Thank you for watching with us this week

Whether you are an advocate for change for birthing families, community-based doula, peer counselor or other community health worker, in Congress advocating for Black maternal health, a colleague working to change systems and policies,– or just learning about the issue of birth equity — we thank you for viewing our content this week!

Together we are strong and birthing a world that supports all moms, babies, and families.

Thank you, Birth Equity Leaders! All the leaders and faculty of BELA are impacting their communities in important ways especially during COVID-19.

Thank you, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood! As the Irving Harris Legacy Award honoree, you are a leader in the field of policy for Black maternal health, working to find solutions to improve birth outcomes for Black mothers.

We hope you will continue to support these fierce leaders who are needed even more by moms and birthing families during this difficult time.

Lastly, HealthConnect One is more relevant than ever as we continue to work for birth equity and change the conversation around pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting. It is with your support that together we can move closer to realizing birth equity for every birthing person across our country.

We welcome your feedback and thoughts on the next move forward to support families and treat every baby, as our baby.

Best wishes,

HealthConnect One


We’re also grateful to sponsors of our virtual Every Baby Our Baby this year: Gold sponsors the Irving Harris Foundation and Perigee Fund; Silver sponsor, Navistar, and Copper sponsors, Mairita Smiltars, Gordon Mayer Communications, and Graceful Fusion Birth Doula Trainings.

Our work to support and train community-based doulas, peer counselors and other community health workers continues. We appreciate you for being here. If you are able to support this work at any level, you can contribute here.

Thank you!

Support our work


Irving Harris Advocacy Award: U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

“The disparity in maternal health is] a crisis that has demanded action for decades and is now getting the attention it deserves,” –U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14)  quoted by the Wilson Center


The Irving Harris Legacy Award is given to individuals and organizations making an impact on maternal health and birth equity. Though our organization serves communities across the U.S., we did not have to look far from our Chicago home base to find a leader who well deserves this recognition.

This year, Congresswoman Underwood, D- Ill, led 62 members of the House of Representatives in a bipartisan letter urging the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the U.S. is taking steps to understand the unique risks and complications of COVID-19 in pregnant women.

In March, alongside Senator Kamala Harris, D-Cal, and her Black Maternal Health Caucus co-chair Congresswoman Alma Adams, D-NC, Underwood helped introduce the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020. The Act will fill gaps in existing legislation to comprehensively address every dimension of the black maternal health crisis in the nation.

The Black Maternal Health Caucus is one of the largest bipartisan caucuses in Congress, with more than 100 members. It is organized around the goals of elevating the Black maternal health crisis within Congress and advancing policy solutions to improve maternal health outcomes and end disparities.

“It’s both alarming and unacceptable that maternal mortality rates continue to rise in the United States, and the situation is even worse for Black women, who are three to four times more likely to die. This issue affects too many women and families and will take a comprehensive approach to end disparities,” said Congresswoman Underwood.

“I would like to thank HealthConnect One for honoring me with the Irving Harris Legacy Award, a humbling reminder of the critical urgency of the work address of us to address our nation’s maternal health crisis,” Rep. Underwood shared. “I am grateful for HealthConnect One’s partnership with the Black Maternal Health Caucus that I co-chair, working with us to advance the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and other policies to improve outcomes and save lives.”

HealthConnect One is grateful to Congresswoman Underwood, a true champion, for her leadership in improving the lives of moms, birthing families, and babies.


day 2 promo of EBOB event to intro CHW AwardEvery Baby Our Baby 2020

We’re also grateful to sponsors of our virtual Every Baby Our Baby this year: Gold sponsors the Irving Harris Foundation and Perigee Fund; Silver sponsor, Navistar, and Copper sponsors, Mairita Smiltars, Gordon Mayer Communications, and Graceful Fusion Birth Doula Trainings.

Our work to support and train community-based doulas, peer counselors and other community health workers continues. We appreciate you for being here. If you are able to support this work at any level, you can contribute here.

Thank you! Support our work


ASI webinar logo

Gratis! Seminario web 6/26 – Apoyando a Familias Durante COVID-19 y Emergencias

A medida que continuamos navegando con COVID-19 (Corona Virus), nuestras familias y comunidades durante el embarazo y despues aún necesitan apoyo. El seminario web estará dirigido por Alimentación Segura Infantil (ASI) en Puerto Rico (PR). Compartirán su enfoque para apoyar a las familias durante emergencias y durante esta pandemia de salud pública.

ASI continúa apoyando a las familias de manera efectiva durante estos tiempos difíciles y centra un enfoque de líderes comunitarios. ASI ha estado brindando apoyo entre líderes de confianza y arraigado en la comunidad durante más de 2 años y medio. Se enfocan en apoyar a las familias desde el nacimiento hasta el posparto. ASI también compartirá en este seminario web su aprendizaje de la preparación para emergencias y cómo continuar apoyando a las familias de manera efectiva durante estos tiempos difíciles.

