Moms & Babies First: Ohio’s Black Infant Vitality Program helps to reduce the number of low birth weight babies, infant deaths and sickness within the ethnic communities of Montgomery County. Our Certified Community Health Workers conduct regularly scheduled home visits, educating parents on prenatal and postpartum care, along with information/education on toddler health and care through age one. We also offer a Fatherhood component to engage the father throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, in 2016 there were 6.8 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in Montgomery County. Since 2012, the infant mortality rate has decreased by 15%. Although we’ve seen a decrease in the infant death rate, Black babies are dying at a rate more than 2 times higher than White babies (12.6 compared to 5.0 deaths per 1,000 live births) in Montgomery County.
Infant mortality is an important indicator of the overall health of a community. In 2015, Ohio had the 11th worst infant mortality rate in the U.S.; Montgomery County’s rate was higher than Ohio’s.
The goal of the Moms & Babies First program is to target women early in their pregnancies (preferably first trimester) who may have risk factors that can contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes. These risk factors include, but are not limited to: age, previous pregnancy with a poor outcome, homelessness, low income, under/uninsured, poor nutrition, smoking, abuse, etc. A risk assessment will be done prior to enrollment into the program.
Clients are scheduled for home visits throughout every stage of the pregnancy, and remain with their assigned Certified Community Health Worker until the child reaches age one.
Home visitation includes:
- Educating the client on each stage of the pregnancy
- Monitoring client understanding of health education received from clinics, social service agencies, etc.
- Continuous monitoring of the health status of the expectant mother and newborn
- Making referrals to various agencies for assistance
- Reinforcing positive changes in health behaviors
- Prenatal Education
- Healthy eating and nutrition
- What happened during each trimester of pregnancy
- How to care for yourself during pregnancy
- Labor and delivery education
- Postpartum Education
- Breastfeeding support
- Mom and baby care
- How to provide a safe sleep environment
- Follow mom and baby until age one
- Infant and toddler development
- Parenting skills
- Stress Reduction
- Family Planning
Eligible participants are pregnant women and girls, preferably in the first trimester (first three months) of pregnancy that may be at risk for a poor pregnancy outcome. Examples of poor pregnancy outcomes that could occur include low birth weight babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds, babies being born prematurely before 37 weeks, babies with seizures or growth delays.
- Immunization Clinic - The Immunization Clinic reduces and eliminates the spread of vaccine preventable diseases by providing immunization education and vaccination services.
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC serves families by providing nutrition education, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care and social service agencies and supplemental foods which promote good health.