Organizations Combining to Work With Policy Makers
to Improve Maternal Health Care Across the Nations
2020 Moms - Mission: To Close the Gaps in Maternal Healthcare
Shades of Blue - Committed to Breaking Cultural Barriers in Maternal Mental Health & ensuring black women get the proper care they deserve during and after childbirth.
MMHLA - Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance - Dedicated to promoting the mental health of childbearing women in the US via universal education, screening, referral & treatment of MMH challenges.
Article from PSI News
Why is this? Well, there are many contributing factors, most of which are grounded in systemic racism, from lack of diversity in healthcare to higher levels of stress and trauma to perceived racial discrimination, which leads to overall distrust in the healthcare system. All of these reasons and so many more play a role in the experience of Black women regarding perinatal mental health care. Black women continue to fall through the cracks. So what is PSI doing to help change this narrative?
#FOZA4PPDAwareness - At FOZA we are introduced to hundreds of conversations from postpartum moms who have all sorts of fears; many relate to keeping their baby safe… This podcast from Arielle Wozniak, telling her own story, will provide you with some powerful insight on ways to recognize your fears and over time to conquer them. Stay in close communication with your primary medical caregivers, but never cease to explore the positive aspects of self-care. You are not alone.
It’s possible to go from a life filled with fear to a life filled with faith. In this episode, Arielle shares her experience with intrusive thoughts and how she overcame the constant fear of potentially hurting her baby or family.
Here at FOZA we read the concerns and comments from postpartum moms related to "not feeling bonded" with their baby. This podcast from Mom & Mind brings important insight on why you are not alone in your feelings and how you can avoid the feelings of guilt that can accompany understanding attachment and bonding.
Today’s show focuses on attachment and bonding. Some parents feel immediate love and connection with their new baby, but for many, they struggle to achieve a “normal” bond. The good news is that there are specific steps parents can take to understand the basics of attachment and bonding. Join us to learn more!
Beth Warren is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Diego, California. She has a passion for reproductive mental health and has worked in this field for over 20 years. Beth is certified in EMDR therapy and Perinatal Mental Health, specializing in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, birth trauma, pregnancy loss, and infertility. She has worked in both hospital and outpatient psychiatric settings and has led postpartum support groups for new mothers. She is a current member and previously served as the President of the Board of the Postpartum Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization in San Diego dedicated to promoting awareness of Perinatal Mental Health. In addition to working as a therapist and EMDR consultant, she facilitates trainings and is a regular speaker, lecturer, podcast/radio guest. She has written a newly released book called The Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Workbook, which helps new parents navigate their emotions and build skills towards mental wellness through their journey of parenthood.
Bethany Warren LCSW
Find Beth on Instagram.
The Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Workbook: The Guide to Surviving Your Emotions When Having a Baby by Bethany Warren and Beth Creager Berger
Remarks by Vice President Harris at the Maternal Day of Action Summit
Dec 7th, 2021 - 10:05 A.M. EST (Original article)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everyone. Good morning. It is an honor to welcome all of you to this first-ever White House Day of Action on maternal health.
And I want to thank everyone gathered today — the members of our Cabinet, including Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
And I want to thank the members of Congress, the state and local policymakers, the business leaders, the nonprofit leaders, the medical professionals, the community organizers, the patient advocates — all of you. Thank you for your leadership and your tireless work. And thank you for your partnership and your commitment to take bold action to improve maternal health.
This challenge is urgent and it is important, and it will take all of us.
And to put it simply, here’s how I feel about this: In the United States of America, in the 21st century, being pregnant and giving birth should not carry such great risk.
But the truth is women in our nation — and this is a hard truth — women in our nation are dying. Before, during, and after childbirth, women in our nation are dying at a higher rate than any other developed nation in our world.
And we know that, for some women, the risk is much higher. When we know that, we should do something about it. When we know that, today, Black women are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, we should do something about that.
When we know that Native American women are more than twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, we got to do something about that.
When women who live in rural America, which has many maternal care deserts — meaning there are no maternal care facilities — and when we know that women in rural America, for that and other reasons, are about 60 percent more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, we need to do something about that.
And think about it: Regardless of income level, regardless of education level, Black women, Native women, women who live in rural areas are more likely to die or be left scared or scarred from an experience that should be safe and should be a joyful one.
And we know a primary reason why this is true: systemic inequities. Those differences in how people are treated, based on who they are. And they create significant disparities in our healthcare system.
And when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, these systemic inequities can be a matter of life and death.
So, let us all say unequivocally: Maternal mortality and morbidity is a serious crisis and one that endangers both public health and economic growth, which means everyone is impacted by it. Because just think about it: Mothers are the backbone of our economy, and their children are the future of our economy.
We know that when women do not get the healthcare they need, families suffer, communities suffer, and our nation suffers.
In fact, one estimate suggests that the direct and indirect cost of poor maternal healthcare could total more than $30 billion — $30 billion — in a single year.
By the same measure, we know that when we invest in women’s health, when we invest in maternal health, economic productivity increases and socioeconomic outcomes improve.
