BLOOMFIELD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– A three-year, $310,000 grant from the Cigna Foundation will enable March
of Dimes to expand a new model of group prenatal care – Supportive
Pregnancy Care – designed to help improve the health of moms and babies
during pregnancy, labor and delivery and infancy.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
“Cigna and the Cigna Foundation have a long history of supporting March
of Dimes in its mission to help prevent premature births. As we
celebrate our 25-year partnership, we’re excited to join hands in a
program that will help improve the health, well-being and sense of
security for women and their babies,” said Mary Engvall, executive
director of the Cigna Foundation.
The announcement follows the release earlier this month of the March of
Dimes 2018 Premature Report Card, https://www.marchofdimes.org/mission/prematurity-reportcard.aspx,
which showed that preterm birth rose for the third consecutive year.
March of Dimes reports that one n 10 babies in the United States is born
prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy), meaning that the U.S. has
one of the worst preterm birth rates of any high-income country in the
world. Babies who survive an early birth may experience lifelong health
issues such as learning disabilities, vision and hearing loss. Even
infants born just a few weeks early have a greater risk of respiratory
distress syndrome (RDS), feeding difficulties, temperature instability
(hypothermia), jaundice and delayed brain development.
“Last year, for the third year in a row, more U.S. babies were born too
soon with serious risks to their health,” according to Stacey D.
Stewart, president of March of Dimes. “We know that chronic racial and
ethnic inequities and unequal access to quality health care are factors
in the rising preterm birth rate. Group prenatal care, which is gaining
in popularity, is an innovative way to help prevent preterm births among
all women, including women of color, who are up to 50 percent more
likely to deliver prematurely.”
March of Dimes Supportive Pregnancy Care (SPC) for moms-to-be is
prenatal care in a group setting with women of similar gestational ages.
At each group session, women learn to perform their own self-care by
measuring and recording their own weight and blood pressure with the
help of a facilitator. A licensed obstetric provider meets individually
with each woman to perform a physical assessment and discuss specific
concerns in a semi-private area within the group space. During each SPC
visit, women have more time with their health care providers than they
would during conventional individual prenatal checkups, and benefit not
only from prenatal care education but also from the vital social and
emotional support they receive from other mothers. Importantly, women in
the program also receive support for other challenges they may face,
such as lack of transportation, access to nutritious food or a need for
The SPC environment can empower women to take control of their pregnancy
care and fosters relationships that can last throughout their
pregnancies and beyond. Research from the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) found that a group setting for prenatal care is associated with
fewer preterm births, reduced incidence of low-birth-weight infants, and
shorter neonatal intensive care stays. 1
SPC also includes web-based tools and a social media platform to enable
mothers to connect and socialize with each other online outside the
group sessions and access helpful information on healthy pregnancies.
The program is open to any expecting mother interested in participating,
regardless of health insurance coverage.
March of Dimes currently is operating SPC pilot sites in Tennessee and
Ohio, and, with the help of the Cigna Foundation grant, will open new
sites in Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona and
a city to be determined in Massachusetts.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We
support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so
that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a
successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we stand up for
every mom and every baby. Visit marchofdimes.org
for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org
for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook
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About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation, founded in 1962, is a private foundation funded by
contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) and its subsidiaries.
The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to
enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of
their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna
employees live and work.
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company
dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense
of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or
through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna
Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance
Company, Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance
Company of New York, or their affiliates. Such products and services
include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental,
behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other
related products including group life, accident and disability
insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and
jurisdictions, and has more than 95 million customer relationships
throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including
links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
For more information about Cigna’s proposed acquisition of Express
Scripts, please visit www.advancinghealthcare.com.
1 Sarah Gareau, Ana Lòpez-De Fede, Brandon L.
Loudermilk, Tammy H. Cummings, James W. Hardin, Amy H. Picklesimer,
Elizabeth Crouch, et al. Group Prenatal Care Results in Medicaid
Savings with Better Outcomes: A Propensity Score Analysis of Centering
Pregnancy Participation in South Carolina. Matern Child
Health J. 2016 Jul;20(7):1384-93. doi: 10.1007/s10995-016-1935-y
Source: Cigna Corporation