting healthy moms and highlighted in this page include: Birth Rate, Marital Status, Work Status, Maternal Characteristics, Maternal Oral Health, Maternal Behavioral Health, and Diabetes and Hypertension.
Healthy Moms Data Overview
Check out the points below for the main takeaways from this page.
• In 2019, the Hillsborough County fertility rate was 52.79 per 1,000k. This number varies by maternal age and race/ethnicity. The highest fertility rate is in mother's aged 30 to 34 years (104.64 per 1,000) and mother's that are Black or African American (78.22 per 1,000) and Hispanic/Latino (74.18 per 1,000).
• In 2018, 94% of pregnant women in NH started prenatal care in their first trimester, 92.4% of pregnant women in NH reported that they knew it was important for them to receive oral care during pregnancy. 74.5% of pregnant women had dental insurance, but only 55% had their teeth cleaned during their pregnancy.
• In New Hampshire, the majority of moms consider themselves working moms (56.4%) and about a third of moms are unmarried (32.5%).
• In 2018, 7.5% of pregnant women in NH smoked cigarettes in their last three months of pregnancy, and 5.9% used marijuana or hash during their pregnancy.
• In 2018, 14.9% of women in NH received follow-up care for depression after giving birth, and 13% women were diagnosed with depression after giving birth.
Birth rate is the ratio of total live births to total population in a specified community or area over a specified period of time, per 1,000 people. The number of total live births is taken from a registration system for births and population counts from a census. The birth rate is then used to calculate population growth. In 2018, there were a total of 3.7 million births in the U.S., a birth rate of 11.6 per 1,000 people and a fertility rate of 59.1 births per 1000 women 15 to 44 years of age. The birth rate in Hillsborough County varies amongst different age groups, educational attainments and race/ethnicities as depicted in the table. Overall the birth rates in Hillsborough County, NH, and the United States (U.S.) were similar in 2018.
While the birth rate is reflective of the total number of live births per 1,000 people, the fertility rate is the average number of children born to women of childbearing age (15-44) each year.
Maternal characteristics are the health behaviors of a pregnant woman.
These behaviors can have a significant impact on the progress and outcome of their pregnancy and baby's early infancy, especially in relation to birth weight and infant mortality rates. It is recommended for all pregnant women to receive prenatal care throughout their pregnancy to ensure their health as well as the health of their baby.
Maternal Characteristics, as highlighted in the Table “New Hampshire Maternal Characteristics” include: Prenatal Care, Insurance, Health Information, Nutrition, Safety, Healthy Homes, and Poverty. In NH in 2018, 94% of mothers started prenatal care in the first trimester, 70.3% got a flu shot in the 12 months before birth, and 90.1% always used a seatbelt during pregnancy.
Single and Working Moms
In New Hampshire, the majority of moms consider themselves working moms and about a third of moms are unmarried. A mother's access to childcare and supportive environments are essential to the health and wellbeing of families.
Maternal Oral Health
Maternal oral health can pose significant implications for birth outcomes and infant oral health. Receiving dental care and treatment throughout pregnancy is safe and effective for both the mother and her baby. While oral care is important for good overall health, access can be affected by gender, age, education level, income, race and ethnicity, health insurance, and location. Addressing these determinants is important in our efforts to reduce health disparities and improve maternal and child health.
Maternal Behavioral Health
Maternal behavioral health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use, directly contribute to poor outcomes in infants. Pregnant women struggling with mental health and/or substance use face an increased risk of obstetric complications and preterm labor that can threaten their lives as well the lives of their babies. The use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs at any time during pregnancy or while trying to become pregnant puts babies at risk for birth defects, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.
Becoming pregnant and having a baby can be a challenging time for women. Depression in mothers with limited access to resources and treatment can be linked to low infant birth weight and high rates of malnutrition. While any women can struggle with their behavioral health during and after pregnancy, women of low-income and those from racial and ethnic minorities are at greater risk of developing depression. Depression during and after pregnancy is both common and treatable.
Women experiencing behavioral health issues need to know that their feelings are normal and they are not alone. Every woman deserves support and resources are available.
Chronic poorly-controlled high blood pressure before and during pregnancy puts a woman and her baby at risk for pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, and gestational diabetes. The mother is also at higher risk for poor birth outcomes such as preterm delivery, small for infant compared to gestational age, and infant mortality.
Diabetes during pregnancy can negatively affect the health of women and their babies. High blood sugar during conception and throughout pregnancy can increase the babies’ risk of birth defects, stillbirth, preterm birth, and developing obesity or diabetes in the future.
Health Equity & Healthy Moms
A person's health can be seriously impacted by their race, ethnicity, gender, income level, education, and other socioeconomic factors. In regards to healthy moms...
• Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, and this disparity increases with age (CDC MMWR).
• Cardiomyopathy, thrombotic pulmonary embolism, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy contributed more to pregnancy-related deaths among black women than among white women (2007-2016 CDC).
• Hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy contributed more to pregnancy-related deaths among American Indian and Alaska Native women than white women (2007-2016 CDC).
• In 2017, African American mothers were 2.3 times more likely than non-Hispanic white mothers to receive late or no prenatal care (Office of Minority Health, HHS).