June 4, 2024

Reflections and Resources from the 2024 Learning Series

“We get cute baby pictures [from families we work with] pretty regularly and also updates about big life accomplishments. And it’s really thrilling to see how the goals that people have set when you first met them unfold a year, or two years, or even three years later, when you can say, ‘You accomplished what you set out for yourself when all these things were against you’…There’s so much pride in witnessing somebody getting the things that they wanted in life.” 

– Ash Woods, Harm Reduction Doula, from the May 15 session 

The WithinReach 2024 Learning Series: Pregnancy and Postpartum Support brought together fierce advocates for the needs of pregnant people and expectant caregivers, and the stories we heard from frontline providers, social service representatives, lobbyists, and parents with lived experience highlighted options and opportunities available to those experiencing crisis during what should be a joyous milestone. These first-hand accounts destigmatized the challenges our clients face and reminded us how much we can learn from their strength and resilience as we work to create a safer, more-equitable path forward for those giving birth in Washington. 

If you missed any of the series, please find links to the presentations and materials below. 

Views from Olympia on Advancing Maternal Health | May 1

Policy and advocacy work provide great opportunities to pass laws, establish or improve benefits and services, and secure funding to support prenatal and maternal health. In this panel, we heard from a range of people working in this space to improve prenatal and maternal health. 


Family Care Plans: Aligning Child Welfare and Community Pathways to Support Families Experiencing Substance Use Disorder | May 8

A Plan of Safe Care is a family-centered prevention plan designed to promote the safety and well-being of birthing parents and their infants with prenatal substance exposure. A Plan of Safe Care can strengthen protective factors, promote healthy development, and prevent child welfare involvement. This session featured an interview-style discussion about how the referral pathway to Help Me Grow offers wraparound services that help keep Washington state families together. 


Harm Reduction Doulas: Improving Health and Wellness for Pregnant People Who Use Drugs | May 15

Pregnant and birthing people who use drugs face unique challenges and barriers around receiving medical care and/or substance use treatment. Doulas offer emotional and physical support while their clients navigate social services, healthcare, and carceral systems while pregnant or parenting. This session featured an interview-style discussion with two full spectrum doulas on the benefits and challenges clients face when seeking care, and how we can collectively build community partnerships to overcome the bias and stigma associated with perinatal drug use. 


Culturally Matched Peer Support in Perinatal Mental Health | May 22

Perinatal Support Washington is a statewide non-profit committed to shining a light on perinatal mental health to support all families and communities. They support people in the emotional transition to parenthood, including those experiencing depression, anxiety, loss, infertility, trauma, and more. This interview-style discussion focused on the importance and value of culturally matched peer support in perinatal mental health. 


Making Connections for Fathers Toward Healthy Families | May 29

Early relational health is a framework that explores the role of early relationships and experiences in healthy development across a child’s lifetimeThis panel discussion reviewed why fathers are critical in child development, how they show up in our systems, and discussed ways we may increase inclusion of fathers to meet their unique needs. 


Hearing so many voices committed to lasting, positive change for some of our community’s most vulnerable was incredibly inspiring. These thought-provoking conversations challenging our biases and celebrating the strengths of those overcoming systemic barriers offered hope and actionable steps toward healthier futures.

THANK YOU to the speakers, sponsors, attendees and organizers who made this year’s series possible. 

To view sessions from previous years’ Learning Series, visit: 

2023 Learning Series – Early Support is Community Care

2022 Learning Series – Food Access is Community Care