Why Caring for 2 (CF2) is Critical
Helping through every step of pregnancy...and beyond!
The purpose of our Caring for 2 project is to eliminate disparities in perinatal health. African American women have reproductive health outcomes and mortality rates at least twice as high as Caucasian women. In addition, women of color are much more likely to be poor, have more unhealthy risk exposures and have less access to and utilization of health care services.
Key Facts About Disparities in Perinatal Health
- African American women are at 2½ times greater risk than Caucasians to have an infant death. CF2 serves only African American women.
- Prematurity/low birth weight is the second leading cause of infant deaths and the leading cause for African American infants (US). Women living in CF2 neighborhoods have a low birth weight rate of 11.8 and a 4.6 rate of very low-birth weight -- nearly 9 times higher than the national goal.
- African Americans, women under age 17 or over 35, those with low income, and who have less education are all at increased risk for having a low birth weight baby. About half of CF2 women have 11th grade or less education or are still in school, 83% have incomes at or below poverty level, and one-third are teens.
- Women who are single, have less education or lower income are more likely to have late or no prenatal care. Three out of four CF2 participants entered prenatal care by their first trimester.
- Unsafe sleep environments is a leading cause of death for all infants—an important component of CF2 education.
Caring for 2 provides services to eliminate these disparities through direct services and initiatives to enhance the system of care.
Cost vs. Savings
- Premature babies cost the U.S. at least $26 billion each year.
- The average cost of medical care for a premature or low birth-weight baby for the first year of life is about $49,000.
- By contrast, a newborn without complications costs $4,551 for care in the first year of life (2009).
Sources: Columbus Public Health Caring for 2; Council on Healthy Mothers and Babies, Prenatal Care Capacity Facts; March of Dimes and Institutes of Medicine; Healthy People 2010.