Our outreach workers recently located a young, African immigrant woman who was twenty-nine weeks into her pregnancy and had never accessed pre-natal care for fear of deportation. After accessing our services and consequently those of a medical provider, she learned that her child had stopped growing and required an emergency operation.
Luckily, both mother and child are doing well. It might have been a different outcome without the intervention of our “Commencements Sains”- Healthy Beginnings program. Additionally, our clients often come from societies where there is an extended family/community system composed of midwives, experienced mothers and others who often provide care to the mother and child before and after birth. Without that system here, they are often left alone to manage pregnancy, birth and the care of their child.
Our maternal and child health program aims to replace that system of connected care and ensure timely and relevant access to pre and post natal care for our target population. Commencements Sains is a culturally and linguistically sensitive home, site, community and clinic-based program for at-risk pregnant African and Caribbean immigrant women and girls living in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas, with a particular focus on those in the West, Southwest and Northeast sections of the city. This program focuses on pre and post natal care and needs via clinician, client manager and peer support. We provide healthy baby and healthy mother education and support including pre and post natal, breast feeding, family planning and general life skills education and information during pregnancy.
This program is funded by Claneil and TJX foundations.