I have been avoiding posting anything related to COVID-19 thus far, as there is still a lot to be learned about the virus and I did not want to risk posting information that might steer anyone in the wrong direction or incite fear, confusion or anxiety. However, the informational page by the CDC on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding during COVID-19 provides important guidance for women on how to keep themselves and their babies safe during this pandemic.
Use this birth plan to prepare yourself for your upcoming delivery and communicate your preferences with your obstetrician, midwife, and/or doula.
Black Maternal Health Week 2020
Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) takes place every year from April 11 –17, and is intended to amplify the voices of Black mamas and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements. Check out their website to learn more about the activities and resources for the third annual BMHW (#BMHW2020), including a campaign toolkit, schedule of events, and information on how you can get involved.
Legal Aid At Work “Pregnancy + My Job: A Roadmap” Infographic
Download this helpful infographic and guide developed by Legal Aid At Work to better understand your work rights in California as a pregnant woman and new parent. Legal Aid At Work protects the rights of pregnant women, new parents, and caregivers to time off work, paid leave, and workplace accommodations.
California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative Toolkit
This toolkit is a comprehensive, evidence-based “how-to” guide designed to educate and motivate maternity clinicians to apply best practices for supporting vaginal birth. Cesarean births among low-risk, first-time mothers have been the largest contributor to the recent rise in cesarean rates, and accounts for the greatest variation in cesarean rates between hospitals.
The Toolkit contains key strategies and resources to:
- Improve the culture of care, awareness, and education for cesarean reduction
- Support intended vaginal birth
- Manage labor abnormalities and safely reduce cesarean births
- Use data to drive reduction in cesareans
This toolkit was developed by maternity care professionals to promote care practices that support physiologic birth. With leadership from ACNM and consultation from Childbirth Connection a multi-stakeholder committee comprised of representatives from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives and Lamaze International along launched BirthTOOLS (Tools to Optimize Outcomes of Labor Safely). The toolkit contains a synopsis of the evidence base and offers targeted resources, protocols and other materials to assist clinicians and health care systems in implementing best practices that promote physiologic birth.
THE JJ WAY®
“The JJ Way®” is a model of prenatal care designed by midwife Jennie Joseph to reduce health disparities and adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight infants. The model provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round. In a recent study “The JJ Way®: Reducing Perinatal Outcomes Disparities,” found that her model had significantly lower gestational periods and lower preterm birth rates for Women of Color.
Childbirth Connection: Healthy Pregnancy
Childbirth Connection provides guidance for future mothers on where to find a maternity care provider and birth setting that will directly align with the mother’s goals and preferences. In addition, they include a slide that takes women through what their body will look like throughout a healthy pregnancy. To learn more, visit the Healthy Pregnancy section on the Childbirth Connection page.
Lifesaving Tips for a Safer Birth
Most births in the United States occur without incident. But if an unexpected emergency arises, you want your providers to be prepared. This document developed by USA Today Investigates outlines tips and questions you can use to assess a hospital’s ability to treat excessive bleeding and high blood pressure, two of the leading preventable causes of childbirth harms to moms.
Other Helpful Articles & Resources
Maternal Health Organizations
- American College of Nurse Midwives
- Maternity Wise
- Safe Labor Practices
- Citizens for Midwifery
- Coalition for Improving Maternal Services (CIMS)
- Sense and Sensibility
- Black Woman Birthing Justice
- International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC)
- Amnesty International Report: Deadly Delivery
- Ina May Gaskin