To improve the health and well-being of childbearing families through fitness, education, social support, and community engagement.
is the creation of a dedicated maternity resource center that promotes a comprehensive and holistic approach to the concerns of childbearing families by providing:
- prenatal and postnatal fitness programming
- evidence-based childbirth education
- support groups and early parenting classes for women and their partners
- a gateway for connecting childbearing families with community resources
- continuing education for professionals who work with childbearing families
While Richmond has a number of outstanding organizations that provide services for specific at-risk populations, there is no organization that targets the overall needs of childbearing women and families.
Nurture aims to fill that gap.
Our goal is to provide women and families from all backgrounds access to affordable resources that nurture their physical and emotional well-being during the critical life transition of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. For the Richmond community, promoting the health of pregnant and new moms gives us a two-for-one payback: healthy, emotionally resilient, and engaged mothers tend to have healthier, happier babies – giving the next generation a leg up on health, and lowering the economic and human costs associated with poor outcomes.
- Women who exercise regularly throughout pregnancy gain less weight, experience shorter labors, require fewer medical interventions, have easier postpartum recoveries, and have a more positive self-image. And their babies tend to tolerate labor better and be less fussy after birth.
- The Journal of Perinatal Education reports that many health care providers use maternity care practices that are not supported by scientific evidence. Further, the Journal finds that many women and their providers are not prepared for conversations about birth that are based on evidence. This creates significant challenges for informed decision-making on the part of pregnant women and their partners.
- Since 1996, the US Cesarean rate has increased by more than 50%, and now accounts for one out of every three births (32.8%). The World Health Organization suggests that a 15% Cesarean rate for low-risk women is the point at which harms begin to outweigh benefits.
- Approximately 10 – 20% of women experience depression during pregnancy or postpartum, which can have long-lasting adverse effects on the health of their babies. As many as 85% of women experience postpartum adjustment challenges. Dads are not immune from this: emerging research indicates that 10 – 20% of fathers also experience postpartum depression.
- Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her baby and herself. According to the Surgeon General, however, mothers face social, medical, and logistical barriers to successful breastfeeding. While 75% of mothers initiate breastfeeding at birth, only 13% of babies are exclusively breastfed by six months. These statistics are significantly lower for our African American population.
If we want to improve the health of our emerging families, reduce our local Cesarean rate, address postpartum adjustment, or improve breastfeeding rates in our community, it will take a coordinated approach that includes all our local stakeholders – parents, professionals, policymakers and the community that surrounds them.
We’re ready to build this community, are you?
Where we’re headed:
Imagine a world where there is easy and affordable access to trusted support, community connections and educational services so parents raise healthy, secure children in a strong and connected community.
A world where cultural diversity is respected and embraced, where economic lines are blurred, and every woman and family has equal access to the best that Richmond has to offer. Where evidence-based, patient-centered care is the status quo, and every woman participates in shared decision-making about her maternity care. Where every woman has a safe, respectful maternal experience, and every child is born into a supportive environment.
A world where families are nurtured from the start.