New program aims to lower infant mortality rates - WNEM TV 5

New program aims to lower infant mortality rates

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

As modern medicine continues to make amazing advancements, the issue of infant mortality has largely been forgotten.

Over the course of nine months a pregnant mom-to-be typically spends an average of two hours total with her physician. A new program brought to Central Michigan University Health is trying to change that.

"This model really allows for a lot of education, to allow taking ownership of your health and prenatal care," said Erica Canales, assistant program director with CMU Health.

The new program is based around the concept of group care. A group of pregnant women with similar due dates come together to discuss issues with their pregnancies.

The result is support and more overall time with their doctors.

CMU partners and the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance are bringing the program to the Great Lakes Bay Region, beginning with Saginaw County.

"All the women will bring their concerns in addition to the topic for that day and the idea is the wisdom of the group emerges before the physician comes in and allows their expertise," Canales said.

Canales said the group style of care benefits both babies and moms in more ways than one.

She said Saginaw County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the state. This new program is hoping to bring that number down.

"One of the interesting facts is that when you take a group of women who have had group care instead of traditional care, the risk of spontaneous premature birth is reduced by 30 percent," Canales said.

The group style care will be available to moms starting in October.

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