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    Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien©

    Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© is a prenatal education program created for pregnant women. The information provided is designed to improve participants’ chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Classes serve as a source of social support for the women and allow them the opportunity to connect with other mothers in a similar situation. The program has been implemented in a variety of settings, including community-based organizations, churches and worksites, and it is taught by trained facilitators. Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© takes a holistic approach to caring for the family, using education that helps women enhance their well-being.

    The program consists of eight two-hour sessions designed to promote healthy pregnancies through two components:

    • Cognitive - designed to provide accurate and timely information about prenatal care and pregnancy.
    • Behavioral - component promotes changes in prenatal health behaviors such as seeking prenatal care, taking prenatal vitamins and eating healthy foods.

    From February 2010 through March 2011, 2,330 pre-tests and 2,115 post-tests were collected from enrolled in Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© prenatal education classes.  1,295 participants completed follow-up postcards reporting birth outcomes and information regarding behavior changes.  Results from the evaluation include:

    • 96.8% reported that the program provided them with social support.  
    • Statistically significant gain in the number of women able to correctly identify the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. 
    • The percentage of women with beliefs or attitudes signifying the importance of seeking prenatal care even if the woman feels healthy improved from 36% at the time of the pre-test to 98.3% at the post-test. 
    • 91.4% stated that Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© classes caused them to change their eating habits and 83.5% stated they changed their exercise habits. 
    • 102 participants reported they stopped smoking because of what they learned in Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© classes.
    • Of the 896 participants reporting birth outcomes, 96.8% delivered their babies after 37 weeks.  This is only a 3.2% preterm birth rate compared to the state-wide rate for Hispanic women of 13.4%.

    Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien© has shown prenatal education can improve birth outcomes, enhance participant’s social support and create behavior change.  Participants gain social support and become mentors to each other.  Graduate participants who become mentors create a vested interest in future participants’ well-being. 

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