Two black female friends with stroller, walking and chatting.

Take Action for Birthing Families

Congress will soon decide on a social infrastructure legislative package that could be transformative for birthing families, including critical Momnibus investments and establishing the first national paid family & medical leave insurance program!

Black Maternal Health

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 builds on existing maternal health legislation, like policies to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, with 12 bills to comprehensively address every dimension of America’s maternal health crisis. 

Last month, crucial investments in Black maternal health from the Momnibus were included in the Build Back Better Act. HealthConnect One is thrilled to see maternal health equity prioritized in this package, however there is still work to do until these provisions, in their entirety, are passed.

As outlined in a report from the Century Foundation, these four investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus, out of many, will improve Black Maternal health should lawmakers pass the Build Back Better Act.

  • Build Back Better could save mothers’ lives by providing funding for postpartum Medicaid to a total of 1,170,000 uninsured new mothers over ten years
  • 92,000 nurses and perinatal nursing students would receive funding for loans, scholarships, and programmatic support over ten years.
  • 30,000 doulas would receive funding for loans, scholarships, and programmatic support over ten years.
  • 46,000 maternal mental health and substance abuse professionals would receive loans, scholarships, and programmatic support, over ten years.

It is imperative that congress prioritizes these maternal health investments that mothers, babies, and birthing families desperately need. 

Call your legislators to pass the Build Back Better Act with these investments! – Click Here

Call your Congressmembers’ offices! Congressional staffers are required to tally phone calls right away. You can leave their office a voicemail if no one answer’s the call.

Follow these steps:

  • Call the U.S. House of Representatives Switchboard: (202)-225-3121 or the (202) 224-3091 (TTY). Ask to be connected to your Senators or Representative.
  • You can find your Senators’ contact forms at senate.gov and your Representative’s contact form at house.gov/representatives.
  • You can find your Members’ phone numbers, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and other contact information on Contacting Congress.

When you call, use this script:

Hi, my name is (NAME), and I’m from (CITY, STATE).

I am calling to urge you to vote to pass the Build Back Better Act. This legislation includes historic investments in maternal health by including ALL provisions from the Black Maternal Health #Momnibus and mandated permanent extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.These investments will address system-level failures by providing policy solutions that will allow Black birthing people and their babies to thrive.

This issue is of particular importance to me because (briefly describe why this is important to you).

Thank you for your time and for your leadership in supporting working families across America. I hope I can count on you to prioritize the health of mothers, birthing people and their babes.

(Your name)

* [IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL OR EMAILING: please leave your full street address and zip code. This will ensure your call or email is tallied]

Tweet at your legislators and tell them the importance of these investment! – Click Here

  • It’s time for congress to pass ALL #Momnibus provisions in the #BuildBackBetter act. These investments will address system-level failures by providing policy solutions that will allow Black birthing people and their babies to thrive.
  • Community-based organizations like @HealthConnctOne and its partners are at the frontlines of the maternal health crisis by ensuring birthing families have the culturally-reflective support they need to have a positive birth experience. (1/2)
    The #Momnibus enables these organizations to directly serve the multifaceted needs of pregnant and postpartum people in their community. (2/2) 
  • Racial justice requires investments in maternal health. To rectify centuries of disenfranchisement, we need to continue demanding justice for moms and ensure that ALL of the #Momnibus provisions are prioritized in the Build Back Better legislative package. 
  • The evidence is clear — doula care is associated with positive outcomes for birthing families. Funding from the #BuildBackBetter act would provide increased access to doula services for Black families, for whom doula care is often out of reach.
  • The #Momnibus provisions in the #BuildBackBetter package will ensure that Black birthing people can experience joyful pregnancy and birth.
  • Black birthing people need the Biden adminsitration and leaders in congress to go bold and pass the #BuildBackBetter Act with ALL investments from the #Momnibus and the permanent extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.

Follow @HealthConnectOne on Twitter and be sure to tag us in your posts!

We won’t stop working until all provisions are passed. It’s time to build on this momentum and continue working to eliminate maternal health disparities by passing the Build Back Better Act with all maternal health provisions included.

Paid Family Leave

In one of the most industrialized nations in the world, only 15 percent of all working people in the have access to paid leave through their employers. The Build Back Better Act social infrastructure package could change that. 

Sick family members, a new baby or child placement, an aging parent, are planned and sometimes sudden occurrences for everyday people across America. Working families deserve to know they do not have to sacrifice financial income or job security.  The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee paid leave of any kind. It’s time for our legislators to create a safety net that will allow working people to remain active parts of their families and the economy at the same time. 

Our leaders are negotiating the details and they need to hear your voice about what families need.

The paid leave plan in the Build Back Better package will:

  • Ensure the benefit is available to all of America’s families;
  • Provide paid time off (ideally 12 weeks);
  • Provide robust wage replacement; and
  • Cover the whole range of babies’ and families’ needs for time off.

Become an advocate and keep the pressure on our leaders to make sure the new paid leave program provision in the Build Back Better Act would reach all babies and families! call on Congress to finally pass paid leave for all working families. 

