Michigan program helps keeps women and their babies happy, healthy

Every year in Michigan, more than 80 women die while giving birth. More than 63% of those deaths are preventable.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:30 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Over $20 million is being used to improve maternal and infant health in the United States. The government wants women to have the knowledge and resources necessary for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Every year in Michigan, more than 80 women die while giving birth. More than 63% of those deaths are preventable.

Keeping mom and baby health at the forefront, the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) in Jackson promotes healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and healthy babies for moms like Paulina Ohrey, who used MIHP when she was pregnant in 2014.

“It helped me understand where I stood with my baby and how to move forward to make sure my baby grows up fine,” said Ohrey. “They helped me with safe sleep, on how to take care of my baby. And, if I needed to get [somewhere] they would help. Or if I needed assistance finding resources, food banks, anything that I needed she was there for. And after the baby was born she came to assess the baby.”

Nine years later, she wants more moms to know help is available. Help like home visits to check on mom and baby and transportation services to get food and other basic needs.

“I watched a video and I think it was with Ann, I went to Center for Women and one of the moms, her baby passed away, but her baby was the age of my toddler and that one hit home. That’s when I realized I don’t know what I’m doing,” said Ohrey.

Differences in health insurance coverage and access to care play a role in maternal and infant health outcomes. Ann Sloan oversees MIHP in Jackson and said one of their goals is helping to reduce infant mortality.

“It really is designed to be a supportive service for families in our community and we really do want to promote healthy outcomes and see that families are thriving and our children are thriving in our community,” said Sloan.

Making sure mom and baby live a long, happy, and healthy life.

“I love her and to this day, I will always encourage everybody to use that program,” said Ohrey.

The Maternal Infant Health Program is also available in Ingham, Eaton, and Hillsdale counties. Learn more about MIHP:

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