Title: 9 Matters! Providing Prenatal Education to Teens in Rural
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.
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.
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.
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
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.