We are excited to announce that Choices in Childbirth has been awarded a grant in the amount of $204,000 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to provide childbirth education to expecting, underserved families in New York City. Our workshops aim to shift the tide of New York City’s high maternal mortality rates with education, community knowledge and peer support, and will offer a model program that can be replicated in other communities. These workshops aim to fill the gaps left by traditional childbirth education and reach underserved families who can benefit from birth education.
Traditional and modern childbirth education classes are available in New York City to educate women to make informed decisions regarding their maternity care choices; however, childbirth education classes are not reaching most women. In particular, women receiving Medicaid—a group accounting for nearly half of all births in the U.S. and 60% of births in New York City—have the lowest rates of childbirth education.
“The best way to help vulnerable families succeed is by reaching them earlier,” says Choices in Childbirth Executive Director Michele Giordano. “It’s essential that women and families become informed and prepared for childbirth—there is little time to weigh the crucial decisions that may need to be made during birth and soon thereafter in the early weeks of parenting. With the right tools and knowledge for managing the pre-natal, intra-partum and post-partum periods, families can feel more supported and empowered to take care of themselves and their newborns.”
Choices in Childbirth is grateful for the backing of the Kellogg Foundation, whose generous grant will support expansion of these workshops across New York City. We are excited to tackle the challenges ahead, but require additional support to make the most of this opportunity and ensure that every person who wants this education can not only access it and be provided with materials, but learn about its availability.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKD priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.