Maternal & Infant Health

Scroll To Bottom Of Page For Safer Childbirth Cities Group Discussion Video

There are stark health inequities, by race and ethnicity, in the percentage of women in New Jersey who receive any prenatal care, with Black mothers more than twice as likely to not receive any prenatal care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups.

Embedded within these persistent disparities are the ongoing effects of institutional racism—racism that began with the enslavement of Black people, was embedded in our earliest institutions, and has continued to influence policies and practices ever since, according to the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality.

Of all pregnancy-related deaths in New Jersey between 2009-2013, more than 46 percent were black women — five times that of their white counterparts. Black babies still die at three times the rate of white newborns and women of all races are more likely to lose their lives during childbirth here than in many other states.

Merck for Mothers Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative

Access to early and consistent prenatal care increases the likelihood of having a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery for both mothers and babies.

Nationwide, more than 77% of women initiate prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy. In New Jersey, the rate is 72% and in Mercer County rates of early prenatal care are lower, with 63% of Mercer county mothers and fewer than half of Trenton mothers attending a prenatal visit in the first trimester (2016).

In Trenton, 57.8% of women reported “adequate” prenatal care–care beginning by the end of the fourth month of pregnancy and receiving at least 80% of recommended prenatal visits in 2017. This falls far below rates for Mercer County (71.1%) and New Jersey (72.3%).

In 2015, Trenton had a teen birth rate (age 17 and younger) nearly six times higher than the state average (30.5/1,000 to 5.8/1,000 live births). Having one or more pregnancies before age 17 is often a predictor for poor future educational and economic attainment.


Merck for Mothers Safer Childbirth Cities Initiative

A community doula is professionally trained in childbirth and offers physical, emotional, and informational support to birthing people and their families before, during, and after delivery.

Contact one of these partner organizations for more information on doula services:

Contact information: 609-695-1977,  Deyonna Pope,

Contact information:  Silvia Corado, 609-649-2433,


Capital Health and the Children’s Home Society of NJ will partner to hire a Safer Childbirth Cities Program Manager who will work within the OB/GYN clinic at Capital Health OB/GYN-Trenton to

1) Increase the participation of clinic patients in community support programs

2) Ensure all patients are screened for the social determinants of health

3) Increase the tracked referrals for services related to the SDOH and

4) Ensure more patients are enrolled in food security and SNAP benefits.  

Please click on the following logos to learn more about Capital Health and Children’s Home Society.


Family Connects Mercer County

Family Connects Mercer County provides a free in-home nurse visit to all families giving birth at Capital Health – Hopewell and living in Mercer County, regardless of income or background.

For more information, please click here or contact Videsha Joshi, MPH at 609-751-0421 or

Maternal Health Stakeholders Group

The Maternal Health Stakeholders (MHS) is a community coalition that is facilitated by THT and operates as a subcommittee of the organization’s larger Community Advisory Board (CAB). The group meets regularly and includes representation from the healthcare, government, faith, education, and social service sectors as the only multisector group in the region convening around issues related to maternal health. 

MHS participants serve as a sounding board for project priorities across organizations, and co-created recommendations often lead to larger systemic changes to the maternal health landscape in the region.

For more information or to become a member of the group, please contact Videsha Joshi, MPH at 609-751-0421 or




Central Jersey Family Health Consortium (CJFHC), a Safer Childbirth Cities sub-grantee, created an interactive dashboard that gives a brief snapshot of birth trends happening in the Greater Trenton Area based on 2022 electronic birth certificate data.  The dashboard was created as part of the Safer Childbirth Cities grant to bring awareness to and decrease the gap in adverse birth outcomes that disproportionately affect communities of color.

To view the interactive dashboard or learn more about CJFHC, please click here.


THT holds group discussion on the role of doulas during pregnancy, delivery, and baby’s first months

Doulas are a valuable resource readily available to those living in the greater Trenton area, and spreading the word about it is part of our work in making Trenton a safer city to give birth in.

Please watch our group discussion on this topic:

For more information, call 609-256-4555.