New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.

Maternal and Child Health Programs

Maternal Health

The Maternal Health Program’s main purpose is to assure that all pregnant women have the best possible health care, and that New Mexico’s babies have the best possible start in life. The program provides support to Public Health Offices that give prenatal care for women who could not access it otherwise. It licenses Certified Nurse Midwives and Licensed Midwives, gives them regulations to practice by and makes sure they are practicing safely. It studies what is working well and what could be better in pregnancy care through visits to care providers, meetings with community and state experts, statistics and other sources. It works with many kinds of people and groups, including local groups and government agencies, to solve problems and to strengthen pregnancy care resources.

Child Health Programs: Promoting Child Wellness

Outcome: Thriving Children & Families oval graphic

The Child Health Program provides statewide public health leadership to improve the health of children ages birth-8, emphasizing early childhood wellness and family involvement. The program works to strengthen community health and help families adopt healthy behaviors for themselves and their children.

The Child Health Programs works collaboratively with other child serving state agencies and community-based programs to provide health leadership, program updates to community initiatives, Results Based Accountability and Collective Impact, keep partners informed about early childhood related issues and topics of interest in New Mexico and nationally, and work together to align and eliminate duplication of efforts.


One collaborative effort is the New Mexico Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS)-Act Early State Team. The ECCS-Act Early State Team is an organized, purposeful group consisting of interrelated and interdependent partners representing health, mental health, social services, state agencies, families and caregivers, home visitors, early childhood care and education, and health care providers. The team works collaboratively on activities to enhance early childhood system building and demonstrate improved outcomes in population-based children’s health and family well-being.

Developmental Monitoring, Screening, & Referral

Promoting the appropriate administration and scoring of developmental screening tools contributes to improved health outcomes for young children by identifying developmental and social-emotional delays early. In the US, 17% of children have a developmental or behavioral disability. Less than half of children with developmental delays are identified before starting school. Research shows that when delays are identified and children and families are referred for appropriate early intervention treatment services, the child’s development can be greatly improved and the child is better prepared to enter school ready to learn.

Since 2009, the Family Health Bureau/Child Health Program has offered free training and materials to early childhood providers in the administration and scoring of developmental screening tools, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and ASQ: Social Emotional (ASQSE).

Through the support of the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant (ECCS) and with cooperation and collaboration of the Children, Youth & Families Department’s Office of Child Development and the Brindle Foundation, the Child Health Program offered a Training of Trainers Seminar May 188-20, 2016, presented by the Brookes Publishing Company. 25 new trainers are now available throughout the state to assist early childhood serving organizations, including physician offices and medical clinics, in applying best-practices in administering and scoring the screening tools. Additionally, the new trainers will be able to assist the community-based programs in communicating the importance of brain development, screening, and appropriate referral for additional services for children and families.

By working together, DOH and CYFD will be able to sustain the work, build capacity in early childhood-serving organizations, and continue to promote appropriate developmental and behavioral screening and referral for young children. The new trainers will each present at least 2 trainings annually, in their agreed upon geographic area, to other community-based programs, including physician offices and medical clinics. Our goal is to eventually have all early childhood providers trained in the correct administration and scoring of the ASQ and to increase the number of young children who are screened and appropriately referred, as needed.

For more information, contact Gloria Bonner or someone from Maternal Child Health - Ages Stages Questionnaire Trainers Roster who are available to provide training.

The Child Health Program, through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health through Integration (ECCS) initiative developed a Maternal Child Health - Developmental Milestones poster and Maternal Child Health - Developmental Screening Fact Sheet to help parents of infants and toddlers.

Maternal Depression

Maternal and child health are linked. Maternal depression is a serious and common condition that affects mother and child, with possible lasting, damaging impacts on the child’s health. Maternal depression, sometimes called post-partum depression or perinatal mood disorder, presents significant early risk to child development, the mother-infant bond, and the family. Maternal depression screening and treatment is an important tool to protect the child from potential adverse physical and developmental effects of maternal depression. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says screening mothers for maternal depression is a best practice for primary care pediatricians caring for infants and their families and can be integrated into the well-child care scheduled, as well as included in the prenatal visit.

Maternal depression can be treated. If you, or a new mom that you, know need help, call 1-800-944-4773 or visit Maternal Child Health - Postpartum Support New Mexico for more information.

The Child Health Program, through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health through Integration (ECCS) initiative developed an easy to read pamphlet for new moms to help understand maternal depression.

The Child Health Program, through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Building Health through Integration (ECCS) initiative developed an easy to read pamphlet for new moms to help understand maternal depression.

Social Emotional Development

Social emotional development in infants and toddlers involves learning to interact with parents, siblings, and other people in the child’s circle of influence, and understand and control their own emotions. Infants begin to develop relationships with the people around them from day one, but the process of learning to communicate, interact, and share, to develop trust, empathy, compassion, and a sense of right and wrong takes longer. Learning to regulate and control emotions is a long process. Children continue to develop their social emotional skills as they progress through childhood and on. To engage parents in their child’s social and emotional development, the Child Health Program has developed books and videos.


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