Experts believe that social, economic and racial stresses play an important role in poor birth outcomes—babies born too early and too small—for African-American women. Within a culturally affirming environment and honoring the unique history of African-American women, Black Infant Health (BIH) aims to help women have healthy babies. Participants learn proven strategies to reduce stress and develop life skills. This is accomplished through a group-based approach with complementary case management. The group experience builds social support, which helps buffer the negative effects of stress and empowers participants to make positive choices in their life. Weekly group sessions help women access their own strengths and set health-promoting goals for themselves and their babies. Ultimately, this approach will impact not only themselves, but future generations of African-American women, infants and families.
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OUR GOAL: To improve African-American infant and maternal health, as well as decrease Black-White health inequities and social inequities for women and infants. .
WHO WE SERVE: African-American women who are 18 years or older and up to 30 weeks pregnant at the time of enrollment.
SERVICE DELIVERY: Services are provided by Family Health Advocates, Group Facilitators, Public Health Nurses and Social Workers.
OUTCOMES: Current science supports an empower-ment-focused, group-based intervention as a promising strategy for improving African-American women’s birth outcomes. BIH participants report.
Federal Title V MCH Block Grant Funds, Federal Title XIX (Medicaid) Funds and State General Funds.
The program includes empowerment-focused group support services and case management to improve the health and social conditions for African-American women and their families. Activities draw from promis-ing practices and are based on the findings of a 2010 comprehensive assessment of the BIH model.
Group Sessions: BIH provides 10 prenatal and 10 post-partum sessions designed to empower and support participants. Group sessions are offered in a culturally sensitive setting that respects participant values and beliefs. Attendees interact with other mothers and women who are pregnant. The sessions offer engaging activities from a women’s health perspective that explore pregnancy and parenting.