The JJ Way® Model of Maternity Care
The goal of The JJ Way is to eliminate racial and class disparities in perinatal health and improve birth outcomes for all. Key objectives of The JJ Way® are for pregnancies to reach a gestation of 37 weeks or greater and for newborns to have a birth weight of 5 lbs. 8 oz or greater, for women (and their families) to bond well to their babies and to start and succeed at breastfeeding. The JJ Way’s innovative model builds on the strengths of the Midwives Model of Care to reach a population that does not typically seek midwifery services.
The JJ Way in action at The Birth Place/ Easy Access clinic from Erika Rydell on Vimeo.
Essential Components of The JJ Way®
- Freedom of Choice: Labor and delivery can take place in any location the woman feels most comfortable. We take the fear of unmedicated or out-of-hospital childbirth out of the equation. We work with our physician partners to ensure a smooth transition of care for women who prefer to birth at the hospital.
- Self-Reliance: The mother participates as an equal partner, with knowledge presented at her level. We offer practical suggestions that support self- reliance. All along the way, we recognize and acknowledge the woman as completely capable of fulfilling the role of motherhood.
Each client carries her own mini-health chart -- our prenatal care passport card. Every visit, lab result, and appointment is logged, plus 24-hr contact and signs of premature labor. The client takes her passport card with her to any doctor visits and when she goes to the hospital in labor, helping to ensure continuity of care.
- Easy Access: From the moment a pregnant woman enters the clinic, a team member greets her warmly. This immediate connection is a simple but critical part of the accessibility of the practice. No one is turned away, and this reputation in the community makes it easier for women to take the first step of entering the clinic. Once there, she has access to the entire staff team for questions, support and medical care. She will leave having had a prenatal exam and having established a maternity medical home.
- Team Approach: Each staff member has a role to play, from the receptionist who greets each woman by name when she walks through the door, to the office manager who knows every client. Family members, the father of the baby, and friends are also brought in as part of the mother’s team. Together all members are engaged in the explicit goal of helping the mother achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
Weekly staff meetings include every employee, and the team discusses each client. At staff meetings, everyone is kept informed about each client’s situation and is engaged in the case management process and plan. We then work to deliver consistent health messages and expectations.
A client often develops a bond with a particular staff member. We capitalize on that special connection by allowing that team member to play a larger role in delivering information and providing support, even if she is not in a medical role. Each team member always has the support and insight of the entire team.
- Connection Creation: We work hard to promote prenatal bonding not only between mother and baby, but also with the father, siblings, extended family, friends, and clinic team members; our team approach builds the social capital of each woman, ensuring success beyond her pregnancy and delivery.
- Gap Management: The team works together to identify any gaps or barriers the client is facing and begins 'gap management' triage. We then work to provide practical solutions based on the real life situation of each woman and engage all pertinent team players and outside resources in the process.
- Education: We inspire knowledge through alternative approaches to teaching, with peer educators, and by making waiting room time learning time, often in groups with an informal, friendly feel, yet still thorough. Through our 'gap management' and team approach, we tailor educational messages and delivery approaches to the clients. Also, we focus on post-partum education, including providing breastfeeding support and family planning information. Knowing that short inter-pregnancy intervals are associated with low birth-weight and prematurity, we teach women the importance of letting their bodies rest between pregnancies and help them establish a plan for birth control.
The JJ Way® is a maternity model of care that is adaptable to any type of practice or provider including nurse-practitioners, physician assistants, and family practice doctors who wish to decrease health disparities, improve perinatal outcomes, and increase staff morale. Our staff members know they are making a difference in the lives of families and communities. Learn more about The JJ Way® here