The lack of pregnancy education and support networks for young, new mothers in high-need communities can result in adverse birth outcomes and, potentially, perinatal mortality. To reduce these risks and address the unique needs of the women in their community, Unity Hospital of Rochester Regional Health created the Healthy Moms program.
Healthy Moms is a community-based program that works to decrease premature birth rates and infant mortality, and increase moms’ self-sufficiency through education and employment. Pregnancy education classes and mental health treatment are provided to inner-city moms. The group programming format allows these women to build a support network with peers and engage in vicarious learning. Free transportation and childcare is also provided to moms in the program, eliminating barriers to engagement.
Pregnancy education graduates had a premature birth rate of 4.96%, a decrease of 47% from the reported inner-city rate of 9.37%. Mental health counseling during pregnancy resulted in a 42% decrease in premature births. There were no very premature births (>32 weeks) for pregnancy education graduates. Additionally, Healthy Moms has empowered community women by cultivating their self-esteem and self-worth.
Watch our video for a more in-depth look at Unity Hospital’s Healthy Moms program and its results.
For more information, contact Erin Pixley Thurston, Manager, Community Perinatal Programs, Rochester Regional Health, at (585) 368-3487 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.