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Two of the core competencies of a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator center upon advocacy—individual advocacy and stakeholder advocacy.

Lamaze International continues to expand advocacy efforts by engaging policymakers, payers and providers to develop strategic partnerships to increase access to childbirth education. Efforts on the local, state and national levels are critical to this endeavor and we can only succeed with the expertise and efforts of our membership. 

Advocacy Efforts

Lamaze 2021 Advocacy Summit

Join Lamaze International virtually September 27-29 for the 2021 Advocacy Summit. Connect with your fellow Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators from around the world to address the most critical and timely policy issues that affect prenatal care and childbirth outcomes. Learn more and register.

Joint Webinar: Evidence-Based Childbirth Education: A Critical Strategy to Improve Birth Outcomes and Reduce Maternal Health Disparities

On Thursday, July 23, Lamaze International hosted a FREE joint webinar with the Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC). In this webinar, U.S. Representative Alma Adams of North Carolina and U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood of Illinois, Tara Owens Schuler, CD (DONA), LCCE, and DONA President Melissa Harley, CD(DONA), LCCE discussed how childbirth education can play a part in the collective effort to reduce maternal health disparities and make a true difference in improving maternal and childbirth outcomes for Black mothers. Learn more.

2020 Issue Briefs & Advocacy Resources

2021 Federal Appropriations: Letters of Support (February & March 2020)

Lamaze Joins Stakeholder in Supporting Title V Funding for Maternal and Child Health Services Program

Lamaze International signed onto an AMCHP letter requesting that the FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies Appropriations bill allocate $715 million for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services.

The Title V MCH Block Grant helps meet the unique needs of MCH populations in each U.S. state, territory, and jurisdiction. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 91 percent of all pregnant women, 99 percent of infants, and 54 percent of children nationwide benefitted from a Title V-supported service in FY2018.

Lamaze Signs Letters to House and Senate Appropriations Chairs Supporting Funds for MCH Programs

In March 2020, Lamaze signed stakeholder letters requesting funding for the following MCH programs:

AMCHP Title V Needs Assessment

Every five years, HRSA’s Title V Grant Program requires states and jurisdictions to conduct state-/jurisdiction-wide, comprehensive needs-assessment. These assessments helps guide and facilitate strategic planning and decision making, as well as strategic resource allocation. This process also enables state/jurisdiction Title V programs to benchmark and plan in five-year segments.

Learn more about the Title V Needs-Assessment process by visiting the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Title V Resources and Toolkit.

Federal Legislation to Track and Support (2019 & 2020)

Lamaze International is pleased to support the Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus’ Momnibus, a legislative package that seeks to improve maternal and childbirth outcomes for women disproportionately affected by maternal mortality and morbidity. The nine bills within the Momnibus would increase access to comprehensive and quality prenatal services such as evidence-based childbirth education. Such initiatives would improve U.S. maternal and childbirth outcomes and reduce U.S. maternal mortality rates that disproportionately affect black women.

Lamaze is also pleased to support several legislative initiatives that would establish, standardize, and support mechanisms to improve maternal healthcare outcomes. 

  • H.R. 1551/S. 1960, the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act would develop maternal and infant quality metrics, create a grant program to develop and enhance state-based maternal and infant collaboratives, as well as develop a consumer-satisfaction survey to gather data on patients’ practitioner, payer, and facility experiences.
  • H.R. 1897/S. 916, the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMA’s) Act seeks to establish protocol for sharing best practices among maternal mortality review committees, standardize data maternal mortality data reporting, extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum, and develop culturally competent care modules to ensure that all women receive appropriate maternal and postpartum care.  Lamaze supports this bill because of its intent to standardize maternal mortality data collection, its focus on cultural competencies, and its attention to establishing and communicating best practices.
  • H.R. 5189, the Birth Access Benefiting Improved Essential Facility Services (BABIES) Act would establish a demonstration project for Birth and Health Centers in underserved communities throughout the United States. These centers would serve as maternity care entry points and facilitate referrals to appropriate care providers as necessary. The bill would promote and support birth centers and increase access to local, comprehensive care for those in remote or underserved areas.  The project’s associated evaluation method would generate more data on birth center efficacy and other similar initiatives. Many Lamaze educators work closely with birth centers; this bill would increase access to these centers, as well as to childbirth education.

Advocacy PDF Downloads

Together, we can improve access to evidence-based childbirth education—and ultimately, childbirth outcomes. Let us know if you have questions about, or ideas for, Lamaze advocacy.

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Birth is transformative and every family deserves a safe and healthy birth experience. Our goal is simple; we want all parents to feel confident, supported and powerful as they ask questions, make decisions, and navigate their path through pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

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