Birth Trustees are donors who give a minimum of $20 per month each year to FAM and voted on our grant docket. The ballot had 17 finalists screened by the FAM Board. Grants awarded total $50,000. The Birth Trustees ranked each funding area’s projects against one another on the basis of impact, likelihood of success, and financial efficiency. Additionally, Birth Trustees selected their favorite three projects, which awarded additional points to each grantee’s score.
Ancient Song Doula Services $3,000
The Pregnancy Kitchen
The Pregnancy Kitchen is a six-week nutrition education and prenatal care program for low- income minority women in Brooklyn, New York. By providing holistic, culturally relevant, and budget conscious nutrition education, our objective is to improve the nutritional status of high- risk women thereby decreasing the life-threatening conditions associated with poor maternal nutrition.
Birthing Hands of DC $2,000
The Grand Challenge: Matching Scholarships to Birth Workers of Color to Reduce Disparities in Health Outcomes
The Grand Challenge, is a call to all midwives, birth workers, organizations, the birthing community, and institutions to “be the change” in addressing racial disparities in maternal and infant health and alleviating these outcome disparities. Our goal is to increase the number of midwives and other birth workers of color who are uniquely qualified to serve the women and families of their communities. With financial and cooperative support we can increase the number of midwives and birth workers of color who speak their shared culture and heart language, while providing care with humility, relevance, understanding and professionalism.
Commonsense Childbirth $3,000
Community Outreach Perinatal Education
(COPE – The JJ Way®) for Latinas
The JJ Way® is a midwifery model of care which has successfully reduced the incidence of low birth weight and premature babies among African-American and other minority women who are at greater risk for adverse perinatal outcomes and who lack access to care. Community Outreach Perinatal Education, or COPE – The JJ Way®, is a 48-hour, peer-level training that leads to the Certified Perinatal Educator (CPE) credential. This interdisciplinary credential incorporates the skills required in doula, childbirth education, and lactation education certification. This new project will expand prenatal care to Spanish-speaking populations by educating Spanish-speaking community birth workers through the COPE training. This will enable these birth workers to reach more diverse and/or disenfranchised populations in their own communities. In order to support this work, Commonsense Childbirth opened a specific Spanish language prenatal clinic, The Birth Place Español, which is a unique offering in Central Florida.
Homebirth Summit Regulation & Licensure Task Force $4,000
Best Practice Toolkit for Midwifery Regulation and Licensure
Policy makers routinely seek to understand the status of regulated midwifery practice in the country and the role that midwives should play in an evidence-based health care system. Our Best Practice Toolkit for Midwifery Regulation and Licensure will be a user-friendly and audience-targeted web site repository of documents on midwifery education, competencies, scope of practice, and systems for patient safety, quality assurance, and accountability that midwives routinely integrate into practice. Existing statutes on licensure, samples of model legislation, and a rating system by state will be included.
Homebirth Summit Collaboration Task Force $4,000
Dissemination of Best Practice Guidelines:
Transfer from Planned Home Birth to Hospital
Seamless transfer of care from a planned home birth to the hospital setting is an essential component for the safe provision of home birth services. In the United States integrated care systems for communication and collaboration across home and hospital based providers are uncommon. After extensive review of literature and precedents, the multi-disciplinary HBS Collaboration Task Force from the Home Birth Summit (HBS) has developed model guidelines for coordination among providers to reduce risk for women and families. Adoption by maternity care providers and hospitals has great potential for facilitating the integration of care across birth settings. We are requesting support for a comprehensive dissemination plan for these guidelines.
Mamatoto Village $4,000
Community Birthworker Training Program
Mamatoto Village seeks to improve perinatal health outcomes for underserved and high-risk women and babies in the National Capital Region through continuation and extension of the Community Birthworker Program (CBP) and implementation of the Village Expansion Project which utilizes a Train-the-Trainer model. The Community Birthworker Program (CBP) serves as an educational and outreach initiative, designed to cultivate highly skilled and culturally competent birth workers of color. Graduates of the CBP empower under-resourced communities by helping women and their families in these communities experience pregnancy, birth, and motherhood in a healthy, and self- determining way.
