If you’re interested in how I made maternal health advocacy a priority for Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and succeeded in advocating for the bipartisan Moms Matter Act, read on.
In this heartfelt journey of maternal health advocacy, it’s essential to emphasize a vital distinction: I’m not a lobbyist; I’m a mother. My drive to champion this cause is profoundly personal, born from the very experiences that motherhood has brought into my life.
As I navigate the daily challenges of parenting, I’ve come to understand the immense importance of maternal health. It’s about more than statistics and numbers; it’s about the well-being of mothers and children, the backbone of our society. My advocacy for maternal health is devoid of any financial interests or professional affiliations. I lack legal or policy expertise, but I make up for it with unwavering dedication and passion.
My sole agenda is to make a difference, to lend my voice to this crucial cause, and to inspire others, whether parents or citizens, to unite in our collective effort to enhance maternal health. Together, we can usher in a brighter, healthier future for all.
I partnered with maternal health organizations, healthcare professionals, and advocacy groups to forge a robust coalition of supporters. Among them, Mom Congress, an organization dedicated to supporting various pieces of maternal health advocacy legislation, played a pivotal role. In the last 12 years, Mom Congress has been instrumental in catalyzing the maternal mental health field, leading to the introduction and passage of seven state and federal maternal health advocacy bills and funding requests. They’ve achieved substantial progress, including the passage of bills like the Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act, PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, TRIUMPH for New Moms Act, and Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health.
The path to success in maternal health advocacy is marked by the steps we take, and here’s a guide to the actions that contributed to my maternal health advocacy journey:
Identify the Specific Maternal Health Legislation.
My journey began in 2019 when I joined Mom Congress and discovered the Moms Matter Act. This maternal health advocacy legislation aimed to fund programs that expand access to culturally congruent maternal mental and behavioral health care for pregnant and postpartum individuals. It resonated with me deeply.
Research the Congressman’s Background.
Before approaching Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger with my maternal health advocacy mission, I delved into his political stance and areas of interest. His prior support for maternal health-related bills indicated a shared passion for this maternal health advocacy cause.
Contact Their Office.
I reached out through the congressman’s preferred channel, using the contact form on his website, to articulate the vital importance of the Moms Matter Act for maternal health advocacy.
Build a Strong Case for Maternal Health Advocacy.
My maternal health advocacy efforts included a presentation that incorporated data, research findings, and personal stories, revealing the staggering impact of maternal mental health disorders and disparities, especially among women of color and those facing economic challenges. I underscored how this aligned with the congressman’s interests, linking maternal health advocacy to labor force participation, healthcare, and women’s rights.
After a productive meeting with Congressman Ruppersberger’s staff, I followed up by sharing my presentation via email and offering to be a trusted resource for maternal health advocacy facts.
This maternal health advocacy journey is a testament to the power of passionate individuals, whether mothers or citizens, coming together to advocate for meaningful change in maternal health. It’s a reminder that you don’t need a lobbyist’s credentials to drive transformation; all you need is dedication, perseverance, and a belief in the cause of maternal health advocacy. With patience and unwavering commitment, we can make a significant impact on the issues that matter most in maternal health advocacy.