Updated: Feb 22
NATIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH: According to History.com, National Black History Month celebrates this year's theme, "Health and Wellness." This month's theme encourages us to learn, honor, and share "the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora " (History.com). Today, many Black and African American families face stark maternal and infant health disparities and inequities here in the United States. In a past blog post titled Birth Equity, CCCN highlights current birth inequities and shares resources for education, support, and advocacy outreach. "Achieving health equity - where every person has a fair and just opportunity to be healthier-must be the priority. Getting to this goal requires removing barriers to care such as poverty, discrimination, racism, sexism, and other societal ills (Taylor. J,Novoa.C,Hamm. K, and Phadke,S.), Birth Equity." Birthworkers, find out how you can engage in daily quotes and activities to reflect, learn, act, and speak up about racism by joining the PQI's Anti-Racism 28-Day Challenge.
AMERICAN HEART MONTH: February is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular conditions are the number one
cause of maternal mortality in the United States.
Conditions during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, preeclampsia can be defined as “persistent high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy or the postpartum period. It is often associated with high levels of protein in the urine or the new development of decreased blood platelets, trouble with the kidneys or liver, fluid in the lungs, or signs of brain trouble such as seizures and/or visual disturbances.” Visit the Preeclampsia Foundation’s web page for more information regarding preeclampsia, such as risk factors, signs and symptoms to be aware of and report to the provider, as well as treatment options.
Click here to view the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia to learn more.
Your healthcare provider will do routine checkups at your prenatal and postpartum care appointments for this condition. Contact your local care provider for any questions regarding preeclampsia and other conditions.
Visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute webpage for more information and resources about American Heart Month and use #preeclampsia and/or #hellpsyndrome on social media to raise awareness.
(Photo Credit: Preeclampsia.foundation on Instagram)
CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean) Awareness Month:
Visit the Web Resources on our website for Cesarean education and support, or simply visit the International Cesarean Awareness Network website. The network’s mission is “to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).”
Visit their webpage to find resources and ways to educate, advocate, and support cesareans and recovery.
Head over to the CCCN Member Directory for additional birth and wellness providers who can help support you before, during and after cesarean birth.
International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month: Prenatal Infection Prevention Month raises awareness about the infections that can pass from birthing person and baby. Visit the WIC Works Resource System web page to learn more about this awareness month and to find additional resources and support.
The CDC also has a web page titled, “10 Tips for Preventing Infections Before and During Pregnancy” which can also be a great resource to learn more about common infections during pregnancy.
Check out the SLO County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Public Health Agency as well as the Santa Barbara WIC Public Health Agency to learn about low-cost resources for nutrition education, healthy foods, and more.
Common viral and bacterial diseases during pregnancy include:
Vaginal yeast infections
Group B Streptococcus
Sexual & Reproductive Health Awareness Week: February 12th through the 16th recognizes Sexual and
Reproductive Health Awareness Week. What is Sexual Health?
According to the World Health Organization, Sexual Health is “...a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and mainted, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled” (WHO, 2006a).
Who is talking about sexual health?
Primary Care Providers
Mental Health Professionals
To learn more, visit this guide on sexual health. Also, visit the CCCN Member Directory for additional birth and wellness providers who can offer sexual and reporductive healthcare and resosources.
Authored in collaboration with:
Morgan Jamati, CCCN Intern
Zabrina Cox, CtP Program Director
Birth Equity, Blog Post
Disclaimer: The opinions or beliefs expressed by various authors on this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs, and viewpoints of Central Coast Childbirth Network, INC. Central Coast Childbirth Network, INC does not offer medical advice. The content on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author's opinions are based upon information they consider reliable; thus, Central Coast Childbirth Network warrants its completeness or accuracy and should not be relied upon as such.