Maternal Health Equity

Kickoff Gathering

Spring 2023

In Spring 2023, 18 community members and researchers attending our kickoff gathering focused on maternal health equity. After some icebreakers and getting to know one another, folks broke off into groups to brainstorm major problems within maternal health and came back together to discuss and prioritize those ideas into major themes for future research. These include power dynamics in healthcare, data sharing with patients and community, centering patient voice, patient/provider education, and healthcare structure and access.

Sustaining Momentum

Coffee Chats [PDF]

Perinatal Mental Health Coffee Chat – September 2023
Hosted by Jessie Colbert, She-Tara Smith, and Elysia Larson

Doulas, OB-GYNs, researchers, and community advocates took part in our first coffee chat on perinatal mental health in Fall 2023. The group shared personal stories and anecdotes in dealing with perinatal mental health and what supports doulas may need to address perinatal mental health with their clients. Elysia Larson shared progress and received feedback on her intervention, DoulaLink, designed to connect doulas to resources. Later, She-Tara Smith and Jessie Colbert led the group in brainstorming talking points for an upcoming maternal health listening session held by MA Department of Public Health. Major themes included rethinking the scope of practice for doulas, doula network of support, comprehensive and ongoing training, coordinated approach to mental health, and more.

Shedding Light on Stillbirth: An Event to Catalyze Awareness, Prevention, and Collaboration – April 2024
Hosted by Jessica Cohen

On April 8th, we collaborated with Jessica Cohen’s undergraduate maternal health class to co-host an event focused on stillbirth. Speakers shared personal experiences with stillbirth, ways to prevent stillbirth, and addressing stillbirth from a legal perspective:

  • Duaa Eldeib: Investigative Reporter (ProPublica) and 2023 Finalist for Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for her Stillbirth Series
  • Stephanie Crawford: Doula, Founder of (Boston-based) Propa City Community Outreach, Teacher, Advocate, Stillbirth Grief Counselor
  • Samantha Durante Banerjee: Founder and Executive Director of PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, Writer, Activist
  • Jill Weiber Lens: Robert A. Leflar Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Expert on the Legal Recognition and Treatment of Stillbirth

We had a stellar turnout, with over 60 attendees, including community partners, researchers, physicians, and students. Folks were able to connect with one another over refreshments at the event reception.

Past Newsletters

Summer 2023

Fall 2023

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