Pregnant Moms and Babies Benefit From Gerard Place Outreach

Gerard Place News

May 6, 2024

Pregnant Moms and Babies Benefit From Gerard Place Outreach

Eighty percent of single mothers in the Bailey-Delavan community live below the poverty line, eight percent of births occur with no pre-natal care, and fifteen percent of babies are low birth weight.

Gerard Place's Healthy Mom and Baby program seeks to improve these outcomes for pregnant mothers in the 14215 - zip code.  This initiative, funded by key supporters, continues Gerard Place's legacy of meeting the needs of people in the community.

Brittany Holland is Gerard Place's Clinical Outreach Nurse and provides supplies and support for mothers.  She is a former labor and delivery nurse and is working at Gerard Place through a partnership with Oishei Children's Hospital.

Brittany teaches mothers the importance of early pre-natal and postpartum care, helps them navigate the medical system, and provides supplies for mothers during their pregnancy and for one year after delivery.

According to Brittany, there are many barriers that may hinder a healthy pregnancy.  "These moms have unreliable transportation to pre-natal doctor appointments, most are unaware of all the factors that play into a healthy pregnancy, and they face social challenges such as domestic violence, unemployment and unstable housing," Brittany said.

At Gerard Place, mothers can receive baby care supplies, portable cribs, clothes, food, and bus passes for doctor appointments.  Brittany teaches safe sleep classes and offers lactation support.

She is currently in training to be a certified lactation consultant, which will enhance Gerard Place's services.  Also, Gerard Place plans to open a Baby Cafe on site, a free drop-in, informal breastfeeding support group offering ongoing professional lactation care and intervention.

"There is a maternal health crisis among Hispanic and African American communities with high levels of maternal and infant mortality," Brittany said.  "There are multiple social determinants of health, and everyone needs to be educated."

For information about any of Gerard Place’s Programs and Services, Call (716) 897-9948