SAN ANTONIO – The Healthy departure from San Antonio The program, which provides services and resources to families for healthy pregnancies and childbirths, continues to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not without some challenges.
The program also offers parenting classes to families.
“It has been very difficult recently to enroll or find pregnant women to enroll in the program,” said Amanda Ponton, executive coordinator of San Antonio Healthy Start.
Ponton said if the program does not reach families, there could be an increase in child mortality. A lack of resources could add more stress and lead to an increase in domestic violence.
“We are giving moms all the information, all the resources we can, to prevent infant death,” Ponton said.
The program focuses on families living in 12 specific postal codes, which have been identified on the basis of the infant mortality rate.
“Zip code 78242, which is in the South Side, District 4, that zip code has an infant mortality rate of 10.5. So that means that for the data period that we were using from 2013 to 2015, for every 1,000 babies born in that zip code, 10 of those babies died, ”Ponton said.
The program is aimed at families living in the 12 designated postal codes by posting on social media and obtaining referrals from current and past participants.
Since April 2019, the program has helped 193 moms and 33 dads.
The program is free and to be eligible a woman must be pregnant or have a baby under 6 months old and live in one of the designated codes to participate.
Lucia Briones is a participant and said it helped her during her pregnancy.
“I never knew a baby had to sleep a certain way,” Briones said.
“We’re doing the safe sleep class. So it’s about preventing or reducing SIDS so that the child sleeps safely and does not sleep with a parent, ”said Rita Pacheco, health programs specialist for San Antonio Healthy Start.
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