Elevating Women’s Voices: The 4th Trimester Team brought mothers and community leaders together through a two-year project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) For background information about the findings from the PCORI work with mothers and key findings, click HERE. Our current work is directly connected to what new moms told us they needed.
Catalyzing Change: There is much work ahead – from redesigning the postpartum health care delivery system to paid family leave. We are building a movement that prioritizes women’s experiences, strengths and needs. Women said they need more resources about postpartum health and recovery, more community support and better communication with clinicians and families. There is a clear and urgent need to demystify postpartum recovery and advance wellness through information sharing.
With support from the Global Health Foundation, the 4th Trimester Project is in phase one of using human-centered design to create and launch the first comprehensive, relatable, and integrated postpartum health and wellness information hub for women. In phase one, nearly 900 mothers and health care providers from every US State contributed their ideas and input through online and in-person focus groups so that the style, tone, and content of the site’s initial wire frame will be tailored, credible, and responsive to needs. Groups of new mothers have been participating in-person design sprints to make sure that they get what they need from this work/info site.
We need investment for phase two to build and launch this mom-designed online resource on Mother’s Day 2019. We aim to introduce the work in a few special communities, as well as at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists national meeting. With a tiered launch approach, the team will implement a comprehensive traditional, digital, and social media strategy that incorporates partners from national to hyper-local levels. Knowledge is power, and this resource hub is a tool to catalyze a new way of thinking, talking about, and experiencing early motherhood.
Phase three will allow for site expansion to include the addition of engagement tools, including storytelling of real-life scenarios and examples of ideal provider interactions. This process has already garnered attention through coverage by the Wall Street Journal. Continued publicity is expected, as we shift conversations about what it means to experience and support families through the postpartum period. This phase will also allow us to work directly with clinics, public health service programs (e.g. home visiting), and online mom communities to integrate the resources on the site into practice – creating a series of strategies for sharing the content broadly with the women who need it most. We want to support women in designing a 4th Trimester “seal of approval” for clinics, businesses and communities. Funds will also help us make sure that all moms in America know about the site. We believe that if we are true to human-centered design, this will be a site that mothers love and recommend – a place that can foster connections and conversations while sharing key information about postpartum health and recovery.
By the end of 2020, we hope to move into phase four of this work – movement building. Creating a resource designed by and for mothers answers a critical need and is the first step toward our ultimate goal to establish health care systems and social norms that value, support, and celebrate women in the 4th Trimester. As we grow our nationally recognized and respected reputation, the 4th Trimester Project will offer health care providers, businesses, and health care systems co-branding opportunities. We will create a 4th Trimester “seal of approval” that requires completion of training that we develop around core values and competencies. The Seal will identify places and people that women can trust to support them in their 4th Trimester journey, and it will incentivize providers, health systems, and business to transform service delivery and reshape the way we care for mothers.