MotherWoman promotes the resilience and empowerment of mothers and their communities by building community capacity and advocating for just policies through evidence based research and grassroots organizing. MotherWoman hosts support groups for postpartum women (in MA, CA and NY), provides training for healthcare and social service providers, supports communities in creating coalitions to address the issue of perinatal emotional complications and perinatal mood disorders on the community level, and works to raise awareness about social and economic justice issues and promote policies that positively impact mothers, children and families on the regional and national levels. The MotherWoman Support Group Model is replicable and has been successful with a broad diversity of postpartum mothers in a wide variety of settings. MotherWoman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion allows for diverse mothers to find common ground, inspiration and community with each other.
Benchmark: Postpartum Visit
Increase the proportion of Healthy Start women participants who receive a postpartum visit to 80%.
Since the period immediately following birth is a time of many physical and emotional adjustments, a visit for the mother with a healthcare provider approximately six weeks postpartum is important. Recovery from the delivery can be assessed, and preventive health measures such as screening for postpartum depression, providing contraception, and reinforcing the health benefits of breastfeeding can be provided.
A Performance Measure Resource Sheet is available summarizing recommended strategies and a selection of resources and evidence-based practices related to this benchmark to aid Healthy Start grantee organizations, partners and their staff in supporting the women and families they serve.
Featured Resource: Evidence-Based Practice
Interconception Care Project of California
The Interconception Care Project of California is a collection of recommendations to improve and promote the interconception health of women by maximizing care during the postpartum visit. The website contains links to free evidence-based clinical management algorithms for the 21 most common pregnancy and delivery complications in California. Patient education materials offering explanations of the conditions, treatment options, and self-care strategies to reduce risks in future pregnancies are also free and available in English and Spanish.
ACOG Postpartum Toolkit
Often referred to as “The Fourth Trimester,” the weeks after birth are a critical time for a woman and her infant, setting the stage for long-term health and well-being. This comprehensive toolkit, with an introduction by Dr. Haywood Brown, includes extensive resources on the key components of postpartum care, including support for new mothers, reproductive life planning, infant care, counseling for substance use, long-term weight management, and many more pertinent topics. It also features a sample postpartum checklist for women to complete.
Alcohol/Drug Services Breastfeeding Chronic Disease Depression Healthy Weight Immunization Intimate Partner Violence Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning Safe Sleep Tobacco Cessation
ACOG Committee Opinion on Optimizing Postpartum Care
Because one half of all pregnancy-related maternal deaths occur postpartum, the weeks following childbirth are a critical period for a woman and her infant. In addition, health issues that arise in pregnancy can persist and presage long-term medical problems. In this Committee Opinion, ACOG lays out a new vision for postpartum care, redefining it as an ongoing process beginning within the first 3 weeks postpartum and tailored to a woman’s needs. The document includes practical advice on postpartum care as well as useful charts including a Timeline for Postpartum Care, a listing of The Components of Postpartum Care, and a table identifying Members of the Postpartum Care Team.
Breastfeeding Chronic Disease Depression Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning
Ask the Expert: The Fourth Trimester: A new paradigm for preventing maternal mortality
Given the urgent need to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) released a revised Committee Opinion to reinforce the importance of the “fourth trimester,” and to propose a new paradigm for postpartum care. Redefining postpartum care is an initiative set forth by ACOG’s most recent past president Haywood L. Brown, M.D. Dr. Brown will share more on the fourth trimester paradigm in the context of Healthy Start during this Ask the Expert webinar.
AIM Patient Safety Bundles
The Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) is a national data-driven maternal safety and quality improvement initiative based on proven implementation approaches to improving maternal safety and outcomes in the U.S. The AIM supported safety bundles are collections of evidence based protocols and best practices for improving safety in maternity care, and handling obstetric complications and emergencies in hospital and outpatient settings. AIM provides implementation and data support for each AIM supported patient safety bundle.
Case Management/Care Coordination Other Prenatal Care and Education Risk Assessment
Black Mamas Matter: Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care
This toolkit provides a foundation, framework and resources for advancing maternal health in the U.S. as a human rights issue. It provides a research overview of maternal morbidity and mortality, focusing on trends, health disparities and inequities. Based on the deliberations of a cross-sectoral convening of stakeholders it offers a state policy framework for upholding the right to safe and respectful maternal health care, which offers recommendations in six key areas: improving access to reproductive health care, improving quality of maternal health care, ensuring acceptability of maternal health care for women most at risk, ensuring widespread availability of maternal health services, ensuring non-discrimination in access to care and social determinants of health, and fostering accountability to human rights standards for maternal health care.
