March 15, 2023
Apply to Participate in the 2023 Lamaze International Expand Equity Scholarship Program
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
Lamaze International just announced that applications are being accepted for the 2023 Lamaze Expand Equity Scholarship program. This is the second year of this exciting opportunity, funded by the Prolacta Bioscience Foundation. Administrators of the Lamaze Expand Equity Scholarship program explain that it is a “workforce development program that aims to recruit, train and mentor individuals from under-resourced or historically marginalized communities to become Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators (LCCEs). The intent of this program is to promote a diverse childbirth educator workforce and to increase access to high quality evidence-based childbirth education for families who are often not afforded reasonable access to maternity care.”
People who are growing their families deserve access to skilled childbirth educators from their community. In many places around the United States that is not possible. By launching new educators who are fully prepared to serve in under-resourced communities, expectant families who live in a maternity desert will have the opportunity to feel prepared and confident to birth and parent their newborn. According to the March of Dimes, maternity care deserts are counties in which access to maternity health care services is limited or absent, either through lack of services or barriers to a person's ability to access that care within counties. The March of Dimes estimates that in the United States, there are almost 7 million people of childbearing age who live where there is no hospital offering obstetric care or obstetrical providers, or limited access to maternity care.
The New York Times most recently wrote about maternity care deserts in a February, 2023 article, “Rural Hospitals Are Shuttering Their Maternity Units”.
The United States is already the most dangerous developed country in the world for women to give birth, with a maternal mortality rate of 23.8 per 100,000 live births — or more than one death for every 5,000 live deliveries.
Recent figures show that the problems are particularly acute in minority communities and especially among Native American women, whose risk of dying of pregnancy-related complications is three times as high as that of white women. Their babies are almost twice as likely to die during the first year of life as white babies.
Women of color are more likely to live in maternity care deserts or in communities with limited access to care.
The Lamaze Expand Equity Scholarships are focused on educators who reside in the USA. For people who would like to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and live outside the United States, Lamaze International offers the LCCE Educator Diversity Scholarships.
There are two ways to participate in the 2023 Lamaze Expand Equity Scholarship program:
People who want to become Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators and serve under-resourced or historically marginalized communities will benefit by:
- Receiving a mentor who will help the candidate navigate the process of becoming an LCCE, assist in curriculum development, support them to sit for the Fall 2023 exam and through their student teaching, provide business development support and guidance.
- Be provided with full access to the Lamaze Learning Guide
- Full financial support to enroll in a Lamaze Seminar
- Certification exam registration at no cost
- Full access to Lamaze curriculum building resources
- $1750 honorarium to cover time investment of candidate
Potential trainee applicants please apply here.
Current LCCEs who want to provide mentorship to an Expand Equity Scholarship recipient will receive:
- Stipend of $1200 to cover time investment necessary to support the candidate
- 30 day LinkedIn Learning access to specific courses useful to the mentor as they guide the trainee through the process
Potential mentors please apply here.
For full details on the Lamaze Expand Equity program offerings for both trainees and mentors, including the requirements, steps for applying and specific deadlines, (note - both applications close April 6th, 2023) please refer to this comprehensive guide on the Lamaze website.
It is critical to provide valuable childbirth education along with information and support to people who are at increased risk of poor perinatal and neonatal outcomes in the United States. The 2023 Lamaze Expand Equity scholarship will increase access to qualified educators in the areas that need it most. If you know a potential trainee or mentor who will be able to help the program achieve this goal, please let them know about this information and how to apply.
TagsChildbirth education Lamaze International News Sharon Muza Expand Equity Scholarship