Make Your Date: the importance of Supportive Pregnancy Care

February 18, 2022

By Yasmin Hasbini, guest blog from The Office of Women’s Health

Every woman hopes for a healthy full-term pregnancy without adverse outcomes. Unfortunately, structural determinants of health have placed Black women at a disadvantage, leading to health disparities and worse health outcomes.

Rates of preterm birth, infant mortality, and maternal mortality are some of the health measures that exhibit Black-White disparities. The rate of preterm birth, which is when a baby is born before 37 weeks of gestation, is higher among Black women in Detroit than White and Hispanic women. Infant mortality (the death of an infant within 1 year of life) and maternal mortality (death of the mother within 42 days of delivery) demonstrate similar racial gaps. Unfortunately, these adverse pregnancy outcomes have future implications on a woman’s health, such as an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) centralized its focus on preterm birth and cardiovascular health of women of Detroit to narrow the gap in racial disparities. Make Your Date, an OWH evidence-based implementation program aiming to reduce the rate of preterm birth, has recently partnered with March of Dimes to deliver prenatal care through a new model: Supportive Pregnancy Care (SPC). SPC adopts a patient-centered education approach through delivering group prenatal care sessions led by mothers and guided by providers in accordance with the standards of prenatal care set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Group prenatal care has been recognized as an innovative approach to prenatal care, with several studies highlighting its impact on reducing rates of preterm birth, cesarean sections, emergency department visits, and admission to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Among Black women specifically, group prenatal care resulted in a 41% reduction in preterm birth [1].

Given the high prevalence of this adverse pregnancy outcome in Detroit, reducing the rate of preterm birth through group prenatal care is a steppingstone towards improving the health of Black mothers and decreasing racial disparities in our city. If you are pregnant, consider enrolling in group prenatal care.

To learn more about group prenatal care or to sign up, visit the Make Your Date website.

1: Cunningham SD, Sutherland RA, Yee CW, et al. Group Medical Care: A Systematic Review of Health Service Performance. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(23):12726. Published 2021 Dec 2. doi:10.3390/ijerph182312726

Make Your Date: the importance of Supportive Pregnancy Care
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