Maternal & Infant Health
Article

A new tool to promote safe birth spacing in Ohio

October 19, 2020
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By Guest Authors: Melissa Federman, Lisa Amlung Holloway and Lauren Sogor  

Maternal and child health outcomes improve when pregnancies are spaced at least 18 months from the previous birth. Ohio is behind the national average with safe birth spacing with 63 percent of births safely spaced, compared to 67 percent nationally. Too few health care professionals feel comfortable and prepared to discuss birth spacing with the women and families they serve, even if they often discuss contraception and family planning more broadly.

 Ohio is behind the national average with safe birth spacing.

To help fill this gap, The Center for Community Solutions, in partnership with the Ohio March of Dimes (MOD) and Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS), recently created a training about birth spacing for women’s and community health providers. It includes basic information and statistics on birth spacing in Ohio, tips for talking about the issue with different audiences, and guidance for the presenter on additional resources and preparing for presentations. This new tool can be used in a variety of settings and with a variety of audiences, including clinicians and community health workers.

 Too few health care professionals feel comfortable and prepared to discuss birth spacing with the women and families they serve.

To inform the training, Community Solutions and ACS interviewed subject matter experts from around the state of Ohio, who confirmed that the topic is important, it’s a good way to open conversations about maternal and infant health, and there is low knowledge among patients and clients.  

These conversations were rich and the insights are published here.  

Here is a link to the webinar of the training presented by Robyn Lutz of Ohio University to community health workers. It can be reviewed as a primer before facilitating the presentation.  

The Ohio Birth Spacing training slides are available here. There are embedded notes for facilitators with additional information and suggestions. The slides are intended to be customizable for different audiences.  

For more on birth spacing, check out this piece in our Status of Women project.  

We welcome your feedback!  

Lauren Sogor is Senior Strategist at Advocacy and Communication Solutions Lisa Amlung Holloway is Ohio Mission Director for March of Dimes Melissa Federman is an Independent Consultant

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