Wyandotte County has long experienced disparities in maternal and child health. 8% of babies are born underweight leading to long-term health problems, the teen pregnancy rate is more than doubled than the state of Kansas and the infant mortality rate among African American babies in Wyandotte County is more than twice than that of the state of Kansas.
Vibrant Health is working to improve those statistics through the Vibrant Beginnings program, which uses a three-pronged approach to educate parents from the time of conception through early childhood on prenatal health, safe sleeping practices and child development milestones.
Vibrant Health provides women’s health care at multiple locations, striving to engage expecting mothers in prenatal services during their first trimester.
“We want everyone to plan their pregnancy if possible, which allows us to provide screenings to understand any health risks before conception. If someone doesn’t have the chance to plan their pregnancy, we want them to come in early and start receiving care and education as soon as possible to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby,” says Sofia Navarro, APRN, a women’s health provider at Vibrant Health.
Regular prenatal care is important to keep both mom and baby healthy before delivery. After baby’s arrival, patients receive postnatal care, further reducing complications risk and improving outcomes for mom and baby.
Sofia also shared the benefit of seeing patients throughout their pregnancy.
“When I see patients regularly throughout their pregnancy, I’m able to build a strong relationship with them, which makes them feel more comfortable to get care after delivery and think about future family planning. We instill in the women that they are patients of Vibrant Health and we have everything you need, which makes the patient feel like they are part of a family, knowing where to go to get whatever health care they need. Many of our patients are isolated and lack support – so to hear providers ask ‘how are you doing,’ they feel like Vibrant Health cares and that they have the support they deserve.”
Every expecting mother who receives prenatal care at Vibrant Health also has an added benefit of receiving a baby box before delivery. Vibrant Health collaborates with Finnbin, an American company that has adopted the Finnish concept of providing baby boxes for expecting mothers.
The Finnbin kit consists of a baby box, which is a durable and safe sleeping space for the first six months of a baby’s life, lined with a mattress and fitted sheet. Filled with new baby essentials, the box relieves financial stress on low-income families to purchase a bassinet and other baby necessities, such as diapers, thermometer, onesies and more. Check out this video for a closer look at everything that comes inside the baby box.
In addition to routine primary medical care, patients ages 0-3 benefit from additional services and parental education that support healthy development for babies and toddlers.
During preventive and acute care exams, Vibrant Health care teams provide developmental screenings, assess family needs based on social determinants of health, and refer families to community resources. Healthy Development Specialist, Maria Reyes has provided this service at Vibrant Health for 10 years.
“I love that I am able to give back to moms and be a resource for them. I love when I see patients whose kids are now older and still getting care at Vibrant and they stop me and say, ‘I still remember the advice you gave me years ago and my son is now in middle school and doing great!’”