What Are Informant Interviews?

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Welcome Families, Friends, and Loved Ones Affected by Maternal Loss

The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health (BFH) made this page for families, friends, and loved ones affected by maternal loss (also known as maternal mortality) who have been asked to share their stories through informant interviews. Maternal mortality impacts everyone. When someone passes away, families are changed forever. To make things better, we need everyone’s help. Our goal is to make healthcare better for pregnant people in Louisiana, which will also make our communities better.

About the Louisiana Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

The Louisiana Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) is a program of the Bureau of Family Health established with approval from the Louisiana Commission on Perinatal Care and Prevention of Infant Mortality (Louisiana Perinatal Commission). PAMR helps us to learn about and prevent maternal mortality in Louisiana. To reduce maternal deaths, our PAMR Committee reviews all maternal deaths and suggests ways to prevent them in the future.

Our Goal

The goal of Louisiana PAMR is to keep women and families in Louisiana healthy. We do this by gathering lots of information about the events leading up to and around deaths that happen during and after pregnancy. We share data about the deaths in a report and suggest ways to prevent other pregnancy-associated deaths. Pregnancy-associated deaths include deaths directly related to pregnancy, and deaths where the connection to pregnancy is not clear. Louisiana PAMR supports efforts to make changes, and bring new ideas at all levels, from individuals and families, to hospitals and communities.

How We Work

Louisiana PAMR looks at pregnancy-associated deaths to find ways we can all work together to prevent future deaths. Here’s how:

Step 1

We look at all cases of women who passed away during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy, no matter what the cause. This includes deaths directly connected to pregnancy, deaths somewhat related to pregnancy, and deaths where the relationship to pregnancy is not clear.

Step 2

We gather information from different sources to try to get a picture of each person’s life before they became pregnant until they passed away. Our committee discusses each person fairly and respectfully, without using their name or any other identifying information. We think about why some moms may have faced more problems than others, how racism or unfair treatment may influenced where they lived and got help, and how helpful their doctors were. Then we talk about each and every way to prevent this from happening again.

Step 3

After looking at all of the cases and all of the ways to prevent deaths from occurring, we write a report. Without sharing any identifying details, the report talks about what we found and how  to prevent future deaths. We share the report with doctors, hospitals, communities, and lawmakers.

Capturing Your Loved One’s Story Through Informant Interviews

We believe every story matters. We want to lift the voices of families and communities who have experienced this kind of loss can help us prevent mothers dying in the future. Connecting with families that have experienced this loss helps us learn how we can prevent mothers from dying in the future. By hearing from people like you, we hope to understand the impact of maternal death on families, their communities and turn these life experiences toward positive change in maternal health. We invite you to join us in advocating for a future where no family must go through the sadness of maternal death.

Here's what you should know:

The Bureau of Family Health has a licensed social worker who talks to families to learn more about how maternal death has affected them and their communities. In these talks, our goal is to understand the issues women may have faced while pregnant, during pregnancy, birth or afterwards. Through these stories we can recommend positive changes in how healthcare systems, providers, and communities in Louisiana take care of moms. 

Talking to families is important for us to learn how to prevent moms from dying. When a mom dies, it leaves a big hole, not just in her family but in the whole community.  By understanding what happens when a mom dies, we can work better with others across the state to prevent it from happening to other families. 

The stories shared by family members are powerful. Our talks with families help them become a voice for change.  Informant interviews allow family members to share their loved one’s story, honor their memory, and contribute to a bigger conversation about improving maternal health.

The conversations we have with our families help  our PAMR Committee members understand information that we may not find in medical records alone. These talks help PAMR Committee members understand data from other sources. With the information families provide, we can look at their loved one’s story with a better understanding. 

The information from our talks with families help us figure out ways to prevent similar situations from happening to another family. By understanding the situations around these deaths, we can better focus our recommendations to improve maternal health.

Questions about Interviews? Please contact:

LeJeune Johnson, LCSW
Informant Interviewer

Questions about Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review? Please contact:

Anjell DeGruy, BSN, RN
PAMR Coordinator 

For more information about the Louisiana Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review, visit https://ldh.la.gov/page/PAMR.