My Love for Babies and Physical Fitness

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 My Love for Babies and Physical Fitness

By: Gilbert Barnes Carter III – Executive Director / Founder

The First Year Foundation Incorporated

I have always enjoyed having a genuine love for babies.  I had this love even when I was a young child myself.  I enjoyed doting on and playing with babies anywhere.  I would play with them in churches, grocery stores, schools, etc.  I realized in 2005 that this love had grown and manifested well before I had become an adult.  I learned then how high the infant mortality rate was in Shelby County overall.  I can say that infant mortality was the lone social problem that compelled me to continue to live in Memphis at that point in time.  I decided to stay here in order to provide support in the fight against it.

I became very active and engaged between the years 2005 through 2011.  I thought about how I could marry another love of mine, physical fitness, with my love for babies in order to be more effective.  I determined how I could do just that once I joined the planning committee of the Community Action Team (CAT) of the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Board (FIMR) within the Shelby County Health Department.  The execution of physical fitness by pregnant women was severely lacking here in Shelby County based on the information and statistics within the case studies of infant deaths we reviewed during the Community Action Team meetings.

The 2013 Shelby County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review report also contains more statistics that support the need for the emphasis and execution of fitness, health and wellness, and proper nutrition by women before, during, and after their respective pregnancies.

Obesity was a contributing factor in 21 cases of infant deaths.  These accounted for 38% of the total number of cases within the “Mother’s Medical / OB History” section of the Contributing Factors category.*

Obesity risks education was listed as a recommendation for reducing infant deaths in 25 cases.  These accounted for 45% of the total number of cases within the “Patient / Community Education” section of the Recommendations category.*

The importance of early and consistent prenatal care was listed as a recommendation for reducing infant deaths in 25 cases.  These accounted for 45% of the total number of cases within the “Patient / Community Education” section of the Recommendations category.*

The importance of proper nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy was listed as a recommendation for reducing infant deaths in 38 cases.  These accounted for 69% of the total number of cases within “Patient / Community Education” section of the Recommendations category.*

The importance of being healthy before pregnancy was listed as a recommendation for reducing infant deaths in 47 cases.  These accounted for 85% of the total number of cases within the “Family Planning” section of the Recommendations category.*

I founded The First Year Foundation Incorporated (…formerly known as Legs 4 Life Foundation Incorporated…) on October 26th, 2011.  We designed the “Complete Wellness 4 Mothers” community outreach program in response to learning of the statistics above.  This program is one of four community outreach programs that we will offer.  The emphasis within this program is to provide personal training exclusively for pregnant mothers who are within their first and second trimesters.  The special features of this program are (a.) classes in which healthy cooking and the execution of proper nutrition will be taught, (b.) a shuttle service for pregnant mothers to use, (c.) a walking program for pregnant mothers to participate in, and (d.) yoga classes for pregnant mothers to participate in.  (The pregnant mothers who are referred to us will be asked to submit a signed statement from their respective doctors prior to participating in this program.)

We hope to have a complete launch of the Complete Wellness 4 Mothers community outreach program in February.  We will post updates on our company website and social media pages.

Thank you for everything that you do for our babies!

Website: http://www.thefirstyearfoundationincorporated.org/

Facebook: The First Year Foundation Incorporated – http://www.facebook.com/TheFirstYearFoundationIncorporated?ref=hl

Google Plus: The First Year Foundation Incorporated – https://www.google.com/+TheFirstYearFoundationIncorporatedFirstYear4

Pinterest: The First Year Foundation Incorporated – https://www.pinterest.com/firstyear4/

Twitter: The First Year Fdn. – https://twitter.com/firstyear4  (@firstyear4)

*Source – 2013 Shelby County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review

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