Program Description: Honey Child New beginnings is a faith based initiative designed to tackle nutritional disparities by educating and empowering African American mothers to improve neonatal outcomes. The program utilized prenatal education, one-on-one mentoring with a nutrition coach, faith based support, and community resources to target inequality in access and to help reshape nutritional lifestyle choices. Studies show that maternal obesity is not only associated with an increased risk of hypertension and diabetes, but it also impacts newborn health which can have life-long consequences. (Godfrey, 2017) The high rate of maternal obesity, especially among African American women, and the impact on the health of future generations, increases the urgency of addressing this problem. (Friedman, 2018) African American pregnant members of the faith-based community were given base line and follow-up questionnaires before and after the nutritional intervention. Interventions included: - Nutrition education classes to promote healthy pregnancy goals - Improved access by introducing resources beyond the food desserts - Promoted exclusive breastfeeding - Conducted culturally linked meal preparation to include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while reducing the use of highly processed foods - Nutritional coaching to address emotional eating Results of the Intervention: Preliminary results showed 81% of participants experienced an increase in knowledge from baseline to follow-up. In addition, 47% of participants showed a 20% or greater increase in knowledge. The results showed a statistically significant increase in knowledge overall (p<0.001). There was an increase in African American mothers breast feeding from 75% to 100% of participants. Results showed that participants entered prenatal care earlier, showed increase in knowledge and improved intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With the help of coaching support, reports of stress eating decreased. Results showed a decrease in premature births from 18% to 10%. Post assessment data also showed high program satisfaction. Conclusion: African American women are a high-risk population and require specific, culturally tailored nutritional interventions. Use of a faith-based environment provided necessary, effective and committed resources that resulted in healthy lifestyle changes. The Honey Child New Beginnings Program developed a high touch and interactive nutritional delivery model to increase knowledge of the importance of nutrition in a healthy pregnancy. References Godfrey, K. M., Reynolds, R. M., Prescott, S. L., Nyirenda, M., Jaddoe, V. W., Eriksson, J. G., & Broekman, B. F. (2017). Influence of maternal obesity on the long-term health of offspring. The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology, 5(1), 53–64. Friedman J. E. (2018). Developmental Programming of Obesity and Diabetes in Mouse, Monkey, and Man in 2018: Where Are We Headed?. Diabetes, 67(11), 2137–2151.

Results Honey Child New Beginnings

Joint Program: Council on Child Abuse and Neglect and Section on Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion