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Maternal Health Advocacy: If We Can Do it, You Can Do It!

Maternal Health Advocacy: If We Can Do it, You Can Do It!

Updated November 19, 2021: Maternal Health Advocacy: If We Can Do it, You Can Do It! details ways that any of us can stand up for sensible postpartum care. Below is the latest on national legislation, as well as groups you can support if you wish:

What’s Going on with Legislating Paid Leave?

Four weeks of paid family and medical leave is now part of the Build Back Better legislation currently in front of law makers. Maternal health advocacy has been a cause championed by many that is now becoming a reality. In addition to helping postpartum mothers heal and adjust to their new role, paid leave allows all family members to have better mental health, economic outcomes and long term benefits.

Paid leave can also be used for individuals to recover from a serious illness or provide care for another family member. The caregiver’s job will still be there after leave. This is an unfolding situation so we recommend following @paidleaveus on Instagram for the latest.

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Maternal Health Advocacy in the Postpartum Phase

November 2020 – My team and I visited Capitol Hill to lobby about the importance of postpartum care, specifically in support of H.R. 34 – the 21st Century Cures Act, “Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows.” This Resolution is all about the need to continue to recognize postpartum issues.  Going hand in hand with this is having qualified professionals helping those struggling in the postpartum phase. 

Like everyone who works in mother/baby care, we’ve known for years here at Let Mommy Sleep that early support and intervention just home from baby’s birth are the key to keeping mothers healthy, parents confident and babies safe.  The data in support of even one 2 hour postpartum visit also shows cost effective benefits across the board. 

These early days home with baby are when everyone is at their most vulnerable. By visiting parents just home from the hospital, Registered Nurses, Lactation Consultants and other trained providers head off issues before they become problems. Troubleshooting breastfeeding challenges before they snowball into an issue that makes a parent quit nursing is one example.  Identifying postpartum depression versus baby blues before these emotions spiral into darkness is another. Lastly, we share evidence based safety and newborn care education to build confidence and support for new parents.  Postpartum visits help parents see that not only are they “good enough” for their baby…they are amazing!

In a political climate that has become extreme, we remain a nonpartisan company that supports all families trying to do their best just as we did in 2014 with President Obama’s Summit for Working Families, as we will do on the Hill and as our night nurses continue to do in homes every night. 

How You, yes YOU! Can Support Postpartum Health

If you would like to support maternal health, learn about active legislation in your state and speak up for families, here are 3 ways to get started:

  1. Visit March for Moms. They work every day educating about maternal death, and how it can be prevented.
  2. Did you know diapers are NOT covered under state or federal child safety-net programs? Donate diapers or funds for diapers via the National Diaper Bank.
  3. Be a hands-on or phone support to new and postpartum families by volunterring with Postpartum Support International.

Thank you to everyone who continues to work for healthy pregnancies, families and their babies.

-Denise Stern

CEO, Let Mommy Sleep