Strong Start

SSlogo500x500.jpgThe Midwife Center is proud to participate in the Strong Start Program, which can help pregnant clients reduce their chances of preterm birth and having a low birth-weight baby with peer-supported services at no additional charge.

The Midwife Center is one of 48 births centers in a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Strong grant initiated by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). The Strong Start grant funds the implementation of an enhanced prenatal care program within the birth center model of care, known as AABC Strong Start in Birth Centers. The program will be evaluated and analyzed as a method to help reduce preterm birth, which is estimated to cost over $26 billion per year and impacts close to 12% of all births in the United States. Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk of lifelong health and developmental problems. The preterm birth rate has increased by 36% in the last 20 years in the U.S.

AABC was chosen to receive a $5.35 million four-year grant to measure outcomes and costs from enhanced prenatal care using the birth center model of care for women enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, who are at risk of having a preterm birth. The grant will pay to provide peer support for women enrolled in the program at individual birth centers, as well as pay for additional staff at AABC to coordinate and analyze the results of the program.

“Freestanding Birth Centers have a strong track record of providing high-quality care for mothers and babies for over 30 years in the U.S., including significantly lower preterm birth rates. AABC looks forward to partnering with CMMI to identify how birth centers can best contribute to a national solution to improving our maternal infant outcomes,” said Jill Alliman, Project Director for AABC’s Strong Start project.

The Midwife Center starting enrolling participants in summer 2013. According to TMC Strong Start Peer Counselor, Paige Beauchemin, RN, “Women enrolling in the program gain a sense of security when they learn they can receive extra support, education and resources. They are also really excited about the peer support aspect of meeting other expecting moms.”

After helping participants make a plan of care for their pregnancy, Paige meets with them throughout their pregnancy to discuss nutrition, discomforts in pregnancy, workplace safety, tobacco cessation, oral health, STI information and many other topics based on the needs of the client.

Click here for the national Strong Start website.