On April 25 and 26, the Louisiana Perinatal Quality Collaborative (LaPQC) premiered the “Empowering Maternal Recovery: Stories of Compassionate Care from Louisiana” video series at the LaPQC Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Conference in Lafayette. The series brings awareness to substance use disorder (SUD) and treatment among pregnant and postpartum individuals. 

The videos show how nonjudgmental, compassionate and evidence-based care for pregnant women with SUD is possible in improving maternal health outcomes. Through powerful stories from patients and providers, these stories describe the importance of an intentional approach to treating individuals with SUD, particularly pregnant women. These videos showcase the power of recovery for pregnant women with SUD, benefiting them, their families and their communities. 

Based on the recently released 2020 Louisiana Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Report, accidental overdose was the leading cause of pregnancy-associated deaths and one of the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths. 

Substance use disorder is a treatable medical condition, and healthcare providers can play a critical role in supporting individuals affected by substance use disorders through stigma-free care and ensuring access to treatment options. Anyone, including providers, can visit opioidhelpla.org to find resources and support. 

The Louisiana Department of Health is highlighting the video series as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, which runs through May.

Follow the links below to view the videos; visit the LaPQC website for more information.

The series debuted at the LaPQC's annual Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Conference (PNQIC) in Lafayette last week, which was attended by 242 healthcare providers, nurses, midwives, public health practitioners, and community and patient representatives. The theme of this year’s conference was “Spreading and Strengthening the Connection," highlighting the importance of compassionate and trauma-informed connection with teams, patients and community. Attendees were educated on the importance of recognizing and healing from healthcare trauma; how to provide trauma-informed, patient-centered care; and best practices for screening and addressing both mental health and substance use disorders. 

The work of the LaPQC, a program of the Bureau of Family Health and an initiative of the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality, is dedicated to improving perinatal and neonatal outcomes across Louisiana. The LaPQC was created to promote evidence-based practices to reduce significant factors that contribute to poor birth outcomes. The Collaborative also focuses on promoting health equity and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.

To learn more about the LaPQC, please visit lapqc.org.