Last week, Adrian Fenty unveiled the new “I Am A Healthy D.C. Mom” campaign, targeted at encouraging moms to keep their children healthy and safe inside and outside of the womb. The campaign’s launch was accompanied by the release of the administration’s 2007 Infant Mortality Report [PDF].
According to a press release, the campaign asks pregnant women to “commit to forty weeks of prenatal care, staying fit and eating right, and keeping their baby safe and healthy.”
How reasonable is to to expect a full forty weeks of prenatal care from a woman? It means she’ll have to act like a good pregnant lady—-like folic acid in place of booze, or whatever—-from the moment of conception. That’s before she even suspects she’s pregnant. Before she misses her period. Before she takes a pregnancy test.
Usually, it’s also before she wants to be pregnant.
Half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. There’s no current data available for how many D.C. pregnancies are unplanned, but there’s reason to believe the number is much higher than the national rate. We do know that 62 percent of children in D.C. live in single-parent homes, compared to 32 percent nationally. Forty-six percent of children in D.C. have an unemployed parent, compared to 33 percent nationally. D.C. also has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation.
Here’s what the campaign will consist of:
* “resource materials “for doctors and moms
* a “pregnancy assistance toolkit” which covers prenatal care through the first year of motherhood
* transit posters
* PSAs in radio, Web and print
Healthy moms and healthy kids are great. Providing women with more information about prenatal care is great, too. How about committing to some other options, too—-increased funding for birth control and abortion could go a long way in decreasing infant mortality rates, too.
Photo by freeparking