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Title: 9 Matters! Providing Prenatal Education to Teens in Rural Setting Chapter Name: South Carolina Contact: Megan Branham, DPS E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Implementation Date(s): March 1, 2009-February 28, 2010 Project Purpose: AnMed Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital strives to provide effective prenatal health education to as many pregnant teens as possible within Anderson County. In 2007, 14.6% of the deliveries at AnMed Health were from teens ages 13-19 and more than 35 girls were reported to be pregnant in one high school in Anderson County during the 2007-2008 year. Anderson County also lies within the region of South Carolina with the worst infant mortality rates in the state. AnMed Health started offering a program entitled “Target 40” in 2008. This program sought to educate teens on the importance of reaching 40 completed weeks of pregnancy. These prenatal education sessions were housed at AnMed, and while the outcomes were good, the attendance was poor. Realizing from participants that transportation was an issue, (Anderson County is a sprawling rural community spanning 750 square miles) it was then that AnMed, decided to modify the program. Changing the name to 9 Matters! (to emphasize that 9 full months of gestation is best for baby) they took the program “on the road” and into local high schools offering after school. Target Audience: Pregnant teens ages 13-19 in Anderson County. Seven (7) sites were identified throughout Anderson County, consistent with the target audience’s already existing outlets of learning and medical care. Sites of the 5-class prenatal health education classes included high schools, school district offices and a resident physician’s office within AnMed Health that serve many of the members of this population. Methods & Activities: Nine (9) certified childbirth educators were trained and taught nineteen (19) 5-class sessions of 9 Matters! across Anderson County. Referrals were made to the program by guidance counselors, OB office nurses and doctors, school nurses, school district family literacy program staff members, teachers, vice principals, and Nurse Family Partnership nurses. Classes consisted of information and materials including charts, models, videos, demonstrations, journal work, interactive discussion, books, and brochures that pertained to various prenatal topics. The topics covered in the session included: prenatal care, preterm labor, nutrition, fitness, labor and delivery, safe sleep practices, stress management, STD prevention, birth control, and the effects of smoking, drugs and alcohol on a fetus. Results/Impact: 95 individual classes were held and provided peer and educator support, as well prenatal health education to 60 pregnant teenagers and, in some cases, the expecting father. 75% of the participants attended all five classes. 90% of program participants self reported on pre and post tests that they had adopted healthy behaviors and avoided risk-taking behaviors that could harm their baby. No 9 Matters! participants who have already delivered (42) has done so prematurely (except for one in the case of an pre-existing medical condition). No 9 Matters! participant has suffered the loss of an infant due to unsafe sleep practices. Lessons Learned: Originally, the grant had included a budget item to use taxi services to transport teens to and from classes. Since the majority of the pregnant teens have attended classes at their schools, less funding has had to be used for transportation. Volunteer Roles: Volunteers have played an important role in providing referrals to the program. They have assisted in getting the word out to local providers, clinics, and other community organizations and the program continues to grow. Funding Sources: Funding was provided through March of Dimes 2009 Community Grant ($28,000). Other Resources: In-kind donations have been key and the Anderson community has come together to support the program. AnMed Health donated classroom spaces for sessions and storage space for materials. A local baby boutique donated baby care items to be used as incentives. The Anderson County School district also provided classroom space for sessions. Safe Kids Anderson County provided car seat safety instruction to participating teens.
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