First – a big thanks to the participants of #BirthGenius chat #24, on how we can improve collaborations for maternal health care. As always, the insights of our community were powerful and thought provoking. (Here’s a transcript of the chat in case you missed it and a Twitter list of the #BirthGenius chat participants.)

I was inspired by our conversation to pull together some resources to spark an ongoing conversation.  Why? Because – as many have been saying, including Brynne Potter at the recent Midwives Alliance of North America conference – we in birth and breastfeeding have an enormous opportunity in the changes brought by health care reform right now.

As was made clear in our chat yesterday, birth and breastfeeding professionals see the need for and long for collaboration. This is just one way that our goals are aligned with a bigger movement in health care reform.

Many of the things we  – as doulas, midwives, lactation professionals, or doctors with a patient-centered approach – are doing right are *exactly* the things that are being called for as a part of health care reform at the national level. Things like being patient centered, cost-effective, innovative, and yes, collaborative.

There’s a big alphabet soup out there of new language, new acronyms, and new ideas – but they are worth learning about. Because if we can get aligned with what is happening on the national health care reform stage, we will have the power to make a difference in many, many more lives of women and their families. But we need to learn the language and get aligned with how the policy makers are speaking.

If you only have two minutes . . .

Then watch this presentation by Amy Romano (author of Optimal Care in Childbirth) that is a quick (really, I timed myself. 2 minutes.) and easy-to-watch primer on the trends in health care and how the midwives time is now. (If you aren’t a midwife – still watch. I bet it applies to your credentials too.)

If you have 7 minutes . . .

watch this video on the IHI triple aim. Ok, not as compelling as Amy Romano’s presentation, but you’ll quickly see that the aims – improved patient experience, improved health, lower cost – are things you’ve probably been doing for some time.

I know I have a lot to learn so I’m soaking up everything I can from those who are building bridges between maternal health advocates, health care reform experts, and the health care social media realm. We’ll be sure to keep sharing what we learn, and we hope you will too.

What are your favorite resources for connecting maternal health care to the larger health policy issues of the day?

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