In May 2022, First Steps and Beyond (FSB) leaders and members had a compelling and strategic two-day convention.
This subcommittee creates a collaborative and reciprocal partnership between healthcare systems, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), communities, and government entities through the following efforts:
- Developing a shared referral system.
- Creating a public communications campaign.
- Establishing a Community Advisory Board (CAB).
- Developing plan for evaluation of the program and collaboration.
This subcommittee seeks to dismantle structural racism and provide inclusive maternal child healthcare through ongoing education, advocacy, assessment, training, and accountability through:
- Developing a list of recommendations to inform best practices, policies, and language around racism, bias, Black maternal and infant health, perinatal care, and more.
- Defining psychological and physical safety for Black mothers and birthing people in the many organizations that they interface with, and then explore who aligns with those beliefs to partner with and refer to. When organizations do not align, this committee will provide support, education, and guidance.
- Supporting the development and implementation of the obstetrical racism training that will be shared amongst the collaborative.
This subcommittee aims to expand prenatal and fourth trimester support and education.
- Identifying short-term opportunities and solutions to alleviate stress and improve families’ lives.
- Supporting/providing education on safe sleep, birth spacing, smoking cessation, and other needed education.
- Providing fourth trimester support by establishing pediatric relationships and focusing on mental health.
- Developing integrated networks and reducing silos with an emphasis on social and political determinants of health, e.g., food insecurity, safety, housing, transportation, etc.
First Steps & Beyond supports CenteringPregnancy®, a nationally-recognized model of group prenatal care shown to improve a wide range of birth outcomes, including lowering the risk of preterm births, reducing low birth weights and increasing breastfeeding rates.
The CenteringPregnancy® Model
The model has shown to be particularly successful in improving outcomes among Black women and babies, who have higher rates of pregnancy and birth-related complications than white women. CenteringPregnancy®’s group-care model helps to address those long-standing disparities.
The CenteringPregnancy® model brings together 8-12 patients with similar due dates, as well as their partners, support people, and health care team.
They meet for 10 prenatal visits following the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) practice guidelines.
Each visit is 90-120 minutes long, giving patients significantly more time with their provider team compared to individual visits.