BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33/FOX44) - Kayla Briggs is a mother of two. Her second child, Kyper, was born July 2016. Briggs thanks the Centering Pregnancy Program for having a healthy and happy baby.
"It was actually one of my initial OB appointments. They offered me the option to have a classroom-style appointment, which I found kind of interesting. I actually said sure, let's see what it's all about," said Briggs.
The program Briggs was a part of takes place at Woman's Hospital.
"We were all able to discuss what we were going through. Everybody was going through something different. No pregnancy is the same, but you do all share experiences in the same way," said Briggs. "So, it was really positive to have other people to discuss this with because I can tell my family all day what I'm feeling and what I'm going through, but it was other pregnant women who could relate to what I was saying."
Now, thanks to the Amerigroup Foundation's $50,000 grant to the March of Dimes, more moms across Louisiana will have access to this program.
"The money that we're giving March of Dimes will give 300 additional women to actually experience this type of service and improve birth outcomes. So, we're really excited about that," said Dr. Raymond Poliquit, the medical director of Amerigroup.
"It has been shown to reduce the level of prematurity because women have addition support and better information to have a healthy pregnancy. So, it's a really exciting day to support the best for the future as well as to celebrate how far we've come with birth outcomes in Louisiana," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.
Louisiana has one of the highest premature birth rates in the country, and prematurity is the number one killer of babies in our state
This donation comes during National Minority Health Month. Here in Louisiana, health officials say African-American babies are born almost double the rate of prematurity than other ethnicities.