Learning about the Maternal and Child Healthcare with IWES

“Learning about the Maternal and Child Healthcare with IWES”

by Pooja Talati

After a semester away, I’ve enjoyed returning to the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies and continuing to work with Meshawn and the Maternal and Child Health Division. I’ve continued working on the projects I was involved in over the summer, making final edits to a Community Breastfeeding Report to inform the New Orleans maternal and child health community about birthing people’s experiences with breastfeeding and continuing to transcribe interviews for My Body. My Voice. My Baby.. My Support, a qualitative study conducted to understand the racial disparities in maternal and child healthcare in the New Orleans community. One interview in particular that I transcribed was a nurse who formerly worked in the hospital system as a labor and delivery and postpartum support nurse in New Orleans and then worked at Nurse-Family Partnership, an organization run by the Louisiana Office of Public Health that sends nurses to the homes of expecting mothers to provide support and advice through the pregnancy process continuing through the child’s second birthday. Having the opportunity to learn about support systems like Nurse-Family Partnership has been invaluable, as it has expanded my understanding of the healthcare system and resources for birthing people outside of the hospital structure.

This semester, I’ve also had the chance to learn more about lactation consulting in Louisiana, as well as insurance reimbursement procedures (or lack thereof) for this service. While educating myself on this service that I knew very little about at the beginning of the year, I’ve also been able to try my hand at a new form of writing. I’ve been working on writing a policy brief in support of legislation requiring that insurance companies reimburse families for lactation consultants, in addition to creating a couple of infographics on the topic to promote awareness about the benefits of lactation consulting in the New Orleans healthcare community. I look forward to continuing this work, along with other projects, this summer as I continue my internship with IWES!