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Virtual Maternal Health Summit Session 1: Advocacy, Self-Advocacy, and Community Support

Pregnant people and mothers rely on partner and community support for their mental and physical health needs. Learn about ways you and your community can self-advocate and find advocates for families. Please join us for a panel discussion, breakout sessions and a resource share.

The Healthy Communities Initiative is hosting a monthly Virtual Maternal Health Summit this Spring. We invite new and expectant parents, caretakers and advocates to join us for conversations and breakout sessions about topics like mental health during COVID-19, maternal health equity, and access to care.

Registered participants will receive an e-mail with the Zoom link prior to the session. The panel discussion will be recorded and shared later on the Library's YouTube channel.


Breakout Sessions:

Know Your Rights: Advocating for Your Caregiving Needs At Work: This breakout will provide a broad overview of New Yorkers' legal rights to parental, caregiving, vaccine, and medical leave, as well as workplace pregnancy and lactation accommodations.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain self-advocacy strategies.  By knowing their rights, New Yorkers can safeguard their health and that of their families, without risking losing a paycheck.

Community Advocacy: Trauma and Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond: The Brooklyn Birth Justice Defenders invite you to a discussion around trauma and pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. How that trauma impacts Black people and how we can advocate for ourselves and communities. We will discuss: the history of trauma experienced by Black women at the hands of the medical industry; how trauma is current; how this impacts the way Black people experience pregnancy and childbirth; and how we can advocate for ourselves and our communities.

Breastfeeding, Doula Services and Lactation Support: Catherine Vautor-Laplaceliere is a certified Lactation Specialist and Doula. She brings over a decade of expertise in her fields assisting with births in Brooklyn and assisting with breastfeeding. In addition, she works with hospitals, clinics and various community partners to educate mothers and their partners about the benefits of breastfeeding and knowing their rights pertaining to breastfeeding. Join her to learn more about breastfeeding and how it has been impacted by the pandemic.

How to Advocate for Yourself with Your Maternal Health Practitioners: Join Nurse Sharon Petty for a workshop on self-advocacy in medical settings. Participants will learn how to develop mutual respect with a physician, discuss how to ask questions about your care, and work through what to do if you want to switch medical practitioners.


Parts of this program will be recorded and shared later on YouTube. Your image may be seen if you leave your camera on, if you ask a question your voice will be heard, and your name may be visible. We will provide ways for participants to ask questions if they do not wish to be idenitified. 

Join us for Session 2: Mental, Social-Emotional, and Physical Health on Saturday, May 22 at 11:00am and Session 3: Destigmatizing Reproductive and Maternal Struggles on Saturday, June 19 at 11:00am.

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