Moving America Forward

Can Mom-to-Mom Mentoring Save Babies’ Lives?

March 4, 2014
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Can Mom-to-Mom Mentoring Save Babies’ Lives?
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African-Americans suffer from higher mortality rate than other groups, so this organization is working to reduce it.

The infant mortality rate of the United States ranks a disappointing 50th in the world. And the outcome for minority babies tends to be worse: African-American babies are twice as likely to die in the first year, no matter the income level of their mothers.

So Kathryn Hall-Trujillo is working to reverse that with Birthing Project USA, a non-profit that she founded in 1988. When she was a public health administrator in California, Hall-Trujillo noticed that it cost $300,000 to care for a sick or low-birth-weight baby for three months. In comparison, it only cost $2,000 to give a baby’s mother proper prenatal care, which could help to prevent her baby’s illness.

Birthing Project USA pairs moms-to-be with experienced mom mentors who advise and support them during their pregnancies and the first year of their babies’ lives. Since African-American women are twice as likely not to receive prenatal assistance, the mentors with Birthing Project USA make sure the pregnant mothers they work with see a doctor regularly.

“The message that I would give to expecting mothers and expecting fathers is regardless of the circumstances of how you got pregnant it’s really important to remember that you are having an opportunity to carry a new life inside of you and bring that new life into the world,” Hall-Trujillo told NewsOne. “I remind women that they’re really sisters and can help each other have healthier babies.”

MORE: Here’s Why We Should Be Investing in Single Moms

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