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Big Sky. New Horizons. A Healthier Montana.

Promote the health of mothers, infants and children

Montana has been consistently in the top ten states with regard to the high prevalence of smoking during pregnancy, which contributes to increased risk of prematurity, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and childhood and adult asthma. With 40% of Montana births covered by Medicaid each year, this significantly impacts Medicaid costs to the state. While national Healthy People 2020 targets for premature birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality have been attained in Montana, these rates could be even better if more women entered prenatal care early and if Montana could reduce smoking during pregnancy.

Health Indicators: By 2018

  • Increase the proportion of pregnant women who report they entered prenatal care in the first trimester from 76% to 83%
  • Decrease the proportion of women who report they smoke during pregnancy from 16% to 12%
  • Decrease the proportion of pre-term births from 9% to 7%
  • Decrease the rate of teen pregnancy from 46 per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 years to 42 per 1,0004


B1. Public Health Policies

B.1.1 Support worksites and schools to implement health promotion policies that promote maternal, child, and infant health (e.g., breastfeeding, tobacco free workplaces)

B.1.2 Create and monitor policies that define medical homes to include adequate prenatal care, services for children with special health care needs, oral health services, and child and adolescent immunizations

B2. Prevention and Health Promotion Efforts

B.2.1 Increase awareness of maternal, child, and infant health through public education (e.g., baby on back to sleep, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, physical activity and child abuse prevention)

B.2.2 Implement evidence-based curricula intended to reduce teen pregnancy through both abstinence and contraception

B.2.3 Expand evidence-based home visiting programs serving high-risk women, infants, and children that address issues such as smoking in pregnancy, early prenatal care, blood lead screening and prevention of child abuse

B.2.4 Implement evidence-based breastfeeding promotion programs

B3. Access to Care, Particularly Clinical Preventative Services

B.3.1 Implement quality improvement activities that improve the delivery of clinical preventive services and the use of clinical practice guidelines (e.g., childhood immunizations, reproductive health plans, highly effective contraceptives for women who choose contraception, reduced induction and early elective cesarean sections)

B.3.2 Use available and emerging technologies to improve the delivery of clinical preventive services (e.g., tracking prenatal care, use of recall/reminders for prenatal care)

B.3.3 Support health care providers to identify high-risk and otherwise eligible women and children and refer them to Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), home visiting, Children’s Special Health Services, and other maternal and child health programs

B4. Montana's Public Health and Health Care System

B.4.1 Maintain public health surveillance systems to monitor the health of women, infants, and children and produce regular surveillance reports based on the data collected

B.4.2 Provide training and resources to health professionals and others to implement programs that improve modifiable risk factors for adverse outcomes of pregnancy (smoking cessation, obesity, access to prenatal care)

B.4.3 Encourage the integration of DPHHS programs and services to promote the health of women, infants and children

B.4.4 Facilitate the achievement of maternal, infant and child health goals through implementation of health care reform activities

B.4.5 Promote identification of women who smoke, especially those who are pregnant, and promote referral to the Montana Tobacco QuitLine

B.4.6 Provide training for school staffs to implement communicable disease prevention and control (e.g., hand washing, recognition and isolation of ill students, policies on ill students and staff)