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Region 5 Blog February 6th, 2023
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Program Opportunity: “Laboring with Hope” to Improve Awareness of Maternal Health Disparities

Posted by on January 13th, 2023 Posted in: Equity Diversity Inclusion, Health Disparities, Health Equity, New from NNLM Region 5, Public Health

Image of a line drawing of a Black woman who is pregnant.The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Region 5 is offering an opportunity for NNLM members in Region 5 to host a viewing of the 30-minute documentary, Laboring with Hope for their communities. This program is intended to improve awareness of maternal health disparities and create opportunities to share reliable health information.

Going through pregnancy and delivery should be a joyful time and a safe experience. However, for many women of color this is often not the case. Black women have higher rates of complications, and according to the CDC, are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women.  

Laboring with Hope is a 30-minute documentary on maternal morbidity and mortality among Black women. The film combines personal stories and expert perspectives to provide a call to action to implement, support, and uplift strategies to improve maternal health and birth outcomes. More information about Laboring with Hope, including a trailer, is available from the producer.

Laboring with Hope was produced by Six Dimensions, whose owner and CEO, Dr. Nakeitra L. Burse, presented the webinar “Storytelling as a Public Health Strategy to Address Inequities in Maternal Health Outcomes” as part of the PNC-MLA Health Equity and Diversity Speaker Series. Region 5 is offering access to Laboring with Hope through April 30, 2023 in response to interest expressed by attendees during Dr. Burse’s well-received webinar.

Submit your request to host an in-person or virtual viewing of Laboring with Hope at your library or organization.

Consider hosting a discussion after the film with your community or colleagues using the accompanying discussion guide, inviting a local expert to talk about maternal health in your community, or using the film to support a book discussion of a title from the NNLM Reading Club’s Black Maternal Health selections. There are no costs associated with this program opportunity for your organization, and all NNLM Region 5 members are welcome to submit a request to host a viewing of the film (we are not able to honor requests from NNLM members outside of Region 5). We will review your request, and send a program toolkit containing:

  • a link to access and stream Laboring with Hope
  • a discussion guide created by the producer
  • a customizable handout with health information resources on maternal health for your community

Requests to host a viewing of the film will be accepted on an on-going basis through April 14, 2023. Access to the film is available through April 30, 2023. Region 5 members who show the film will be asked to submit a brief report on their event by April 30, 2023.

Questions? Contact Emily Hamstra (ehamstra@uw.edu), NNLM Region 5 Assistant Director.

Image of the author ABOUT Emily Hamstra
Emily Hamstra is the Assistant Director of NNLM Region 5.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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