August 11, 2020
HEAR Her! New CDC Campaign Urges Listening to People Sharing Their Pregnancy-Related Health Concerns
By: Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE | 0 Comments
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just launched a new campaign called HEAR Her. The mission of this new effort is to reduce the number of people who die during pregnancy or the first year after giving birth, currently estimated at over 700 individuals annually in the United States. Research indicates that over 60 percent of those deaths are preventable. Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) disproportionately die at higher rates than their white peers. Often, Black and Indigenous parents’ concerns are disregarded, minimized or ignored and situations that could be addressed are left untreated until it becomes a matter of life and death.
Connecting the Dots covered this topic several times in the past, including here, when the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) released their POSTBIRTH learning tool to help with postpartum education at discharge. It was discovered that the amount and type of information delivered to patients was inconsistent and unclear. Their handy and simple worksheet has become a valuable tool in my childbirth classes.
The new CDC HEAR Her campaign acknowledges that pregnant people know their bodies best and need to be listened to when they speak up that something is not right. This campaign provides information for the pregnant/postpartum person, their family and loved ones as well as health care providers. The message is clear: Trust your body, trust the pregnant/postpartum person, trust your patient! Everyone is responsible for knowing the warning signs that indicate something is amiss and everyone has a role to play in seeking/providing help.
The HEAR Her website includes an extensive social media kit with graphics, videos and images along with sample posts that can be used to share this important topic with your colleagues and families. There are also some compelling video stories of people who have experienced complications. All of the materials are available in both English and Spanish.
When almost two thirds of the pregnancy-related deaths are preventable in the USA, everyone, including childbirth educators, has a responsibility to educate themselves and the families they work with to reduce this number. Familiarize yourself with the information and materials and take a moment to help amplify this important campaign now.
TagsChildbirth education Maternal Mortality Rate CDC AWHONN POSTBIRTH Sharon Muza HEAR Her