Community organizations and professionals such as lactation consultants, doulas, social workers, childbirth educator, community health workers or promoters play a vital role in assuring healthy birth outcomes. They support families in the community after they leave clinical care and are often involved with local efforts for social change.

Get involved with your local perinatal coalition. Use the tools on this site and help spread the word among your network!

Promote text4baby among your clients – Have them pull out their phone and simply text “BABY” or “BEBE” to 511411 and follow the instructions. They will then be asked a few questions such as due date or baby’s birthday, their ZIP code (so they can track use nationally) and their language preference. After that they’ll start getting 2-3 free messages a week. Learn more at the text4baby site.

Share breastfeeding resources with your clients by referring them to Every Ounce Counts – the Texas breastfeeding campaign. There is a wealth of info on this site. This includes guidance about latching, personalized birth announcements, and education about the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby. There’s even a section for dads.

You can use the tools on this site, whether or not you work in a clinical setting. They have been used by home visitors, outreach workers and childbirth classes successfully.

Here is an overview of what’s offered and how they can be used by different professionals:

  • The Life Planning Tool can be used with women in the community, regardless of whether they’re planning pregnancy. They can map out their goals and reproductive life as they see it now. This is a living document, and as such it should change with the woman as she grows. Use it to help her develop a vision for her future, whether she is single and not contemplating pregnancy, between pregnancies or finished having children.
  • Your Birth Plan is for use with pregnant women or expectant couples. Use this tool to help your clients become educated about the birth process. They can also use the birth plan as a guide for their prenatal visits, particularly if they engage in group prenatal care or Centering®. Use the visits to cover different sections of the tool as the pregnancy progresses.
  • My Health Priorities Worksheet® is a conversation-starter. Use it to prompt questions they may have or to document issue they should bring to their clinician’s attention.
Resources

The March of Dimes Prematurity Prevention Resource Center offers info on prematurity prevention. Several toolkits for prevention of poor birth outcomes are housed here.

Continuing Education opportunities for professionals on topics such as breastfeeding, safe sleep, the importance of a 39-week gestation and other topics are available through Texas Health Steps Online Provider Education Modules and the DSHS Grand Rounds series. Learn more on the Continuing Education page.