Tuesday, January 8, 2013
New and expanding families cannot be neatly explained by statistics like birth rates. In your story, “Better Health the Newborn Goal,” (Jan. 2) Pitt County Health Director Dr. John Morrow said, “What you really want is healthy natural births delivered to well-prepared parents and healthy moms that desire a pregnancy and are spaced appropriately.”
And we completely agree. Nurse-Family Partnership helps mothers achieve Morrow’s vision. The program, implemented by the Pitt County Health Department since 2009, works by pairing low-income, first-time moms with registered nurses who work together to help program participants become well prepared parents.
Nurses meet with mothers in their homes starting early in pregnancy to teach and hone the skills and behaviors necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Once the child is born, nurses work with mothers to ensure children achieve important developmental milestones and that mothers reach their own personal goals.
As your story so clearly explained, short intervals between pregnancies can not only raise the risk of complications, but also compound the economic and societal pressures on the family.
Research proves that NFP is effective in limiting these short interval pregnancies and increasing the economic self-sufficiency of the family.
In fact, 73 percent of NFP mothers have no subsequent pregnancies when they complete the nearly three-year program and more than half successfully enter the workforce. The program has also been proven to reduce families’ dependence on public assistance.
As we enter a new year, let’s renew our efforts so that every Pitt County family has a chance to succeed. After all, it takes a village.
DR. SHEILA BUNCH
Professor and Director
School of Social Work
East Carolina University
via The Daily Reflector.