It is clear: A healthy economy requires healthy mothers and healthy babies. I will repeat that: A healthy economy requires healthy mothers and healthy babies.
And that is why, today, on behalf of our administration, I am issuing a nationwide Call to Action to both the public and the private sector.
Through this Call to Action, federal agencies, businesses, and non-profits will join together and will work together to solve this crisis.
So, today, to kick off this effort, our Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are launching a new initiative to designate birthing-friendly hospitals.
So, this is a brand-new designation and the first designation that rates a hospital based on the quality of its maternal healthcare.
In addition, more than 20 companies and non-profits have pledged to invest more than $20 million in maternal health efforts domestically and more than $150 million globally.
They have pledged to invest in remote-care monitors for rural communities, to invest in innovative care models for the postpartum period, to invest in education programs for maternal health providers, and so much more.
And we will build on these actions in the coming weeks and months.
Now, I know we can all agree — we should all agree — that action is long overdue. We have all heard the stories — and some here have lived the stories — stories of women who experienced pain, only to be ignored. Stories of women who experienced post-partum depression, only to be dismissed. Stories of women who had to be put on life support or receive a blood transfusion after blood transfusion, and could not hold
their newborn baby.
These stories should compel all of us to take on this crisis, to change the systems, and to challenge the status quo that has created this crisis.
Now, many of you know this has been a big part of my life’s work. When I was Attorney General of California, I established the Bureau of Children’s Justice to prioritize the needs of our children and their parents and to mitigate against adverse childhood experiences.
The point for me has always been clear: What affects the children of our communities affects all of us.
As a United State senator, I crafted one of the first bills In the history of the United States Senate to target racial disparities in maternal mortality and to take on the challenge of dealing with implicit bias in our healthcare delivery system.
Together with Congresswoman Alma Adams, who is here with us today, I introduced the Maternal CARE Act. Together with Congresswoman Adams and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, I also introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act — a comprehensive bill designed to improve maternal nutrition, to expand affordable housing, and to extend our maternal health workforce to include more doulas and midwives. And for so many women, let’s note doulas are literally a lifeline.
And so, we must support all these healthcare professionals.
And, finally, with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, I introduced the Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act — legislation that would address many of the biggest issues that affect so many women, the underlying conditions that contribute to maternal mortality: uterine fibroids. And this is especially of concern for Black women who are more likely to be hospitalized as a result of that condition.
So, each of these bills form the basis for the historic investment in our maternal healthcare included in our Build Back Better Act.
Our Build Back Better Act will grow and diversify the perinatal nursing and doula workforce, support the work of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. It will promote health equity by taking action, from increasing funding for maternal mental health to investing in maternal health research at minority-serving institutions.
So here’s but an example of what our Build Back Better Act will do:
So, currently, in most state Medicaid programs, they only provide for 60 days of postpartum coverage for women. Our law will require state Medicaid and CHIP programs to provide a full year of coverage after a woman has given birth.
Now, what does this mean? It means a full year of coverage for pelvic exams and vaccinations, for postpartum depression, screening, and regular check-ups.
According to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services, this would cover 720,000 more people every year.
HHS has also put out new guidance today to help states implement the extension.
This action will save lives and it will change lives.
Our Build Back Better Act represents the single-largest investment to address maternal mortality and morbidity in our nation, ever. The House passed this bill just before Thanksgiving, and the President and I are confident that the Senate will soon do the same.
So, as I said from the start, in the United States of America, we must do everything we can to protect and to strengthen both maternal health and reproductive health.
This is about the rights of women. This is about the future of our nation. And this will take all of us. And the actions we announced today are just the beginning.
In April, here at the White House, I invited women who have experienced, personally and deeply, the tragedy of maternal mortality.
Their stories were different, but they described a common feeling, a terrible feeling: the feeling of not being heard.
On this Day of Action, may the women of our nation know: I hear you. We hear you. And we are here to take action.
Thank you again. May God bless you, and may God bless America. Thank you.
END 10:17 A.M. EST
Enjoy the holiday, and remember to take care of yourself! Here's some advice provided by
MICHELE ROSENTHAL | Trauma Recovery Specialist
Award-Nominated Author | Speaker | BCH, MPNLP, CPC, MFA
These two podcasts produced by The Fem Collective are worthy of attention from postpartum moms, families, partners and caregivers. You are not alone, you are not to blame...There is help.
Postpartum Depression & the Transition to Motherhood Part 2…
As a follow up to Postpartum Depression & the Transition to Motherhood (Part 1), Katie, Stacy and Mai interview Dr. Ekta Escovar, a pediatrician with a commitment to mental health. Dr. Ekta differentiates between baby blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Dr. Ekta also talks about common PPD symptoms and screening tools. She also provides a number of resources that should be helpful in identifying and understanding PPD, and ultimately finding help when you or someone you love needs it.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) Calculator
OWH Postpartum Depression Fact Sheet
Postpartum Support, International
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
*None of the comments are intended to take the place of advice from your own personal health care providers. Each individual is unique. Please seek advice from your healthcare provider or therapist if you are in need of support. If you can not afford a consultation, please connect with FOZA*
Postpartum Depression & the Transition to Motherhood Part 1
The Fem Collective, featuring Katie, Stacy, and Mai discuss their different experiences with postpartum depression and other postpartum challenges. Their experiences, like usual, are far ranging, and sometimes emotional. Tune in to hear part 1 of their postpartum conversations.
