Peace of Mind During Pregnancy
Mental Health & Physical Health in Pregnancy
When Sophie first got pregnant, she knew she wanted to surround herself with support. She had faced mental health concerns and addiction in her life, and she wanted the right team around her to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and post-partum period.
As many as 20% of pregnant women are diagnosed with postpartum depression. In addition, 70-80% of women experience the “baby blues.” If not treated early, depression may affect mothers and their families for many months and years. Sophie had this knowledge and knew that she would need additional support. What she didn’t realize is that being connected to a personal nurse through Any Baby Can’s Nurse-Family Partnership would save her life during her second pregnancy.
Sophie’s nurse Adrienne was with her through the birth of her first child and helped Sophie manage her mental health and physical health.
“It helped to know that Adrienne is well trained to help with everything I needed. We built a rapport that made it easier for her to really know me and the baby,” says Sophie.
At each visit, Adrienne performed preventative screenings and took Sophie’s blood pressure. They worked together to discuss birth, breastfeeding and prepare for the baby. But at an OB appointment, Sophie was diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure, and she needed to be induced that day.
Events like these are stressful for any pregnant mom, but even more so for someone who has had mental health struggles in the past.
Managing Risk Factors
Women who have chronic hypertension can be at risk for preeclampsia, the most common preventable cause of maternal mortality. It occurs among 5-8% of pregnant women, however Any Baby Can has seen preeclampsia occur in up to 14% of our higher-risk, lower-income population.
When Sophie got pregnant with her second child, she knew that hypertension would likely be an issue again. True to her personality, she anticipated this concern and made sure she was equipped. This time, she had a new tool to help her manage her blood pressure. Any Baby Can provided a screen display blood pressure cuff to all clients who needed it, thanks to a grant from the United Health Foundation.
Adrienne taught Sophie how to use it, what the numbers meant, and reviewed warning signs. Sophie was able to check her blood pressure whenever she needed, not just during their in-home visits. This allowed Sophie to monitor her own health and ultimately made her feel more confident in her pregnancy.
Although Sophie wasn’t taking her blood pressure daily, she would check in with her body regularly. One day, she felt her heart racing—one of the warning signs of elevated blood pressure that Adrienne talked to her about. Sophie was able to use the tools and knowledge she had gained to check her blood pressure.
“Thank goodness I had it! It was something like 150 over 105. Then I took it again and it went up to 160. I knew it was time to go straight to the hospital,” recalls Sophie.
After her daughter was born, Sophie’s blood pressure stayed elevated, and it extended her hospital stay. The doctors talked to her about warning signs and sent her home, without a blood pressure cuff. But luckily she had the one from Any Baby Can.
“It felt like a stress reliever. I didn’t have to go to the hospital or the doctor to measure it. I could do it at home, as often as I needed,” says Sophie.
Nurse-Family Partnership serves to supplement medical appointments with personalized, in-home, whole family support. Through Any Baby Can, women gain parenting skills; discuss health, family dynamics and child development with a professional; get help finding a pediatrician or childcare; and work together to develop goals that give mom and baby a better future!
When mothers are armed with information, have access to the tools they need, and have the confidence to advocate for themselves, it’s the next generation that benefits.
Learn More About Innovations in Maternal Health
We match first-time moms with a personal nurse to guide them through pregnancy and early parenthood.
Through preventative practices, mothers can feel more confident and empowered.
Any Baby Can is committed to supporting moms in healthy pregnancies, births and post-partum.