The Perinatal Community Health Worker (PCHW) serve as a liaison between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. The PCHW is an agent of change, not only deeply affecting the lives of the people whom they serve and teach, but also helping to bring about changes in hospitals and obstetrical practices, encouraging more culturally appropriate care that is relevant to the families being served. PCHW’s extend the reach of providers into underserved communities, reducing health disparities, enhancing provider communication, improving health outcomes, and instilling lasting health knowledge.
The Perinatal Family Support Worker (PFSW) provides physical support and emotional guidance to new mothers and their families. The PFSW is a reference point, assistant, and culturally competent resource for the family in the prenatal and postpartum period. The PFSWs also facilitates access to services and community resources that will help to solidify and guarantee the success of the newly established family structure in the perinatal period. The PFSWs are educators, caretakers, and role models.
The Community Birth Worker (CBW) is a professionally trained childbirth assistant who sees the mother (and her partner if applicable) throughout her pregnancy, during labor, and after birth to provide emotional, physical, and informational support. Additionally, the CBW accompanies the women in labor to help ensure a safe and positive birth experience. During pregnancy the CBW assists the mother (and her partner) with exploring her concerns and preferences for childbirth and can offer suggestions for holistic and natural remedies for minor pregnancy discomforts. CBW’s have the added benefit of being able to support mothers with a range of psychosocial and economic factors. CBW’s traditionally work within medically unserved communities and are connected to community based organization, however, CBWs are provided with all the skills to practice independently.
The Lactation Specialist (LS) is a consultant trained to focus on the needs and concerns of the breastfeeding mother–baby pair and to prevent, recognize, and solve breastfeeding difficulties. LS services do not replace those of other healthcare workers; instead, the LS is an extender of maternal–child services. During pregnancy the LS provides anticipatory guidance with the expectant mother and her family, while exploring her concerns and preferences for lactation. In the postpartum, the LS serves a reference and support for the new mother, aiding her in success with her infant feeding goals. The LS can offer suggestions for holistic and natural remedies for minor discomforts and Mamatoto Village's LS have the added benefit of being able to support mothers with a range of psychosocial factors, while delivering culturally empathetic care. LS can work in a community based setting, in a clinic under the supervision of an IBCLC, or in independent practice.