Maternal health

In brief

Overview

Improving maternal health is a goal of some early childhood home visiting models in the HomVEE review. To achieve this goal, models provide mothers with health information and guidance during pregnancy and after the child’s birth. Some also link mothers to prenatal and postpartum health care providers. In addition, some programs link mothers to treatment facilities for mental health and substance issues, or may directly provide preventive mental health intervention or other services that promote their psychological well-being.

Measurement considerations

Maternal health involves both the mother’s health status (during or after pregnancy), including mental and behavioral health, stress, and health-related habits such as nutrition and sexual health, and measures of social support and other protective factors. Outcome measures in this domain include health care service receipt outcomes extracted from medical records, as well as standardized and unstandardized parent self-report measures. 

Maternal health involves the mother’s health status (during or after pregnancy), including mental and behavioral health, stress, and health-related habits such as nutrition and sexual health. Receipt of health services is in this domain; the mother’s health insurance status is in the family economic self-sufficiency domain.

Social/emotional support to the mother belongs in this domain, whereas in-kind support that the primary caregiver received is in the family economic self-sufficiency domain. HomVEE characterizes more support as favorable. (The favorability of positive or negative findings in this area may be dependent on context or other factors. In some cases, the HomVEE team will confer with subject matter experts to make determinations about whether a finding is favorable, or unfavorable or ambiguous.) 

Review of research

The HomVEE review examined the research on 50 early childhood home visiting models with manuscripts published in 1979 through 2020. (HomVEE counts related versions, commonly referred to as adaptations, together in this section and in the table below. More information is available in the procedures and standards handbook.) Of the 28 models with manuscripts about high- or moderate-quality studies that measured outcomes in this domain, 17 had favorable effects.

Summary of findings

The effects shown in the research are grouped into four categories: (1) favorable, (2) no effect, (3) unfavorable or ambiguous, and (4) not measured. Results for models that only have low-rated research are listed as “not applicable.” For more information on these categories please read the procedures and standards handbook. Only results from manuscripts that receive a moderate or high rating are considered below. This table includes manuscripts links to more information on the model’s effectiveness, implementation, and details on findings in this domain.

Effects shown in research — Maternal health domain

{% if field_has_high_or_moderate_study == "Yes" %} Not measured {% else %} Not applicable {% endif %}