Calhoun County Message
about Pregnancy Health Education
The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of children less than one year of age per 1,000 live births. Historically Calhoun County’s IMR has been higher in comparison to other counties in the State of Michigan. Many babies are born prematurely and/or have low birth weight. In 2013 Calhoun County’s Infant Mortality Rate was 6.5 compared to the State’s rate of 7.0. Calhoun County has been developing a goal of an integrated, coordinated model of care for women of childbearing age – with an emphasis on the pregnancy and birth experience. With this coordinated model of care, Calhoun County’s IMR for 2016 was 3.6 and the State’s IMR was 6.4. We are committed to continuing a model of care that will improve birth outcomes while providing women with the pregnancy and delivery experience they want and need.
Through focus groups, Turning Points presentations, and surveys, women in Calhoun County have expressed their desire to be healthier, to know and understand their bodies better (especially during pregnancy), and to get connected to available services and resources. Pregnant women want to know what to expect during pregnancy and delivery and they need guidance and health information in a way that works for them.
To better coordinate care for all pregnant women of Calhoun County, regardless of socioeconomic status, consistent health information is provided during and after pregnancy. We are doing that in two ways—through CenteringPregnancy and this website.
Centering Pregnancy (offered at Grace Health OB/GYN)
CenteringPregnancy is prenatal care that includes an individual health check up with additional time and attention in a group setting. Women with similar due dates come together with their health care provider. CenteringPregnancy groups provide a dynamic atmosphere for learning and sharing that is impossible to create in a one-to-one encounter. Hearing other women share concerns which mirror their own helps the woman to normalize the whole experience of pregnancy. Groups are empowering as they provide support to the members and increase individual motivation to learn and change. CenteringPregnancy has proven to decrease the rate of low birth weight and gestational age of mothers that deliver preterm, and improved patient satisfaction.
Participants of CenteringPregnancy receive a notebook that covers a range of topics every pregnant woman is interested in from the first changes to labor and birth. This resource helps women and their partners explore a wide range of topics including nutrition, exercise, stress management, breastfeeding, infant care and more. Self-assessment sheets and goals make it easy for women to track their progress.
Born To Be
Born To Be is Calhoun County’s healthy babies initiative. It was developed to ensure that all organizations serving pregnant women in Calhoun County are providing the same information in a consistent way to improve birth outcomes. Born To Be is intended to provide consistent messaging and resources focused on healthy pregnancies, healthy moms, healthy babies, and healthy families. This website (www.borntobehealthy.org) is the place to go for information on Calhoun County’s maternal and infant health programs, services, and available resources. While our target population is pregnant women, their support person(s), and families, and any organization that serves them, anyone can access the website. Organizations can reference our communities’ messages about various maternal and infant health topics, see what materials and resources are available for their use/distribution to clients, and where to go or who to contact for specific resources.
This ensures that all organizations serving pregnant women and families in Calhoun County are providing the same information and using the same resources.
A Coordinated Approach to Pregnancy Health Education
Centering Pregnancy is offered at Grace Health OB/GYN. The goal is for all pregnant women receiving care in Calhoun County to have access to Centering Pregnancy and the Born To Be website.
A coordinated approach will help us to achieve the following goals:
- Provide comprehensive and easy-to-read health information that provides guidance during pregnancy and serves as a catalyst for learning and family literacy.
- Help put everyone on the same page – physician/provider and staff, patient and their families/support, home visiting programs, and other health and human service agencies.
- Allow everyone to reference the information, with consistent messages about prenatal health and parenting.
- Enable (service and healthcare) providers to integrate health literacy and cultural competency tools into daily interactions with clients that will improve patient communication and compliance.
- Empower parents to ffectively navigate the healthcare system and become better advocates for themselves and their families.
- Assist in getting key messages to target population at least seven times prior to delivery. Research shows that (on average) it takes seven times of hearing a new message for someone to believe it AND consider changing their behavior.
To learn more about the Zika virus and pregnancy click here.