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The Coming of the Blessing - A Pathway to a Healthy Pregnancy

Program Type: Promising Practice -Programs not formally evaluated (or formal evaluation is not yet complete) but identified by experts as programs with results suggesting efficacy and worthy of further study in broader pilot implementation efforts.

The American Indian/Alaska Native Women’s Committee of the March of Dimes West Region created a comprehensive perinatal health education booklet called The Coming of the Blessing® to honor the native cultural beliefs and traditions that impact pregnancy and child-bearing. The booklet was pilot tested in 14 states in 2008 with feedback collected from healthcare providers and families. To date, we have heard from more than 181 women. The booklet helped them change eating habits, exercise appropriately, reduce stress, decide to breastfeed and start taking a multi-vitamin. • Overall, only 69 of American Indians and Alaska Natives receive early prenatal care. By comparison, nearly 90 of women participating in The Coming of the Blessing® kept all their prenatal appointments and 76 started prenatal care in the 1st trimester. • The preterm birth rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives is 14.6 but for women participating in The Coming of the Blessing®, that rate has been reduced to 7. Some comments written by the women include: “Helpful information for my life.” “Values my traditional heritage.” “Let’s you know about our ancestors.”, “Great information for Natives by Natives.” Because of the overwhelming positive response, the booklet is now available in every state through the March of Dimes Fulfillment Center.

Age Group(s):
Infants, Adolescents, Adults

Site Type(s):
Community, Clinic/Health Center, Hospital, Home, School

Health Indicator(s):
Diabetes , Health Education , Healthcare Access , Immunization , Nutrition , Physical Activity , Substance Abuse , Tobacco Use , Traditional Healing , Violence

Service Area:

Health literacy, Health promotion and wellness, Prenatal care

Overall Cost: $200,000.00

Name: Janet Shephard
Site or Location Name: March of Dimes
12221 Merit Drive, Suite 1750
Dallas, TX 75251
Phone: 979-251-8857