Using the March of Dimes "Becoming a Mom" Prenatal Program to Improve Maternal Attitudes and Knowledge


  • Amy K Chesser Wichita State University
  • Nikki Keene Woods
  • Trisha Melhado
  • Amanda Steventon



preconception care, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, prenatal education, Kansas


BACKGROUND: Premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were identified as issues contributing to infant mortality in Kansas by the state’s Blue Ribbon Panel. The March of Dimes Becoming a Mom (BAM) prenatal program was implemented in four counties identified with high infant mortality rates and significant birth numbers (Geary, Saline, Sedgwick, and Shawnee) by the Kansas Blue Ribbon Panel. The purpose of this study was to identify the changes in prenatal attitudes, knowledge, and health outcomes among BAM program participants. METHODS: A collaborative community-based model incorporating multidisciplinary teams was created to address the health disparity gap in birth outcomes. Patients participated in multiple prenatal education sessions using a curriculum developed by the March of Dimes. A pre-/post-test design was implemented for the prenatal sessions. Changes in attitudes were assessed using descriptive statistics. Paired t-tests were used to assess the difference in knowledge questions from pre- and post-tests. Health outcomes were analyzed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Participants were 69% White, 87% spoke English, 64% were under age 26, 41% were employed full time, 45% had some high school or had a diploma, 39% had Medicaid, and 49% were enrolled in WIC (N=114). Participants demonstrated a statistically significant increase in knowledge among 14 out of 32 questions including: identifying signs of preterm labor, what to do during preterm labor, postpartum symptoms, and baby sleep position. There were also changes in prenatal attitudes including: need for prenatal care as soon as possible, continuing prenatal care when feeling healthy and not smoking during pregnancy. Relative frequencies were tabulated for week of delivery, infant birth weight, type of delivery, and presence of maternal and infant medical conditions. CONCLUSION: The March of Dimes BAM program participants reported improvements in prenatal knowledge. The BAM program can improve maternal knowledge through a community-based collaborative model of care. The combined prenatal education program with quality prenatal care can result in better maternal and child health outcomes.




How to Cite

Chesser, A. K., Woods, N. K., Melhado, T., & Steventon, A. (2015). Using the March of Dimes "Becoming a Mom" Prenatal Program to Improve Maternal Attitudes and Knowledge. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 8(2), 50–60.



Original Research