Mothers reunited with birthing buddies

A Dougherty County health care worker holds an infant. / Jessica Fairley

Thursday afternoon the Dougherty County Health Department reunited mothers who participated in the innovative Centering Pregnancy program.

The program was set up three years ago to bring a group of expecting women together and educate them about their bodies while they received prenatal care.

"The goal of the program is to decrease pre-term labor, low birth weight babies and to help increase breast feeding rates," says Karen Baker, Nurse Practitioner for the Dougherty County Health Department.

The Dougherty County Health Department has received an $80,000 grant from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation to help support the health department's Centering Pregnancy program.

Baker says after three years, the program is a success.

Health care providers who work with the centering program have watched many women birth healthy children with the knowledge of how to properly care for them.

Latia Carter went through the program back in 2009. She says going through the prenatal care and bonding course taught her and others the difference between fact and fiction.

"They go by what their family says and most of it is wrong. So the education part is the major part of it," said Latia Carter.

Now with the $80,000 awarded from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, advocates for the program hope to help keep it going strong.

"We will use it to strengthen our program, to buy educational material and supplies, update equipment and some other plans we had," said Karen Baker.

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