Tag Archives: prenatal care

What’s Your Story?

what is your story question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

Do you have a story you’d like to share about the importance of prenatal care? Have you been involved in a successful program and want to share your story? Do you belong to an organization in Shelby County that could benefit others to ensure their baby is healthy? We are looking for personal stories for the IMRI blog, and we’d like to feature you as a guest blogger! Send an email to ShelbycountyIMRI@gmail.com and someone from our team will be in contact with you.

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Life Story Prenatal Care

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Life Story Prenatal Care

By: Meredith Pace, RN, BSN, MA

Christ Community Health Services

While Shelby County may have one of the highest infant mortality rates and preterm delivery rates in the nation, behind every statistic is a unique story.
At Christ Community Health Services we value each of the stories behind the statistics and desire to provide excellent prenatal care to women as they live bravely as the main character in their lives. This is why we currently use the Life Story Prenatal Curriculum, a group prenatal visit model with a Christian perspective.

Through Life Story, pregnant women come together for group prenatal care visits and form a supportive community in this thrilling new chapter of their lives—motherhood. Women like Latasha* and Michelle, who became friends early on in their Life Story group and walked together through the fears related to first time pregnancy. Women like Maya, who looked to her Life Story group as a place for encouragement and belonging as she experienced pregnancy without the help of a partner, or Anna, who was inspired to pursue her nursing degree after acknowledging her hopes in Life Story.

Life Story group prenatal visits consist of 8-12 women with similar due dates. There are 10 total visits during the course of the pregnancy, starting in the 2nd trimester. Groups are led by consistent co-facilitators, at least one of whom is a licensed prenatal provider, and a respectful, open environment is cultivated to make sure every one’s voice is heard.

Life Story operates from the belief that our individual physical health is affected by the choices we make, which are influenced by what we think about ourselves and how we relate to God. This prenatal model seeks to provide care for women’s physical health as well as mental, emotional and spiritual health.
We tend to mental and emotional health as we help women see the unique story of their lives and create a safe space for them to share their story. Personal assessments completed by the women each week specifically address these elements of health and help them evaluate the roles they fill. We introduce pregnant moms to the new story beginning with their expected child and highlight that all of our life stories are a subplot of God’s larger story of love for His children.

Through this understanding of God’s love we provide spiritual care as we process the significance of God’s story, His saving work for all, and the threads of His work in each of our stories/lives. As we discuss our life stories, we point out the ability for all people to change their life story—to work towards their hopes through choices and a relationship with God. Each session also includes a story about a character in the Bible with struggles and hopes to which we all relate. The stories are told in a refreshing, simple way that is both entertaining and engaging.

The actual medical assessments are conducted one-on-one with each patient behind a privacy screen at the beginning of the session while the other mothers eat snacks, visit, and begin the activities. Health and medical information is shared through games and other participatory activities after the individual assessments are completed. For example, we talk about the physical changes experienced by a mom in pregnancy through an altered version of the game “Pictionary”. The women review the signs and symptoms of preterm labor with interactive models. And interesting visual aids are utilized when discussing healthy eating habits. Life Story also connects new moms with resources and community programs designed for their specific needs.

Behind every health statistic in Shelby County is an important story and a valuable life. Through the Life Story Prenatal Care Program, Christ Community Health Services is honoring the stories of the strong, wise, and gifted women throughout the city. We consider it a privilege to journey with them into the new chapter of motherhood and it’s through honoring these individual stories we hope to change the statistics.

*All patient names changed to protect privacy.

Christ Community Health Services is currently enrolling new mothers for the Life Story Prenatal Care program in multiple locations.

Please contact Meredith Pace, Program Coordinator  at meredith.pace@christchs.org or (901) 260-8511 if you would like more information.

What’s Your Story?

what is your story question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

Do you have a story you’d like to share about the importance of prenatal care? Have you been involved in a successful program and want to share your story? Do you belong to an organization in Shelby County that could benefit others to ensure their baby is healthy? We are looking for personal stories for the IMRI blog, and we’d like to feature you as a guest blogger! Send an email to ShelbycountyIMRI@gmail.com and someone from our team will be in contact with you.

