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Supportive Pregnancy Care Redefines Health, Reinvents Healthcare and Fortifies Communities

Provider and pregnant patient

Amerigroup aspires to be a lifetime, trusted health partner for the people we serve. For more and more Texans, that partnership begins even before they’re born.

This month, Amerigroup launched a supportive pregnancy program for expectant parents in the Permian Basin. The initiative — conducted in collaboration with Texas Tech Physicians and March of Dimes — is Amerigroup’s second over the past few months. The first launched in Dallas last year.

“Amerigroup Texas is committed to identifying health disparities and addressing them head-on with innovative solutions that redefine health, reinvent healthcare, and fortify communities. Supportive pregnancy care is exactly that kind of solution. It will save and improve the lives of Texans, in part by improving maternal-infant health equity.” 

Dr. Cealee Thomas, Medical Director, Amerigroup Texas

Supportive pregnancy care connects expectant parents with access to clinical care from licensed professionals, education from prenatal experts, and social support from other participants. It gives pregnant people more time with their health care providers than they normally would have during conventional prenatal checkups. Through group settings, soon-to-be parents receive prenatal care and education, as well as vital social and emotional support from other participants.

The program connects groups of 8–12 participants with health care professionals, who facilitate sessions that last up to two hours each. Participants get physical assessments and vital signs readings, and they participate in educational discussions that cover topics ranging from labor and delivery to mindfulness and relaxation. A licensed obstetric provider also meets individually with participants during each session to perform a physical assessment and discuss specific concerns.

A March of Dimes study concluded that when compared to patients receiving traditional prenatal care, supportive pregnancy care participants were 68% more likely to attend postpartum visits and 84% more likely to initiate breastfeeding at delivery. Group prenatal care also has demonstrated a 33% reduction of premature births and a reduction in health inequities — reducing premature births among black women by 41% or more.

“The maternal and infant health crisis facing our country disproportionately impacts pregnant people and babies of color,” said Amy Johnson-Rubio, Maternal and Child Health director at March of Dimes. “Better access to quality care for birthing people — and greater support before, during and after pregnancy — makes a huge difference. We are thrilled to partner with Amerigroup and Texas Tech Physicians on supportive pregnancy care, which can help break down barriers to care and create better health outcomes.”

For more information or to enroll in the program, contact Texas Tech Physicians at 432-703-5510.

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