Midwifery Education Accreditation Council $4,000
Answering consumer demand for CPMs by addressing barriers to midwifery program accreditation
MEAC accreditation for CPM educational programs is integral to commitments defined in the US-MERA April 2014 meeting report. MEAC accreditation enables midwifery schools to participate in federal financial aid programs, increasing the number and diversity of midwifery students to serve growing consumer demand. What are the barriers to increasing the number of accredited midwifery schools in the US? Funds provided by FAM would allow MEAC and AME to collaborate in conducting much needed field research culminating in both a better understanding of the answer to this critical question and a written report with concrete recommendations about how the entire midwifery community can respond to those identified barriers.
Midwives Alliance of North America $5,000
Building capacity for MANA’s Public Education & Communications Program
Families in the US are barraged by conflicting and often erroneous information about normal physiologic birth as well as the benefits and risks of birth out of hospital. Social media, an essential part of life in the 21st century, often affirms birth as a dangerous, painful and traumatic process. Now, more than ever, consumers and legislators are engaging in discussions around research and evidence based medicine via electronic communication. Poorly researched studies may contain not only erroneous assertions, but invite media sensationalism to stir up controversy about the “risk” of planned, midwife attended home births. MANA believes that to best serve the needs of consumers, midwives and particularly those without equal access to education, information, or legislation, we must strengthen our communications team and respond to the challenge of expanding and evolving technology. MANA will continue to promote scientific based evidence through the studies emerging from the MANA Division of Research, collect and compile statistics and publications, and defend the competencies of midwives. Participating as fully as possible in the social media revolution can offer enormous advantages to MANA; opting out of the social media revolution may put our organization at a competitive disadvantage. Engaging social media for organizational development, innovative marketing, productivity and communication will enable MANA to expand and promote projects in a low-risk, lower-cost way. MANA maintains its commitment to a midwife for every community and to that end, we maintain that heightened access through increased use of social networks contribute to social change.
Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Research $10,500
Support for Operations and Expansion of MANA Stats Data Collection
These funds, combined with those on hand, will be used to keep the MANA Stats web system online, well maintained, and securely available to midwives 24/7. The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Division of Research (DOR) continues to build capacity to make possible the sustained and timely annual reporting of midwifery statistics of MANA Stats contributors. Capacity building is essential for the success of a future CPM study, which would triple the size of the MANA Statistics Project. Capacity- building projects include increased support staff (Data Doulas) to help midwives stay current with data submission and essential software work to allow the staff to handle the continually increasing flow of data. Funding from FAM would cover a portion of this work.
Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Research $5,000
Validation and Publication of the 4.0 MANA Stats Dataset
Validation is an important—perhaps the most important—step in the research process. The recent study by Cheyney et.al. in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, which reported outcomes for 16,924 planned home births in the US using the MANA Stats 2.0 dataset (birth years 2004-2009), would not have been published without its companion article on data validity. The MANA Division of Research is currently moving towards a model of Annual Reporting of birth outcomes—in other words, our vision is that every year a paper would be published in the peer-reviewed literature, detailing outcomes for MANA Stats births during the previous year. To accomplish this goal, we need to validate our current (4.0) data form. This validation project is currently underway with partial funding from other sources. We are requesting funding from FAM to provide the remaining portion of the funding for this crucial step in our research process.
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives $5,000
The MAMA Campaign: Policy Support
Every day in the U.S., women and babies suffer, even die, from the inherent irrationality and harmful practices of our current medical management approach to birth in the U.S. Women and babies of color suffer these consequences at many times the rate of the general population. Certified Professional Midwife care is proven to make a difference in the lives of childbearing women, improving quality, safety, and women’s experience of care, all the while saving significant health care dollars. H.R. 1976 (originally H.R. 1054), the Access to Certified Professional Midwives Act, recently re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2013, will open doors to full access to CPM care for all women, including low-income women insured by Medicaid. FAM grant funds will support the advancement of this important piece of legislation and increasing access to quality care for all childbearing women and babies.
We are very pleased to present these outstanding projects to you. Unfortunately, no grantees were funded at the amount that they requested. We can only give away as much as we raise. Please find more Birth Trustees among your friends, family, clients, and colleagues. FAM is working hard to bring more financial resources to the midwifery movement, but we need your help.