Take Action Today – Click Here

Contact Congress via a phone call or email and ask them to support the bill and it’s full recommendations.
(via Think Babies)

Use the script below:

  • Hello, my name is (xxx) and I am your constituent living in (state your city/town).
  • I’m calling today to urge your support the Build Back Better Act which will establishes a paid family and medical leave program that will meet the needs of working families across America
  • This paid family and medical leave program will give families the opportunity to stay connected with their family and remain in the work economy. Paid leave gives families the time they need to bond with and care for their infants and care for loved ones without sacrificing their financial security. 
  • This issue is of particular importance to me because (briefly describe why this is important to you).
  • Thank you for your time and for your leadership in supporting working families across America. 

It’s important that our elected officials hear from you about the life-saving relief that a comprehensive paid leave program can have on maternal and child health outcomes and overall well being of families.  

Our country cannot afford to wait to address the challenges facing Black and Brown birthing people, and failing to invest in these issues risks not only incurring painful economic and social costs, but lives across America.

7 Ways We Can Support Breastfeeding Moms

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 3rd guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

by Diana Limongi 

Limongi headshotI was able to breastfeed my son exclusively for six months. I was also able to continue until a year, and it took me three months to wean him — so in total, I breastfed for 15 months. I didn’t start off thinking I would do it like that. It just worked for me.

The reason it worked was because I had support all around. My job was very supportive. I had a clean, private space where I could pump and I had access to a refrigerator where I could store my breastmilk. I think support plays a HUGE part in whether women can continue breastfeeding. I’ve heard friends say that they hear snide remarks from colleagues when moms take breastfeeding breaks… those are definitely not helpful. This can cause stress, and stress can hinder a mom’s ability to produce milk.

Overall as a society, we can do more to support breastfeeding moms. While the act of breastfeeding may be natural, breastfeeding can be difficult and not everyone can do it. Whether you breastfeed or not will depend on a lot of different factors.

As a society, we can help by providing support to breastfeeding moms to encourage and cheer them on so that women can be more successful at attaining their breastfeeding goals — whatever those goals may be.

I’ve already seen a lot of progress from the time that I was breastfeeding until now, and I hope the situation will continue to improve. It is necessary to support working mothers and breastfeeding mothers so that they can feed their babies.

Here are 7 ways we can support breastfeeding moms:

  1. Normalize breastfeeding. This, of course, is going to take a societal change. Breasts are made for breastfeeding, not for Victoria’s Secret catalogues. Society needs to understand that.
  2. Provide clean spaces to nurse and pump in public. And no – the bathroom does not count. Cities and public spaces like parks and museums need to step it up and offer more spaces for moms to pump or nurse if they need to. Offices need to comply with the Affordable Care Act, which states: “The space provided by the employer cannot be a bathroom, and it must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.”
  3. Make lactation consultants available at pediatric offices. This is a big one. As a new mom, taking my son to a checkup was a big deal — getting out of the house, getting to the doctor’s office, etc. It can all be overwhelming. I wish I could have had my breastfeeding questions and concerns answered by my pediatrician or by someone at the office instead of having to look for another doctor or lactation consultant. It would have made life so much easier for me and could help a lot of moms: Imagine, just take baby to the doctor and discuss breastfeeding issues you have there, no need to visit another specialist. Luckily, this is an option now at my son’s doctor’s office!
  4. End week-to-week schedules for mothers. Many mothers who work in certain industries (like retail) work on week-to-week schedules. Mothers who do not know what their schedules are from week to week may have a harder time figuring out where to pump, how to transport milk, schedule breaks, etc.
  5. Allow breastfeeding moms to head back to work on a part-time basis in order to help continue breastfeeding for at least a year. This is actually done in other countries. In Ecuador, for example, mothers go back to work after three months (they get paid leave) and then they work part time (I believe it is until 3:00 p.m.) and then they can go home… That would be SO helpful for moms who are breastfeeding as it would mean being home with babies earlier and they would be able to breastfeed more often instead of having to pump and carry the milk.
  6. Hospitals should do more to help mothers. In addition to classes, they should provide information about where to turn if moms need help breastfeeding. When I left the hospital, I didn’t have any information. It would help to have this information handy (because who has time to search the internet when you are busy caring for your baby?): A bag with breastfeeding essentials such as gel pads, lanolin cream, fenugreek supplements and a list of phone numbers for the local La Leche League, lactation consultants, and breastfeeding support groups.
  7. Provide six months of paid leave. I know this one is going to be difficult to achieve. We can’t even agree on 12 weeks off with pay. The sad truth is that unless policies help breastfeeding moms reach their feeding goals, then it is very hard for mothers to do. Paid leave and breastfeeding go hand in hand. Lawmakers can’t support one without supporting the other.

Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us:

What would you add?

How can we improve conditions for breastfeeding moms?

What resources and support did you receive?

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Diana Limongi is a bilingual freelance writer and blogger.  She writes about raising bilingual and multicultural children, women’s issues, identity and culture. Diana has an MA in Migration Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management. She lives in NYC with her multicultural family. She loves connecting with her readers via her blog, LadydeeLG. You can also follow her on Twitter or Instagram.   


TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!