CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BMC CURBSIDE CARE FOR MOMS AND BABIES!
Our CHAMPion this week is the BMC Curbside Care for Moms and Babies, an innovative mobile visit program developed to meet the needs of moms and babies during the “fourth trimester”. The program was designed to increase comprehensive access to care by providing community dyadic care for moms and babies on the curb outside their homes. It also ensured that COVID positive moms or both parents could attend their newborn baby’s checkups, which was prohibited under in-hospital policies.
The Curbside Care program ran from February – October 2021, and utilized an ambulance staffed with multilingual pediatric and midwifery practitioners who provided care and gifted newborn and postpartum care products like diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products to families. Each appointment also included a lactation consultant who provided breastfeeding support and encouragement!
“Traditionally, we ask mothers, after delivering, to come back to the hospital with the baby for check-ups with a pediatric provider. Mothers often take multiple buses, sometimes carting around a toddler or other children to bring their baby to these appointments. Despite the challenge of this undertaking, mothers do bring their infants in for care; however, they often do not return for care for themselves,” shared Dr. Nass. “At BMC, 40% of moms never return for a postpartum visit. But we know that the first 6 weeks of life are critical for moms and babies. And we know that maternal health absolutely relates to the health outcome of the baby. So, we started thinking, ‘What if we brought comprehensive, dyadic care to both moms and babies in the first six weeks of life? We could come to them.'”
Although, the Curbside Care program is no longer active, it serves as a good example of a care model that could expand access and help to break down a lot of the barriers to adequate postpartum care. We hope to see more programs prioritizing and integrating lactation services into their care in the future. Read Dr. Nass’ interview in this Health City article