Maternal and Child Health Systems:
Advocacy-Focused Work

What Are Maternal-Child Health Systems? 

Maternal-child health systems encompass the network of healthcare professionals, organizations, and resources dedicated to supporting the health of birthing people, infants, children, communities and families. 

This field includes a focus on pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum recovery, newborn and pediatric care, reproductive health, and more. The goal is to optimize health outcomes and provide education and support for the entire family, while working toward systems change to transform perinatal and postpartum care. Their work goes beyond direct healthcare to impacting communities through advocacy, research, education and leadership.

How Do Maternal-Child Health Care Workers Advocate? 

Working to improve systems to positively impact maternal-child health is a core mission of professionals in this field. Some of the key branches of their advocacy include: 

Pushing for Policy Changes
Educating the Public
Promoting Equitable Care
Improving Resources

Pushing for Policy Changes 

Advocating for policy changes to expand access to care, provide funding for family resources and services, improve education about reproductive issues, and more. These policies impact systems-wide standards of practice. 

Educating the Public

Educating the public about family health topics like prenatal care, breastfeeding/chestfeeding, and children’s nutrition to help empower informed choices. Their work educating the public and their community also helps bring about needed change.

Promoting Equitable Care

Eliminating health inequalities by campaigning for equitable and socially just care across demographics. By engaging with vulnerable yet resilient populations and understanding the disparities they experience, policymakers can make more informed suggestions to help everyone access the quality care they deserve. 

Improving Resources

Ensuring high-quality direct resources for birthing families like mental health support and parenting classes are equally available. Traditional healthcare systems can sometimes leave parents and families without guidance or support after delivering their child. These MCH workers help fill the care gap and provide much-needed support to families. 


Collecting maternal-child health data and publishing research to inform best practices. As they engage with their community, maternal-child health systems workers engage in more profound research into the systemic issues that cause the inequalities their communities face. 

Where Do Maternal-Child Health Care Professionals Work?

Professionals in maternal-child health care work in diverse settings, including but not limited to: 



Hospitals providing obstetric, labor and delivery, and pediatric care 


Local Health Clinics

Local health clinics within communities serving birthing families

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Research Institutions

Research institutions investigating family health issues and the societal failings that lead to them

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Government Agencies and Non-Profits

Health departments and community organizations crafting policies and distributing resources 

By advocating, educating, researching, and providing direct care, maternal-child health systems workers promote whole-family wellness starting from the earliest stages of life.

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