Research and experience from the field all point to the importance of improving women’s health before, during and after pregnancy as a means to improve perinatal outcomes and reduce infant mortality. To improve women’s health, we assess participants’ needs and work to ensure their access to comprehensive medical, social, behavioral, educational, and support services.
Our Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner provides clinical services that fill a gap in prenatal care for women who are waiting for medical insurance or a medical appointment. Care is provided either in-home or at the center. Services performed include physical exams; pregnancy tests, testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis and HIV. Appropriate follow-up treatment is given, both directly and in coordination with Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc.’s case management staff and the client’s primary medical provider. The team provides services between pregnancies, which includes family planning education and the dispensing of birth control and performs initial evaluations of client’s often urgent needs.
Reproductive Life Plan
The CDC recommends that everyone, both female and male, develop a reproductive life plan. The benefits of reproductive life planning on maternal and infant health, as well as every woman’s hopes and dreams, are internationally recognized by authorities such as the World Health Organization. We work with our parents to think about their future dreams—education, employment, health goals—and help them choose the goals they want to work on as well as plan on how they want to go about getting them done.
Belly Buddies™ offers a unique approach to maternity care. Pregnant women, with similar delivery dates, meet for 10 weeks to reduce stress, receive prenatal care information and share experiences. The groups create an environment of trust and sisterhood, as the women discuss valuable information about pregnancy, risk factors, parenting and concerns. Stress reduction activities include yoga, knitting, and massage therapy; educational classes include positive parenting, nutrition, and childbirth.
Sister Circle is a program for Healthy Family America participants to address the emotional, spiritual and health needs of women through monthly meetings. Stress-reduction activities include mask and jewelry making, trips to DC, and yoga classes.
We provide a series of screenings, following national guidelines, across the life course. At enrollment we screen for smoking, intimate partner violence, and depression. We continue to provide screenings throughout pregnancy and beyond to make sure that our families and providers have the information they need to make decisions about their health care.
Breast Feeding Support
Our Breast Feeding Support group is a program for pregnant and new moms to learn about breast feeding and get support from one another.