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Prenatal Home Visits

Moving from the idea of centering pregnancy, we explore another concept in prenatal care – home nurse visits.

In one study, home visits were associated with decreased risk of preterm delivery for African-American women. These results were similar to the results of another study.

In other studies, prenatal nurse visits demonstrate health effects beyond childbirth. These benefits include decreasing the risk of infant death.

It is possible that the best prenatal care needs to fit the specific needs of the family.  Some families may like the structure of traditional private prenatal visits.  Other families may thrive with the social support of centering pregnancy. Those with higher risk may benefit from a less formal home visit program that provides support and education.

What This Means to You

There are several ways to provide prenatal care.  Consider the prenatal services you offer to determine if they can be provided in additional formats to help meet the needs of all families in your community.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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