April 27, 2021
Review: Free Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Course for Perinatal Professionals
By: Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE | 0 Comments
Fact: racism is a public health issue. Pregnant and postpartum Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) families are disproportionately affected by institutionalized racism as well as the individual beliefs and biases held by the perinatal professionals who care for BIPOC people during the childbearing year. The consequences of racism is significantly more deaths and complications than experienced by white families during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
As maternal-infant health professionals, we must identify our own biases and the oppressive policies and systems in the environments and institutions that we work and practice in. I would like to recommend a very engaging and thorough free online Diversity Science course developed by Diversity Science titled ‘Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Project.” I recently had the opportunity to work through the three modules that make up the course and found it to be a well organized, thoughtful, and effective presentation that invited me to consider my beliefs and behavior. This work and course development is led by Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, and Diversity Science, and is funded by the California Health Care Foundation in response to strong evidence of racial inequalities in perinatal care and outcomes.
The course is composed of three online modules running less than 30 minutes in length. Each module is accompanied by an extensive library of downloadable resources. Each module contains topics related to providing equally high quality and culturally appropriate care in perinatal settings. The covered material is considered a starting point from which both individuals and organizations can begin or continue system and individual changes to help identify and eliminate racist behavior, biases and policies.
The three modules
- Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Part 1 of 3: Laying the Groundwork
- Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Part 2 of 3: Taking Action
- Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Part 3 of 3: Racism is not Race
This implicit bias e-course meets the learning requirements specified in Section 123630.6 of California Senate Bill 464 for professionals practicing in that state.
I found the material to be interesting and and thought-provoking. I have participated in many such learning opportunities in the past, but found the presentation well worth my time. Taking the course encouraged me to further reflect on my own assumptions and biases and how they might cause harm to the BIPOC families I work with. Having the information presented through the perinatal lens made the material and concepts directly applicable to my work with pregnant and postpartum families.
The resource library that accompanies the course had some familiar resources and also some new content that I was very pleased to learn about and have access to.
I am very appreciative of the opportunity to access this critical material and learn how I can identify my own implicit racism and work to do better. The content is directly related to my work as a doula and childbirth educator. There are also additional courses on racial inequities in prenatal care that are available for a very reasonable fee, but these three modules are offered at no cost.
At the same time that you access the course, which you can do here, consider signing up for the Diversity Project newsletter so that you can continue to access new resources and learning opportunities specifically focused on perinatal care as they are released by this organization in the future.
Note: thanks to Susan Givens, RNC-OB, MPH, LCCE for suggesting this course be shared.
TagsPregnancy Postpartum Continuing Education Racial Disparities In Maternal Mortality Racism Sharon Muza Labor & Birth Inequity Implicit Bias