Before birth

  • Published 1987 in Journal of Primary Prevention


• In Delray Beach, Florida, the Optimum Growth Project works with pregnant women from low-income areas and migrant farm camps. A mental health worker visits the home weekly during pregnancy and after the child's birth, and continues to offer support until the child is three. The home visitor helps the mother through explicit training to develop positive parenting and caregiving skills and directs the family to other needed services. Parents also meet in small groups. The children do better on developmental tests, the incidence of child abuse is reduced and mothers are more likely to return to work or to school. • Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore provided a program of coordinated medical care, psychosocial support and health and parenting education for pregnant adolescents under the age of 17. Contrary to expected risks for adolescents, participants had fewer obstetrical complications and fewer babies of low birth weight (a risk factor for mental-emotional disability)--fewer even than would be expected for comparable older women. The cost of health care during pregnancy and for the following two years was less than for adolescents--and their infants--who were not in the program.

DOI: 10.1007/BF01324781

Cite this paper

@article{1987BeforeB, title={Before birth}, author={}, journal={Journal of Primary Prevention}, year={1987}, volume={7}, pages={204-205} }