The Alaska Maternal Child Death Review (MCDR) Program has established experience and capacity with identifying, reviewing and capturing data and prevention recommendations from the multidisciplinary review of maternal deaths from violence. This project will focus on implementation of recommendations generation through the maternal mortality review process with three major focus areas: support for community-based doulas, provider training, and collaboration with local experts in culturally sensitive communication of race- and gender- based data.
Activities related to community-based doulas will entail the development of an Alaska-specific curriculum by partnering with other Indigenous doula trainers from out of state to build capacity and support the next generation of Indigenous birthworkers in Alaska. The project will also provide payments to doulas in order to build capacity and increase the evidence basis while emphasizing these services for BIPOC women, birthing people from remote/rural regions separated from their communities while waiting to give birth in Anchorage, and postpartum people who, based on MCDR data, are at greatest risk of pregnancy-associated suicide. A third activity to help increase awareness about available birthworker support and to reduce isolation by connecting pregnant and postpartum people with doula services, talking circles, lactation counseling, and other resources will be a series of virtual gatherings featuring a traditional craft lesson with doulas available to provide support and information.
Provider training activities will be delivered in partnership with the Alaska Perinatal Quality Collaborative and will aim to enhance provider skills in screening, culturally sensitive communication and cultural safety, DV/IPV dynamics and recognizing signs and symptoms, crisis referrals and follow-up and coordination of care.
The third activity will involve collaboration with partners and community-based experts who can exchange knowledge and expertise to mutually enhance capacity with MCDR to provide technical and analytical support and the partner to provide input and feedback about sensitive approaches for communicating about race- and gender- based data, particularly with respect to violence against Indigenous women. The primary deliverable for this part of the project will be a joint publication on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls including information on maternal deaths due to violence.