Two of the core competencies of a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator center upon advocacy—individual advocacy and stakeholder advocacy.
Lamaze International continues to expand advocacy efforts by engaging policymakers, payers and providers to develop strategic partnerships to increase access to childbirth education. Launching efforts on the local, state and national levels are critical to this endeavor and we can only succeed with the expertise and efforts of our membership.
Recent Advocacy Efforts
- Lamaze signed a letter supporting Senator Patty Murray's (D-WA) bill S.1045, the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act. This bill would protect the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Women's Preventive Services so that all health plans provide maternity and newborn care, lactation support and clinical preventive coverage. As part of the ACA's Essential Health Benefits, these services align with the Health Resources & Services Administration's, ACOG’s, and the National Academy of Medicine’s clinical guidance for women and children’s health.
- Lamaze signed a letter supporting H.R. 1318, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced H.R. 1318 to better track and report maternal mortality causes, as well as eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes. The bill would require states to establish maternal mortality review committees, which would help expose gaps in care and highlight the role that childbirth education has in improving maternal health outcomes.
- Lamaze responded to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Evidence-based Practice Center's request for literature to support a Systematic Review of Breastfeeding Programs and Policies, Breastfeeding Uptake and Maternal Health Outcomes in Developed Countries.
Advocating for the Diverse Nature of Decision Aids
In an effort to standardize and implement decision aids that facilitate shared and informed healthcare decision making, the National Quality Forum (NQF) is developing a review protocol to assess the effectiveness of existing decision aids. Lamaze International commends the effort to standardize effective models, but cautions that not all effective decision aids are the same size and shape. In October 2016, Lamaze commented on the NQF’s proposal and use the comprehensive evidence-based childbirth education one such example of a decision aid that the proposed criteria would overlook.
Promoting the Role that Childbirth Education has in Perinatal Quality Measures
In July 2016, Lamaze submitted formal comments to the National Quality Forum’s 2015-2016 Perinatal and Reproductive Health Draft Report, which assessed and recommended a series of proposed and established measures from accrediting agencies and other healthcare organizations. Lamaze’s comments specifically addressed measures related to elective deliveries, episiotomies, cesarean births, prenatal and postpartum care, and exclusive breastfeeding.
Advocating for Evidence-Based Childbirth Education in Maternal Care Bundled Payment Models
In May 2016, Lamaze submitted feedback to the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network’s proposed maternity care bundled payment model. Read more about bundled payments and how they relate to maternity care on Science & Sensibility. Lamaze is pleased to see alternative payment model initiatives related to maternity care recognize the distinct role that childbirth education has in the comprehensive prenatal care model. We will continue to advocate for evidence-based childbirth education as providers, payers, and policymakers turn their focus on improving U.S. maternal and childbirth outcomes.
How You Can Help
Join Lamaze as we advocate for childbirth education and improved childbirth outcomes, on October 23-24, 2017 in Washington, DC, at the Lamaze 2017 Advocacy Summit. Participants will learn advocacy strategies and techniques to use during meetings on Capitol Hill and in individual advocacy efforts in the future. This unique event will replace the traditional annual conference, and make sure our voices are heard on Capitol Hill—and beyond!
We have developed a series of resources that speak to the current state of U.S. childbirth outcomes and the role that Lamaze and its members have in improving these outcomes. After all, we are educators, and these resources will help you educate your members of Congress, fellow providers and other policymakers in your states and communities about Lamaze International’s mission and the critical role that evidence-based childbirth education has in improving childbirth outcomes.
- 6 Healthy Birth Practices
- About Lamaze
- About Lamaze Childbirth Educators
- Maternity Care in United States
- Why Does Childbirth Education Matter?
Science & Sensibility Advocacy Posts
- Advocacy: Lamaze International Leaders on Capitol Hill
- From Childbirth Educator to Doula and Back Again: Trends in the History of Birth Advocacy and Education
- Healthcare Reform and Advocating for Essential Women’s Benefits
- Interview with Maria Brooks, Lamaze International President
- Lamaze International Advocacy: Hard at Work for You
- Lamaze International Brings Maternal-Child Health Stakeholders Together to Discuss Childbirth Education
- Make Your Voice Heard - Join the Lamaze 2017 Advocacy Summit
- Roundtable Report Announcement
- Roundtable Wrap Up
- Understanding Evidence-Based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action
Together, we can communicate Lamaze’s call to action and implement our strategic plan to improve access to evidence-based childbirth education—and ultimately, childbirth outcomes.