Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Mississippi’s senate has recently advanced a bill out of committee that could extend postpartum Medicaid benefits from a maximum of six weeks to twelve months. A similar measure gained traction last year, but it was never taken up in the House and died on the calendar. Brittany Lampkin of Bentonia works in corrections and says she relied on postpartum Medicaid benefits in the weeks after giving birth. But she says those benefits were gone when she needed them most. “Six weeks after I had my last baby, experiencing the trauma of losing her, it was really tough having to just go back, get up, put that smile back on. Especially in the environment that I work in,” says Lampkin. Mississippi is one of 14 states not to expand postpartum care. Doctors claim the extension could keep families healthy and inject capital into a financially unstable healthcare system. Among the coalition of activists calling on the legislature to extend postpartum Medicaid is Cassandra Welchlin, Executive Director of the Mississippi Black Women’s Round Table. She says postpartum care isn’t just an issue that would affect mothers.