The experiences of women participants and resource mothers with the Healthy Baby Club model of prenatal support

Nugent, Patricia M. (1999) The experiences of women participants and resource mothers with the Healthy Baby Club model of prenatal support. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Background Low birth weight (LB W) is a major public health issue and challenge today; The Canadian Institute of Child Health (1993) indicates that 17% of all infants born worldwide are of low birth weight. In 1995 Canada reported that 5.7% of all births were of LBW while Newfoundland and Labrador's rate was 5.5%. The cause of LBW is multi-factorial and some contributing factors for example smoking and nutrition are modifiable. Early entry and length of participation in prenatal programs are also key factors. Traditional prenatal programs have failed to meet the needs of vulnerable women and their families. The Healthy Baby Club Model of Prenatal Support was developed and implemented in Newfoundland and Labrador to meet the identified needs of these vulnerable pregnant women, to increase the length of prenatal care by reducing barriers to participation and, ultimately, to reduce the rate of LBW. -- Aim Satisfying experiences of women participants in the program will likely increase compliance with both prenatal and postnatal care. This study was undertaken to describe the experiences of women participants and resource mothers with the Healthy Baby Clubs in Newfoundland based on an integration of health promotion and population health theoretical frameworks. -- Methods This was a descriptive study using 48 women participants and 11 resource mothers for the study period yielding a total of 59 participants. Data collection took place between December 1997 and June 1998 and involved site visits to the nine Healthy Baby Clubs across the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Two structured interview questionnaires were developed by the investigator: (1) Survey of Women Participants in the HBC which consisted of 41 questions and, (2) Survey of Resource Mothers in the HBC that included 37 questions. Each questionnaire took approximately 35 minutes to administer and captured both quantitative and qualitative data. Personal interviews were carried out with the women participants (n=48) who participated in the Healthy Baby Club during pregnancy and the resource mothers (n=l1) who supported these women. Transcripts from the interviews were analyzed for frequencies, proportions and recurrent themes. -- Results The personal "face-to-face" interviews with resource mothers and the women participants of the Healthy Baby Club Prenatal Support Program revealed that being in the program was an enjoyable and satisfying experience. For both groups there were many benefits both personally and for the community through "spin-offs" of this program. These included enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence, improved decision making and assertiveness skills, as well as increased knowledge and empowerment. -- Conclusion This community-based, holistic model of prenatal support, the Healthy Baby Club using the resource mother concept, has many positive aspects which include the promotion of healthier pregnancies through improved lifestyle practices which result in healthier babies, improved access to prenatal services, community engagement and greater self-esteem and self-confidence of participants. -- Key Words low birth weight; vulnerable; prenatal; prevention; health promotion; population health; modifiable risk factors; community-based interventions; prenatal support; Healthy Baby Club Model; resource mother

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/833
Item ID: 833
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 204-215.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Prenatal care--Newfoundland and Labrador; Birth weight, Low--Newfoundland and Labrador; Poor women--Medical care--Newfoundland and Labrador
Medical Subject Heading: Prenatal Care; Pregnancy; Women's Health Services; Infant, Low Birth Weight

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