As moms, we’ve all had our share of moments in the past year, which can sometimes make us feel like we come last. And yet, when moms support moms—especially with wellbeing and health—it can lift us up and empower us to all feel better together. In honor of Maternal Health Day, we’re going to be talking about ways to help support maternal health groups who are fighting every day for the health and empowerment of every #NJMOM. Debbie Vijayvergiya of The 2 Degrees Foundation and Nadia Hussain of MomsRising, will join us to talk about Maternal Health Day and what it means for us. They’ll offer ideas on getting involved locally to improve maternal health in every aspect, including maternal mortality outcomes, mental health support, and pregnancy and infant loss. So head over to our Facebook page on Tuesday at 8 PM and click on the videos tab on the left-hand side to watch. Send a quick hello in the comments, tell us how you’re doing, or ask us a question— we’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, answer our weekly poll, and you could be featured on NJMOM and News12 this week.
About Our Guests
Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya’s daughter Autumn Joy was born still in July 2011. Since then, Debbie has become a powerful advocate at both the state and national levels, working to improve stillbirth outcomes and raise stillbirth awareness. In 2013 Debbie co-founded the national organization Action for Stillbirth Awareness and Prevention Coalition to raise stillbirth awareness and helped draft New Jersey’s first-ever stillbirth legislation—The Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research & Dignity Act. Later in 2014, Debbie co-founded The 2 Degrees Foundation, an NJ-based organization dedicated to giving every family in the state a fighting chance against stillbirth. Most recently, she’s been working with healthcare professionals, key opinion leaders, and the Senate Majority’s Office to bring her vision for the first-ever stillbirth-focused center in the country to New Jersey. The Stillbirth Resource Center will use improved data collection and research to learn how to prevent these tragedies. Debbie is also a member of the Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group (SAWG).She resides in New Jersey with her husband and two children.
Smita Nadia Hussain is the Maternal Justice Campaign Director at MomsRising, where she led work on policy advocacy around maternal health, reproductive justice, healthcare access, mass incarceration, and police reform. She is the co-founder and current board member of the Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDi), a community initiative organizing with Bangladeshi women and girls in NJ. She serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as the Affiliate representative from the New Jersey ACLU Affiliate. She also serves on the ACLU New Jersey Board, where she acts as the board Equity Officer. Before this, she was Program Director at the Andrew Goodman Foundation, where she developed and led their Vote Everywhere program, focusing on making voting more systematically accessible for communities around the country. Nadia was also recently elected to serve on her local Board of Education, where she will begin her term as Commissioner starting January 2021.
How to watch
So grab a cup of tea or glass of wine and then meet us over on our Facebook page at 8PM this Tuesday, January 26th, by clicking the videos tab on the left-hand side of our page. And be sure to answer our quick poll (it’s just one question— you might be featured on NJMOM and News12 this week). To learn more about the work Debbie and Nadia are doing for maternal health, check out The 2 Degrees Foundation and MomsRising websites, their Facebook pages here and here, and their Instagrams here and here.