Espacio limitado, regístrese hoy

ASI es una organización sin fines de lucro que trabaja para la alimentación segura de infantes y niñxs pequeñxs. También tienen como meta capacitar a líderes comunitarixs como especialistas en lactancia y alimentación segura. ASI se enfoca en la capacitación de los miembros de la comunidad para convertirse en especialistas en lactancia y alimentación infantil durante emergencias y tiempos de estabilidad. ASI es un líder nacional en equidad alimentaria en lactancia, se organizan para cuestiones de equidad de embarazo, parto y posparto en PR y brindan servicio directo a las familias.

Este seminario web discutirá lo siguiente:

La importancia de la continuidad del apoyo de consejeras de lactancia de confianza en la comunidad durante una pandemia y emergencias

Importancia del apoyo basado en la comunidad para familias durante el embarazo, parto, posparto y la lactancia

Impacto de COVID-19 y situaciones de emergencia en las familias embarazadas, parto, y lactancia

Inspirado para y por líderes de color y Latinx

Espacio limitado, regístrese hoy

New webinar: 6/25 – Supporting Families During COVID-19 and Emergencies

As we continue to navigate COVID-19 our birthing families and communities still need support. The webinar will be led by Alimentación Segura Infantil (ASI) in Puerto Rico (PR). They will share their approach to supporting families during emergencies and this public health pandemic. ASI continues to support families effectively in PR during these challenging times and centers a grassroots peer-to-peer approach.

ASI has been providing peer support that is trusted and rooted in the community for over 2 ½ years. They focus on supporting families from birth through the postpartum period. ASI will also share in this webinar their learning from emergency preparedness and how to continue to support families effectively during these challenging times.

Space is limited, register today! 

ASI is a nonprofit organization that works for food security for infants and young children, addressing the systemic barriers which affect equitable access before, during, and after emergency situations. We focus on training community members to become specialists in lactation and infant feeding during emergencies and times of stability. ASI is a national leader in first food equity, they organize for birth equity issues in PR and provide direct service to families.

This webinar will discuss the following:

Importance of continuity of support from trusted peers in the community during pandemic and emergencies

Importance of community-rooted based support for birthing parents and lactating parents

Impact of COVID-19 and emergency situations on lactation and birthing families

Inspiration for and by Leaders of Color and Latinx

Space is limited, register today! 

storybook cover sq

Birthing Families Need Your Support – Stories from Across the U.S.

As COVID-19 strains our healthcare infrastructure, pregnant women are facing severe isolation at a time where familial and community support is critical in birth outcomes. Moms and babies of color, particularly in Black and Indigenous families, are vulnerable to adverse birth outcomes due to generations of disinvestment in the health of communities of color. Now, more than ever, birthing families need support – regardless of immigration status.

Over the past two months, we asked doulas, peer counselors and other community health workers what was happening in their communities, and now we have compiled them in the attached report. These stories highlight the extreme problems faced by birthing communities during this pandemic. You will read how families are:

  • Experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity, job loss and having problems accessing formula and diapers.
  • Fearful of the possibility that mothers may be forced to give birth without a partner or the doulas they made birthing plans with.
  • Lacking or experiencing limited access to pre and postnatal care.
  • Afraid to seek services if they are immigrants, particularly if they are undocumented.

We’re glad to be able to share this just ahead of Mother’s Day. In this story collection you will hear voices from Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and Texas. We hope you will share this storybook widely, including with elected officials, to help them in their policy decisions.

This publication is available in English and Spanish. 

Download Birthing Families Need Your Support Storybook

Introducing Our New Birth Equity Action Network

Dear friend,

Pregnant women are facing isolation at a time when family and community support is so important. Birthing families need more support than ever, particularly Black and Indigenous women who have been experiencing some of the most adverse birth outcomes in the world.

Building on the success of the Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA) over the past three years, we are inaugurating the Birth Equity Action Network. The Birth Equity Action Network will incorporate all that we learned from the 125 BELA members’ expertise as community leaders in birth equity and develop advocacy action steps to further elevate community voices.

We are inviting you to join our movement today, to ensure birthing families are fully supported as part of our nation’s COVID-19 planning.

Here are ways you can take action today to inform and build our birth equity agenda:

1. Help us grow the network by posting the social media posts below:

a. Facebook:
b. Twitter:

2. We’re gathering stories about the challenges birthing families are experiencing and to find out what resources are needed. Share your COVID-19 story and encourage others to share as well. Below are social media posts for easy sharing.

a. Facebook:
b. Twitter:

Your voice and advocacy are so important in advocating for moms, babies and families, and the doulas, community health workers and peer counselors who are an essential part of the birthing experience.

With thanks from the HealthConnect One team!

P.S. Do you have questions, or have feedback that you would like to share with us?

Email us