GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – Women who give birth to babies without the benefit of prenatal care are three times mores likely to deliver a low birth weight baby, said Charmain Purdum with the Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality.
“Low birth weight is the leading cause of infant mortality in Guilford County,” Purdum explained. “Healthy women are more likely to give birth to healthy babies, and that’s our ultimate mission.”
Last month, the county's award-winning Adopt-A-Mom program helped its 6,000th mother get prenatal care when she otherwise might not have been able to afford it.
The program is in its 25th year and is designed for pregnant women who are denied Medicaid but don’t have prenatal coverage under their insurance or don’t have health insurance at all.
Prenatal care costs an average of $2,700.
Healthy pregnancy resources: http://www.guilfordchildren.org/parents-caregivers/healthy-pregnancy/
“If you get denied from Medicaid and you don’t have the funds at that moment, at that time, what would you do?” pointed out Shazma Khan, a Guilford County mother-of-two who has participated in the Adopt-A-Mom program.
“Sometimes even if you do have insurance- like with my first child. I was going to UNCG, and I had insurance, but I was not covered for prenatal. So you never know. Prenatal care is so important. Having a program like Adopt-A-Mom is a blessing. I would just say it’s a blessing,” Khan explained.
“We all share the belief that babies deserve a healthy start in life,” Purdum added.
Purdum believes Adopt-A-Mom is unique. “We are not aware of a similar program in the rest of state. We tracked birth our outcomes, and our moms fair better than the state and nation in terms of preterm deliveries, low birth weight, and cesarean section.”
Moms are asked to pay a $100 participation fee for the program if they can afford it. Doctors, sponsors, foundations and donations help cover remaining costs.
“Many of these women would not have access to good prenatal care if it were not for this program,” said Dr. James Breen with Cone Health Family Medicine. He works at one of seven medical practices in Guilford County involved with “adopting” the mothers and treating them through pregnancy.
“We are longitudinal care providers for our patients so we have many patients who come to us through Adopt-A-Mom and low and behold, they then learn they can bring our infant to us as well. And the mother can continue to receive care and enroll herself as a patient even beyond her pregnancy. ”
“For everyone involved, it’s not about the bottom dollar,” Purdum insisted. “It’s about making a difference in people’s lives every day, and it’s about healthy babies.”
To get more information and make an appointment, call (336) 641-7513.