New UAB nursing program aims to help low income pregnant women

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Pregnancy. It's a journey that seems to have an unending list of questions. Providing answers along with support is the goal of the Nurse-Family Partnership.

The program provides nurses who do home visits with women who are expecting their first child.

"We go in weekly, bi-weekly visit with mom. we do typical nurse like assessments: vital signs, weight, check on how they're doing physically," says Candace Knight, the program supervisor.

She says they also talk about what to expect pregnancy--the danger signs and how to spot them.

"So hopefully that will help to reduce the number of low birth weight, pre-term labor and infant mortality," she says.

Those are key issues to focus on in Jefferson County, where The March of Dimes recently gave the area a failing grade in those birth outcomes.

Knight says that's where NFP can make a difference not only before and after the baby is born.

"We go in and help with breast feeding, making sure seeing a pediatrician, getting immunizations."

They talk about developmental milestones and stick with the family until the baby turns two.

But it's not just about helping the child grow, but mom, too if she wants to go to school, change careers, whatever her life goals may be.

"We work with those moms to make small changes that hopefully will grow into big changes to make a difference in her life and the life of her family and child."

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