Glossary of Terms
Someone you trust who is willing to act on your behalf as well as someone who can work well with other members of your healthcare team.
Anesthesia and Analgesia (pain relief)
Using medicine to prevent the feeling of pain or another sensation during surgery or other procedures that might be painful (e.g. C-section or in terms of childbirth, epidural).
Stimulating the uterus with medication during labor to increase how frequent, how long, and how strong the contractions are.
Baby Friendly Birth
Designed to optimize mother-baby bonding and to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in the first few days of a new baby’s life.
The baby comes out of the mother’s body.
A room in a hospital that is used for labor and childbirth and is designed to be comfortable and homelike.
Breast Feeding / Lactation
The action of feeding a baby with milk from the breast.
Cesarean Section (c-section)
When surgery is used to take the baby out of the mother. Doctors cut into the mother’s abdomen to get to the baby.
A disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal.
A procedure that involves making a small cut in the area between the vagina and the anus to enlarge the opening when the baby is about to be born. Episiotomy is not needed for most births and it may cause increased risk of severe tears.
Family Practice Doctors
Medical doctors who provide care during pregnancy, delivery, and following birth. Family practice doctors do not perform c-sections.
Detecting or listening to the unborn baby’s heart beat to check on their wellbeing while still inside their mother.
A tool shaped like salad tongs used to assist the doctor in bringing the baby outside the mother.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure greater than 140 over 90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or higher than usual for the pregnant mom.
Pregnancies with a greater chance of complications.
Induction of Labor
The process in which the baby and the placenta leave the uterus in three stages.
Maternal Fetal Medicine (Specialist)
A medical doctor that cares for high-risk pregnancies.
Normal Delivery / Birth
Labor started on its own, low-risk at the start of labor and remaining so throughout labor and delivery.
A healthcare professional who helps individuals, families, and communities to attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.
Medical doctors who specialize in care of pregnant and birthing mothers.
Allowing your body to go through labor naturally.
Getting care, taking care of yourself after giving birth.
Postpartum Warning Signs
Signs that something may be wrong and you should get checked out by your doctor or midwife, or go to the nearest emergency room.
High blood pressure, plus other possible signs and symptoms, which put mom and baby at risk for complications.
Health care you get while you are pregnant.
Provider or Healthcare Provider
A Midwife, Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant permitted (licensed) by the state to give a range of medical services depending on the training they received.
Care organized for and provided to all pregnant and birthing people in a manner that maintains their dignity, privacy and confidentiality, ensures freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continuous support during labor and childbirth.
When the baby stays in the room with you after you’ve given birth.
Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
Giving birth through the vagina without the help of tools to bring the baby out.
Vacuum Assisted Vaginal Delivery
When suction is used to help bring the baby out of the mother.
To make a prior examination and critical analysis, or detailed evaluation, of a document, a line of action regarding someone or people, etc.: If something is vetted, it is checked carefully to make sure that it meets the requirements that government officials have established regarding the quality of Maternity Care available in the local area.
Frequently Asked Questions about Black Coalition for Safe Motherhood and ACTT
1. What is the mission of Black Coalition for Safe Motherhood (BCFSM)?
BCFSM seeks to improve Black Maternal Health through promotion of healthcare advocacy and holistic community support of birthing people. BCFSM was established to promote the ACTT Curriculum in Black communities nationwide and beyond.
2. What Does ACTT mean?
ACTT stands for the steps you can take to improve the experience of medical care and potentially have better results.
Ask questions until you understand the answers
Claim Your Space – Physical and Mental
Trust Your Body
Tell Your Story
3. What is an ACTT Workshop?
Small groups of people are led by a trained ACTT Facilitator who guides the participants to practice speaking to medical professionals and staff to get the care they need and prefer. They role play responses to challenging situations and assert their rights to get the information needed to make their own health decisions. Meetings are virtual or in person.
4. How long is an ACTT Workshop?
1 to 2 hours depending on the size of the group.
5. Is there a fee to participate in an ACTT Workshop?
ACTT Workshops are either free or very low cost such as $5 to $10.
6. Does the ACTT Workshop give medical advice?
No medical advice is given to participants in any ACTT programs.
7.Who can participate in an ACTT Workshop?
Anyone can practice speaking up for oneself or for someone else in medical settings or during pregnancy and birth and beyond. Everyone in the Black community – preconception, pregnant or non-pregnant, spouses, partners, family, friends, coworkers, church members, and anyone who wants to be better prepared to support others in their health care journey can participate.
8. How can I have an ACTT Workshop in my area?
Check the Workshop and Training Calendar on this website and sign up by clicking on the link in the Workshop date you prefer. Or see the Facilitators’ page and connect to an ACTT Facilitator in your area to find out when they offer Workshops. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an event to fit your schedule.
9. How does an ACTT Workshop differ from an ACTT Facilitator Training?
An ACTT Workshop is an interactive, educational program offered in the Black community. An ACTT Facilitator Training is a 3-step process to prepare those who want to lead ACTT Workshops in their community.
10. Who can become ACTT Facilitators?
Community educators of all backgrounds can train as ACTT Facilitators and offer Workshops in their community for the people they serve.
11. What is the fee for ACTT Facilitator Training?
The fee is $175 and scholarships are available depending on the circumstances.
12. What is the process to become an ACTT Facilitator?
Step 1. Two hour ACTT Facilitators’ Training, including ACTT Workshop.
Step 2. One hour ACTT Curriculum and Slides Review and Q&A.
Step 3. ACTT Facilitator Trainee’s First ACTT Workshop is observed or cofacilitated by an experienced ACTT Facilitator.