Call your Senator today: Tell them to say YES to funding for home visiting

The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill that would provide $3 trillion to help and support our families, communities, and businesses in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a very important provision for home visiting: an additional $100 million in emergency funding that can be used for the care of birthing families, such as through community-based doula care.

Call your Senators today and let them know you want them to vote YES on the COVID-19 relief bill!

A phone call from you is one of the best ways to let your Senators know what their constituents are feeling about issues, and right now we have an important opportunity to make sure that doula care receives the funding it needs!

You can call today by following the steps below!

You can find the phone number for your Senators at this link: www.senate.gov.

You can also call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask them to connect you to the office of your Senator:

When you call:

1. Let them know you are a constituent.

2. Say that you are calling to ask your Senator to protect and support birthing families as part of their COVID-19 response

3. Let them know that you would like them to vote YES on the COVID-19 bill that will provide $100 million in additional funds for home visiting, which will include the following activities:

  • Training home visitors on virtual home visits and emergency preparedness and response planning for families
  • Providing technology to families to facilitate home visits
  • Providing emergency supplies to families, such as diapers, formula, non-perishable food, water, hand soap, and hand sanitizer
  • Providing prepaid debit cards to families to help them meet emergency needs

4. Thank them for their time and support of our families and communities

When you call your Senator’s office – we would love to know how the call went. Email us and update us on how it went at: info@healthconnectone.org

Thank you for your support and advocacy of birthing families!

The HealthConnect One team

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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: https://bit.ly/3ce7k4s
b. Twitter: https://bit.ly/3emg5vu

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: https://bit.ly/3a94Ym3
b. Twitter: https://bit.ly/3ch2nYQ

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 at:kgurnah@healthconnectone.org