Tag Archives: risk of miscarriage

Life Story Prenatal Care

CCHS logo

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.

Advertisements

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.

Birth Spacing Allows You to be Prepared

Vickie Porter

Birth Spacing

By: Vickie Porter, MSN-FNP

Shelby County Health Department Family Planning Clinic

901-222-9980

Oh, how wonderful and exciting it is to discover you are pregnant! You begin imagining what he or she will look like.  Will he/she have my eyes or dad’s nose or will he/she reach back into the family tree and get grandma’s green eye color.  Now, let’s fast forward… head in hands, tears flowing as you hear, “you’re pregnant” with child number three, ages 2 years, 10 months and now pregnant!!! This situation is fictional…or is it?

Whether you’re thinking about getting pregnant for the first time or you already have children, it’s important to think about family planning and your reproductive goals.  Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended.   Birth Spacing refers to the time interval from one child’s birth date until the next child’s birth date. There are many factors to consider in determining what is an optimal time interval between pregnancies.  Research has shown there are a number of issues which are more likely to occur when a woman is pregnant again within a year of giving birth. These issues include an increased risk of:

  • Low birth weight
  • Small gestational size
  • Preterm birth
  • Infant death
  • Labor issues such as uterine rupture

Medical professionals recommend new mothers wait at least a full year to have another baby – some even say to wait 2 years! This gives the mothers time to replenish vital nutrients that were lost during child birth and also the recovery time to allow organs to restore back to normal. It can also help ensure that new parents will have the energy and ability to focus on another child.

So, yes it can be exciting to be pregnant and anticipating the birth of a child but it is also a very stressful period of time for the whole family. Speak with your provider of care about a contraceptive method so that you can have a baby when you are physically and emotionally prepared.

Quitting Smoking: The Healthy Choice for Moms and Babies

shaylalawrence

Shayla Lawrence, MPH

Public Health Coordinator- Maternal Tobacco Prevention

Shelby County Health Department

 

Upon learning she is pregnant, an expectant mother typically does whatever she can to make sure she and her baby stay healthy. She may start eating more nutritious foods, try to reduce her stress, stay away from potentially unsafe medications and stop drinking alcohol. For some mothers, one of the biggest challenges during pregnancy is to quit smoking.

Smoking poses many risks to mothers and babies during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, create problems with the placenta, cause premature birth or low birth weight, and result in birth defects for the baby. Smoking during and after pregnancy also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a mother can do for herself and her baby during pregnancy. Quitting smoking can decrease the risk of the above mentioned health issues for babies, and it can also decrease the mother’s risk for many health concerns such as heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Other benefits include smelling better, breathing easier and saving money – very important when there is a new baby!

Shelby County mothers who are pregnant and smoke or who were smokers within three months prior to pregnancy can participate in a program that assists them with quitting smoking and staying quit. Baby and Me Tobacco Free provides education to mothers, and it also provides moms with free diapers for staying tobacco free. For more information on the Baby and Me Tobacco Free program, contact Shayla Lawrence at (901) 222-9268 or at Shayla.Lawrence@ShelbyCountyTN.gov.

baby&me logo