A recent study shows that African-American women the highest rates of teen pregnancy and pregnancy-related deaths. Why are these numbers so high? Many of these pregnancies are high-risk pregnancies.
Risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy can include: young or old maternal age, being overweight or underweight, having had problems in previous pregnancies and pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or HIV.
“A woman with a high-risk pregnancy is several times more likely to deliver her baby prematurely,” said Thomas Culhane, M.D., chief medical officer of Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin. “In addition to being high-risk, many mothers suffer financial hardship and aren’t aware of the resources available to help them.”
One of these resources is a program called “Healthy Baby and Me.” Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin offers this program designed specifically for high-risk pregnant moms in the Milwaukee community.
“I have diabetes so I needed extra help during my pregnancy,” said Molina Healthcare member Demetra Davis, 25. “Molina was there to support me while I was pregnant. If I didn’t have help from my case manager, I would have had a difficult time.” Davis enrolled in Healthy Baby and Me after receiving a brochure in the mail from Molina.
Davis, a Milwaukee resident and mother of three, recently delivered DeAndre — a healthy baby boy. Because she is a diabetic, her case manager worked closely with her throughout the pregnancy to make sure that she didn’t have any issues with her insulin intake and received all of her prenatal care.
“It’s such a joy to work so closely with the moms in the Healthy Baby and Me program,” said Suzanne Basting, RN, a Molina Healthcare case manager. “Each case is unique and each mom has specific needs. After a healthy baby is delivered, I keep in touch with the moms for any questions they have.”
Each woman who qualifies for “Healthy Baby and Me” is assigned a Molina case manager, like Basting, who monitors the progress of the pregnancy very closely. In the program, moms-to-be also learn more about pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a new baby. Molina works closely with each woman’s physician so that her care is coordinated and the case manager is updated about each appointment. Each doctor appointment throughout a pregnancy is very important, especially for one that is considered high-risk. To encourage moms to see their doctor, Molina sends them WalMart gift cards for attending appointments.
The African American community traditionally practices co-sleeping. This can be very dangerous and can result in infant death. As part of the Healthy Baby and Me program, Molina educates moms on safe sleeping for their infants. By joining Healthy Baby and Me, Molina also connects moms with access to other community resources such as behavioral health, primary care providers, Food Share (a food stamps program), transportation and baby supplies (diapers, clothes, bottles). How do I find out if I qualify for Healthy Baby and Me? If you are currently a Molina member, call 1-888- 999-2404 and a member services representative will assist you. If you are not already a Molina member but want to enroll in Healthy Baby and Me, please call an HMO Enrollment Specialist at 1-800-291-2002 or visit https://access.wisconsin.gov/.