Friday, March 7, 2008

Birthing Project USA

Birthing Project USA was founded in 1988, but I only heard about it for the first time this week!

"Birthing Project USA is the only national African American maternal and child health program in this country. We are a volunteer effort to encourage better birth outcomes by providing practical support to women during pregnancy and for one year after the birth of their children."

This Project pairs volunteer "SisterFriends" who are trained to navigate the health care system and provide one-to-one mentorship for a woman through pregnancy, birth, and her baby's first year. The founder believes that supportive friendships and a sense of community can improve health outcomes for mothers and babies. (She also notes that babies born to women with SisterFriends have higher birth weights and are more likely to be born at 40 weeks instead of at 36 weeks which is the average for African American women.)

Birthing Project has helped more than 10,000 women and has a presence in 86 communities and 3 countries. What a wonderful, creative, inspiring program!

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