Decrease Your Risk of Preterm Birth

TDH

Decrease Your Risk of Preterm Birth

By

Rachel Heitman

Director of Injury Prevention, Infant Mortality Reduction and Death Review

Tennessee Department of Health

Did you know that 1 in 10 babies are born too early in Tennessee? In Memphis, 13.7% of all babies are born prematurely or before 37 weeks gestation. Preterm birth is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. When a baby is born prematurely, he/she might need special care in the hospital. The baby is also at risk for life long disabilities or death. Some steps that you can take to reduce your risk and improve your overall health when pregnant include:

1. Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use.

There is no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol can affect the fetus throughout pregnancy. It is best not to drink at all while you are pregnant. If you did drink alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, you can reduce the risk of further harm to the baby by stopping drinking.
Illicit drug use includes use of any illegal drugs in addition to the use of prescription drugs for a nonmedical reason. Drug use can interfere with the growth of the fetus and cause preterm birth and fetal death.

2. If you smoke, STOP.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals. When you smoke during pregnancy, those chemicals build up in your blood stream, which is the source of oxygen and nutrients for your baby. If you need help with quitting, call the quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

3. Get early prenatal care and attend all of your scheduled appointments.

Some of the largest risk factors for premature birth include high blood pressure, infections, abnormal uterus or cervix, and stress. By going to your provider early and often, these types of conditions can be tracked and monitored and possibly lead to preventing a preterm birth.
4. Learn the signs and symptoms of preterm labor.

The signs of preterm labor include pain in the belly, painful urination, decreased movement from the baby, backache, contractions, cramping, leaking fluid, increased abdominal pressure, increased vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to check in with your provider.

5. Ask your provider if you are a candidate for 17P.

If you have already had a preterm birth, you might be eligible for a medication called 17P. This medication is a weekly injection starting around the 16th week of pregnancy and continuing until 37 weeks pregnant. There are no known side effects for the baby. This medication has shown to lower the risk of delivering a preterm baby by as much as 33% for women that have had a previous preterm birth. If you would like more information about 17P, please talk to your OB provider.

6. Wait at least 18 months between pregnancies.

Take your time between pregnancies. Another high-risk factor for preterm birth is having less than 18 months between pregnancies. Infants conceived less than 6 months after giving birth have a 40% chance of being born premature. A longer time between pregnancies is important to help your body heal. To prevent pregnancy for at least 18 months, talk with your provider or local health department about birth control options. If you do become pregnant within this period, be sure to get early care from your provider.

7. Manage stress.

Increased stress puts you and your baby at risk for a preterm birth. Figure out what’s making you stressed and talk to your partner, a friend, family member or your health care provider about it.

8. Lead a healthy lifestyle before becoming pregnant.

If you are considering becoming pregnant, start your healthy lifestyle now. This includes exercising, eating healthy, taking a multivitamin, seeing your physician for a check-up, and getting any illnesses or chronic diseases under control
The following links provide more information on prematurity.

http://kidcentraltn.com/article/premature-babies

http://www.marchofdimes.org/premature-babies.aspx

http://www.acog.org/Womens-Health/Preterm-Premature-Labor-and-Birth

Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Shower

Merry Christmas Baby shower flyer - Dec 12 2015On Saturday, December 12, 2015, Tennessee State Rep. G.A. Hardaway Sr. will host the Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Show from 10am to 2pm at Orange Mound Community Center. Part of the fight against infant mortality, this event celebrates our youngest citizens. We expect 150-200 expectant and new mothers and fathers to come out. The registration site for parents and parents-to-be is https://mxb-community-baby-shower.eventbrite.com. The email address for registration is merryxmasbaby901@gmail.com.

Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Shower
Saturday, December 12, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Orange Mound Community Center
2572 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38114

What’s your story?

what is your story question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

Do you have a story you’d like to share about the importance of prenatal care? Have you been involved in a successful program and want to share your story? Do you belong to an organization in Shelby County that could benefit others to ensure their baby is healthy? We are looking for personal stories for the IMRI blog, and we’d like to feature you as a guest blogger! Send an email to ShelbycountyIMRI@gmail.com and someone from our team will be in contact with you.

My Love for Babies and Physical Fitness

First Year Logo 3.0

 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