Maternity Care

Maternity Care

Maternal care (MC) aims to improve the overall health and welfare of an unborn child, pregnant woman, and the entire family. Contemporary nursing models for MC emphasize the role of self-management through improved health education and access to community resources. Underserved communities with low socioeconomic status (SES) may not receive satisfactory MC or receive delayed and infrequent care, resulting in poor birth outcomes and a decline in overall health. A unique integrated home visitation and group health education approach developed by the non-profit agency MOMS Orange County has provided prenatal and postnatal services to over 3,800 at-risk pregnant women and families in underserved (predominantly low-income Hispanic) communities. This project presents UNITE, a community engagement model for MC that is smart (deploying ubiquitous monitoring and lifelogging), connected (bringing together a diverse cast of community members including mothers, families, care providers, and outreach resources) and coordinated (using technology to proactively reach out to the community and use personalized intervention and education for improved self-management by the women). The UNITE model is designed to be scalable, portable across diverse communities, and brings together a multi-disciplinary partnership of researchers (in computing, nursing, medicine, education, and social sciences) together with non-profit agencies (e.g., MOMS OC), hospitals (UCI Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital) and local support organizations (e.g., Community Health Initiative of OC). The project will engage in a controlled study using a community of underserved Orange County mothers to evaluate the efficacy of this new community-enhanced MC self-management approach, and the impact on community building.

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