BirthWork

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

Everyone walking this planet is born from someone — yet we rarely celebrate the people and the work of bringing new life into this world. In the face of persistent inequities and threats leading to the Black maternal health crisis and other critical injustices in perinatal health, community-led solutions, policies, and movements are paving pathways toward better birth outcomes. In this podcast, we’ll dig into the work happening today by tremendous individuals to ensure generations of thriving and striving communities. You'll hear directly from leaders, organizers, and birthworkers as they share what it takes to confront structural and systemic barriers to health and wellbeing and celebrate the transformation of birth for individuals, families, communities, states, and our nation. Together, we will reimagine what birth experiences can be.

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Health & FitnessHealth & Fitness

Episodes

Supporting The Doula, Featuring Ankita Patel
Oct 27 2023
Supporting The Doula, Featuring Ankita Patel
With the continuing shortage of maternal health care providers, doulas are filling in the gaps to respectfully support birthing people and families to navigate systems of care before, during, and after childbirth. The importance of offsetting the emotional burden from birth workers is only growing as we rely on their expertise and lived experience to actionably address racial equity in maternal health. As doulas are known for their steadfast support throughout the birthing process, we are reminded in part two of BirthWork’s episode on doulas to prioritize the wellbeing of doulas and other members of the perinatal workforce. Your AMCHP cohost explores what it means to provide doula care to support a diverse community and the fluidity in the role of a doula with Ankita Patel of REACHUP, Inc., a community-based organization in Tampa, FL. Tune in to this episode to garner a new take on how “it takes a village” to equitably bring life into the world. And if you haven’t heard what makes a doula, listen to the part 1 of this episode where we talk to Marna Armstead from San Francisco.  Guest: Ankita Patel, Doula Program Manager at REACHUP, Inc. in Tampa, Florida Cohost: Giannina Ong, Program Manager for Reproductive and Maternal Health at AMCHP Resources:  Want to learn more about REACHUP, Inc? Check out on their website. Where can I find a doula? Every Mother Counts Consider using our discussion guide to facilitate conversations and reflection.  Follow us @BetterBirthOutcomes on Instagram and don’t forget to like this episode! Learn more about the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) at our website.
What Makes A Doula, Featuring Marna Armstead
Sep 13 2023
What Makes A Doula, Featuring Marna Armstead
Birthworkers have been attending pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum for centuries. In the 21st century, birthworkers, such as doulas, continue to provide vital support to birthing people while simultaneously addressing challenges faced by all mothers in America, and especially birthing people of color. In this special two-part episode, your AMCHP hosts speak with two doulas to explore their inspirations and motivations for birth work. Marna Armstead from San Francisco reflects on her experiences in a system that has medicalized birth and what it truly means to advocate as a birth companion through culturally congruent care. Listen to learn about the joy doulas spread to individuals, families, and communities at large helping to create more respectful and equitable birthing spaces from coast to coast. And don't forget to catch part 2 of this episode where we talk to Ankita Patel from Tampa, FL.    Guest Speakers:  Marna Armstead, Doula and Co-Founder of SisterWeb in San Francisco, California  Cohosts:   Shaquelle Ballou, former Program Manager at AMCHP Resources:  Want to learn more about SisterWeb? Check out on their website. Where can I find a doula? Every Mother Counts Consider using our discussion guide to facilitate conversations and reflection.  Follow us @BetterBirthOutcomes on Instagram and don’t forget to like this episode! Learn more about the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) at our website.
What are MMRCs?
Aug 25 2023
What are MMRCs?
In our first episode of BirthWork, your AMCHP hosts and two maternal health experts help to break down some of the responsibilities of Maternal Mortality Review Committees (also known as MMRCs). MMRCs are tasked with reviewing maternal deaths in their jurisdiction, determining “pregnancy-relatedness”, which is a key step of the MMRC process, and proposing recommendations to improve birth experiences and outcomes within their states and/or cities. Listen to this episode to learn more about how MMRCs provide insight and recommendations on how to reduce maternal mortality in the U.S. while helping to rewrite the narrative and transform conversations surrounding “BirthWork” across America.     Guest Speakers: Dr. Aasta Mehta is an OB/GYN and the Medical Officer of Women’s Health at the City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Health.  Teneele Bruce is a biologist and doula, and is serving as the Pathways Project Director at Baltimore Healthy Start.  Episode Hosts: Shaquelle Ballou and Kristina Wint, both former Program Managers at AMCHP, are the co-hosts for this episode. Resources: Use our discussion guide for reflection and conversation. Access our transcript for this episode here. Check out Dr. Aasta Mehta and her work with OVA here.  Learn more about Teneele Bruce and Baltimore Healthy Start here. You can find more information on Maternal Mortality Review Committees and the CDC’s ERASE Maternal Mortality initiative here.   Follow us @BetterBirthOutcomes on Instagram and don’t forget to like this episode! Learn more about the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) at our website.