The number of premature births in Jefferson County has decreased thanks to the Nurse-Family Partnership, a program run by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing and the Jefferson County Department of Health.
The program, which has been in the Birmingham area for a year, connects nurses who support pregnant mothers having their first baby. The nurses from the UAB School of Nursing provide weekly or biweekly home visits during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of the child's life.
The program is designed so the nurse and mother develop a strong relationship. The focus is on the first-time mother's personal health, quality of care-giving and life course development -- inspiring long-lasting change that benefits both the mother and child. It has been used around the country for nearly 40 years, including in Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, with great success.
The program has grown to Walker County and will soon expand to Fayette County to provide care for mothers in rural areas. Interviews with the nurses and mothers are available with notice.