*None of the co-hosts are medical professionals. None of their comments are intended as medical advice. Please seek advice from your healthcare provider or therapist if you are in need of support.* - 45 min
Postpartum Support, International
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
How To Support A New Mom Who Is Struggling With Postpartum Depression
Resource: Amy Stuart - PSI
A few years ago, I entered a new season of life. My friends and I left our college years behind us and established ourselves in our respective fields. Many moved in with a partner or got married. It wasn’t long after this that a few began to start their families as well. As some of the people closest to me became parents for the first time, I caught my first glimpses of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and was exposed to a lexicon that had previously been unfamiliar to me.
I became intimately acquainted with terminology like “postpartum depression” and “prenatal anxiety.” A couple of friends experienced labors so harrowing that they were later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was during this season, a time simultaneously rewarding and bleak, that I began to understand what it meant to love and support a friend who was struggling with her mental health following the birth of her child.
Here are some things I learned:
1️⃣ I have found that one practical way of helping a friend who is wrestling due to one or more PMADs is to check in with her on a consistent basis. Ask how she is, share something small about your own life, and remind her that you are there for her. A short note in the mail or even just a quick text is a way to communicate that you remember her and care for her well-being.
2️⃣ In addition to checking in, look for tangible ways to lighten your friend’s mental load and provide physical relief. Offer to watch her infant while she naps, showers, or goes to an appointment. Cook a meal for her and her family. If suggestions such as these would be unsafe in your area due to the spread of COVID-19 (or if your friend lives too far from you for it to be feasible), consider arranging for groceries to be delivered to her or send a gift card to her favorite restaurant so she can get takeout.
3️⃣ Conversations can be powerful. The discussions you have with your friend can be an incredible source of relief to her. When she confides in you, listen with compassion and empathy. This may seem obvious, but it is easier said than done. She may confess that she feels like a failure because she has had difficulty breastfeeding while you may have elected to use formula for your own child. She may admit that she resents that her birth plan didn’t go as expected while you may have had an unplanned or emergency C-section. These admissions are not necessarily a reflection of her opinion of you or an indictment of your own decisions, but are more likely a representation of her own private grief and disappointment regarding her personal circumstances. They may spring from moments of deep vulnerability mingled with exhaustion, so be patient and attentive.
4️⃣ Help her to see her successes. Find opportunities to highlight ways you have seen your friend care for her family. If you notice her tenderly soothing her crying infant while also attending to her frustrated toddler, encourage her with that observation later in conversation. Even a healthy, well-rested mom can have a warped perception of herself as a parental figure or partner, so pointing out specific things she has done well can be huge.
5️⃣ Do not forget about the dads. While the emphasis of this article has been largely focused on moms and their needs, I would be remiss if I neglected to remind anyone reading this of how significant men’s mental health issues are as well. When your friend’s partner or husband is present, be sure to inquire after them as well.
6️⃣ Help her find professional help. Find out about mental health professionals in your area who are experienced in perinatal mental health and compile a list for her. Use PSI’s directory of trained PMAD professionals: https://psidirectory.com/ This step can be so overwhelming for many new moms and one that can take a huge burden off her shoulders. Offer to drive her to her appointments or (especially with COVID-19) schedule telehealth appointments for her. Offer to babysit for her while she gets help.
7️⃣ Finally, regardless of whether you are interacting with your friend or her spouse, be cognizant of your own limitations. You cannot exhaust yourself caring for others and even if you had an infinite amount of time and energy, there is wisdom in knowing when to point your friend to reputable mental health resources (Postpartum Support International’s website is a great starting point).
So long as you have friends who are of childbearing age, you are also likely to have friends who have a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, but these suggestions are a starting point in caring for and supporting them well.
Every Wednesday 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT
What this Meeting is About
Our online groups are here to help you connect with other parents, talk about your experience, and learn about helpful tools and resources. Whether you are going through stress, adjustment to parenting, Baby Blues, or pregnancy or postpartum depression/anxiety, our groups are here for you.
Military spouses, active duty personnel and veteran moms are welcome to attend. Our trained facilitators are military spouses and understand the unique stress of the military family life. Please let us know if you have any questions, and join us this week for a supportive and informative group.
We do not allow group observation by students or professionals. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Reference: PSI - Start an account with PSI Postpartum Support (www.Postpartum.net) This will allow you to easily find and use the vast amount of free resources they provide. To join is free and once your account is active you can easily search by keyword for any topic or meeting you desire.
Some of their resources are attached to fees, however there are tons of meetings and loads of articles to help you make better decisions and provide you with the understanding that you are not alone.
PSI is a huge organization, so If you get overwhelmed by the mountains of data, feel free to reach out to FOZA and perhaps we can walk-you-through to fining the information you need. You are not alone!