August 13, 2020
Lamaze & Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus Host Webinar on Childbirth Education’s Role in Reducing Maternal Health Disparities
By: Molly Giammarco, MPP | 1 Comments
In partnership with the Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC), Lamaze hosted a webinar, Evidence-Based Childbirth Education: A Critical Strategy in Improving Birth Outcomes & Reducing Maternal Health Disparities, in July to discuss the growing role childbirth educators have in reducing maternal-health disparities. The webinar featured U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (North Carolina) and Lauren Underwood (Illinois), BMHC Co-Chairs; Tara Owens Schuler, M.Ed., LCCE, FACCE, Lamaze Diversity + Outreach Committee Chair; and Melissa Harley, AdvCD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, CLC, FACCE, DONA International President.
The webinar reached over 700 childbirth advocates and Congressional staff, and generated positive momentum toward increasing advocacy efforts to expand access to childbirth educator and doula services. Representatives Adams and Underwood both spoke to the importance of grassroots advocacy and the unique role childbirth education advocates have in advancing policy that ensures greater awareness of, and access to, evidence-based childbirth education.
As the number of Congressional bills related to maternal and childbirth outcomes increases, so too does the need for strategic and focused grassroots efforts. Enhanced grassroots advocacy helps ensure that these federal policy efforts achieve effective results—and that these efforts include comprehensive, evidence-based childbirth education.
In early 2020, BMHC members introduced the Momnibus, nine bills that address maternal-health disparities, particularly among Black mothers. The series of bills develop policy in light of social determinants of health that create many of the maternal health disparities in the United States. Lamaze endorsed this legislative package and commended it for recognizing and including childbirth education. Lamaze will continue to advocate for additional childbirth-education and childbirth educator inclusion in future Momnibus iterations and future policy efforts related to maternal health and childbirth outcomes.
As Representative Adams stated, “you can’t change policy without changing policy makers.” The childbirth educator voice is strong and has a significant role to play in advancing effective and successful policy that includes childbirth education. Lamaze continues to work toward these efforts and looks forward to exciting advocacy opportunities in 2021 and beyond.
Stay in touch and get involved – Lamaze wants to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org.
The webinar recording is free and available to all.
The following resources mentioned during the webinar are also available:
About Molly Giammarco
Molly Giammarco has consulted for professional healthcare associations for more than eight years. As Lamaze International’s Senior Manager for Policy & Government Relations, Molly monitors legislation regulations related to maternal and child health, as well as advises the Lamaze Advocacy + Collaboration Committee.
Molly received her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and her master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.
TagsChildbirth education Lamaze International Advocacy childbirth educator Molly Giammarco Advocacy & Collaboration Committee Momnibus