Series Overview

Maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S. is rising, and Black birthing people experience the greatest risk. This growing crisis in maternal health equity underscores the structural and systemic racism that has disproportionally impacted birthing persons, families, and communities of color. In reality, eighty percent of maternal deaths are preventable. Given the deep relationship-building that happens within home visiting, home visitors and the organizations that support them have a key role to play in reducing disparities and helping new families thrive.

This three-part learning series is offered free of charge and will build home visitor skills in supporting people who are pregnant and/or have recently given birth. The webinar content is designed around the Perinatal Maternal Health Promotion Model and will include information about physical recovery, maternal health warning signs, mental health and wellness, maternal and home visitor self-care, and systems of social support. The series is grounded in racial equity and social justice. Speakers will bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds to each webinar and offer action steps for change.


This series is open to anyone who provides care and service to birthing people and new families, with particular emphasis on home visitors, home visiting supervisors, birth justice advocates, doulas, and health care providers.


Registration for this learning series is free of charge. You can register for each webinar using the button below.

Register Now

Dates & Focus Areas

Three live webinars held on the following dates:

Webinar #1: Physical Recovery, Anticipatory Guidance, and Maternal Health Warning Signs | Tuesday, May 23, 2023 from 11-12pm CT (speakers: Kimberly Harper and Dr. Narges Farahi. Moderated by Sarah Verbiest. Supported by Suzanne Woodward)

The series will start with an introduction to maternal health equity and the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. This webinar will then focus on key postpartum health concerns, the importance of offering anticipatory guidance and planning, and how to be advocates with birthing people to get the care and attention they need.

Webinar #2: Maternal Mental Health and Self Care | Tuesday, June 27, 2023 from 11-12pm CT (speaker: Karen Sheffield-Abdullah. Moderated by Sarah Verbiest. Supported by Kimberly Harper)

The second webinar will focus on the unique mental health challenges that birthing people experience, including birth trauma, hormonal changes, and stressors due to poverty and stigma. Speakers will share strategies for shifting mental mindsets, providing culturally competent care, and advocating for mental wellness for families and the people who serve them.

Webinar #3: Building and Mobilizing Support
| Wednesday, July 26, 2023 from 11-12pm CT (speakers: Dr. Natalie Hernandez and Stephanie Baker. Moderated by Sarah Verbiest. Supported by Suzanne Woodward)

The final webinar will center the social and economic support needed by birthing people and their families. Content will include how to identify and collaborate with all members of the new parent’s support team, anticipatory guidance, addressing the social determinants of health, and identifying ways to partner with families in your community to build stronger, equitable systems of care.

Each webinar will be recorded and will be posted to the Start Early website. 

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will deepen their understanding of the postpartum experience including historical and systemic challenges and barriers to maternal well-being and health equity nationally and in their communities.
  • Participants will identify strategies and action steps that can improve maternal well-being and health equity for the families they serve.
  • Participants will identify strategies to facilitate community connections to better partner with parents and families in receiving the supports and attention they need to survive and thrive.

Webinar Resources

Webinar #1 Resources

Webinar #1: Physical Recovery, Anticipatory Guidance, and Maternal Health Warning Signs

Use these helpful tools and resources coming out of Webinar #1:

Meet Our Event Speakers

Research-Based Learning Experiences for Home Visiting Professionals

Learn about additional Start Early professional development for home visitors, doulas and family support practitioners, including The Essentials of Home Visiting, which offers accredited online courses that can be mixed and matched to create custom training solutions for family professionals across all home visiting models. 

Baby in High Chiar
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