Case Management/Care Coordination Home Visiting Insurance Coverage Life Course Model Patient-centered Medical Home Prenatal Care and Education Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning
Ask the Expert: Improving the health of Women, Children and Men: A Primer on Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act
Healthy Start programs are an invaluable resource for women, children and men to increase their understanding of the preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act. For example, did you know that comprehensive breastfeeding support and counseling from trained providers, and access to breastfeeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women is a covered benefit under Marketplace health plans at no charge to the client? This webinar will provide an overview of the preventive services that are covered for women, children and men. Given the substantial amount of content to cover the webinar has been divided up into three parts. The first webinar will be live. The two subsequent webinars will be recorded and available for listening shortly following the live webinar.
1. Identify the preventative health services for women (Part I), children (Part II), and men (Part III) available with no co-pay and deductible.
2. Describe access points for the service (Parts I – III)
3. Identify models of payments related to these services and how it might affect access and payment for the services (Part III)
4. Define barriers created by some states/insurers to reduce access to some services (Part III).
Home Visiting Life Course Model Nutrition Parenting Education Prenatal Care and Education Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning Socio-emotional Development for Children STDs including HIV Tobacco Cessation
Interconception Care Toolkit
The Interconception Care Toolkit modules are designed to enhance users’ knowledge of interconception health related subjects. There are links to internet resources throughout the Modules to help you learn the content. There are questions and scenarios in each Module which will help you use the information you are learning. At the end of each of the Modules, you will be able to quiz yourselves on what you have learned.
Module 1: The Birds, The Bees, The Plan
Part 1 – Helping Your Clients Plan Their Futures and Their Families
Part 2 – Grasping the Basics of Reproduction
Part 3 – Considering If and When to Become Pregnant Again
Part 4 – From Plan to Action: Finding and Using the Right Contraception
Module 2: Weighty Matters: Understanding and Addressing Postpartum Weight Retention in the Interconception Period
Module 3: Chronic Diseases
Module 4: Poor Perinatal Outcomes
By the end of Module 1 (Parts 1-4) you should be able to:
- Describe and address some of the common myths about reproduction and reproductive health
- Educate your clients about these myths to decrease risky behaviors
- Explain basic sexual anatomy and physiology for males and females
- Describe the main differences in how three types of contraception work
- Use this information to help your clients understand basic reproduction and that methods used to prevent unintended pregnancies may be different than those to prevent STI transmission
- Discuss the risks of unintended pregnancies and short interpregnancy intervals (IPI)
- Help your clients consider a reproductive life plan
- Discuss reproductive coercion and how it impacts reproductive decision making
- Navigate the website bedsider.org
- Explain key characteristics of the main types of contraception to your clients
- Understand and explain failure rates to clients
- Help women/couples choose an appropriate contraceptive method for their reproductive plan and their personal characteristics
By the end of Module 2 you should be able to:
- Describe recommended and excess maternal weight gains in pregnancy
- Define postpartum weight retention
- Identify strategies for discussing and addressing postpartum weight retention with interconception women
- Provide evidence-based weight loss/maintenance strategies and resources to your clients
By the end of Module 3 (Parts 1-2) you should be able to:
- Explain the differences between chronic diseases that predate a pregnancy and pregnancy conditions that may lead to chronic diseases in the future
- Discuss why both are important for a woman’s life course and the health of any future pregnancies
- Discuss why the interconception period is an important time to address chronic diseases
- Support self-management strategies to interrupt the progression of preexisting and developing chronic diseases
By the end of Module 4 you should be able to:
- Discuss major causes of poor pregnancy outcomes and who they are most likely to affect
- Discuss some of the common psychological and social impacts of poor pregnancy outcomes for women, partners, and other children
- Recognize normal and abnormal stages of grief
- Provide basic interconception guidance to women who have experienced one or more of several poor pregnancy outcomes
Chronic Disease Depression EBP Implementation Healthy Weight Home Visiting Life Course Model Parenting Education Reproductive Life Planning/Family Planning STDs including HIV
Ask the Expert: Postpartum Care
Baby Basics is a set of materials (book, planner, posters) and programs designed specifically to provide lower-income and lower-literacy populations with crucial prenatal health information and support. The materials are designed to be beautiful and easy to read, serving as a catalyst for learning and family literacy. Both materials and programs strive to engage and educate underserved parents to become effective users of the healthcare system and advocate for themselves and their families.