ABOUT BLACK INFANT HEALTH

In San Francisco, Black babies die at three times the rate of the general population in the first year of life. Babies die because they are born too soon and too small. The mission of the San Francisco Black Infant Health Program is to improve birth outcomes and health disparities affecting African American women and their infants. We address contributing factors such as chronic stress, social isolation, racial inequities and economic hardship.

We encourage a commitment to self-love and healthy living through our group education program and individual client services. Our ultimate goal is to improve African American infant and maternal health and decrease health disparities and social inequities.

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DREAM

BIG

BE

BOLD


OUR IMPACT

“To me this group was like church, a sermon to make it through the week. A great support system.” – LeTisha

The San Francisco Black Infant Health Program honors the unique needs, history and traditions of women of African descent. The values and priorities of Black women are at the core of every interaction. Participants build on their own strengths to cope with life’s challenges and enrich themselves, their families and their communities.

The activities in the SFBIH program help a woman bolster her confidence and strengthen her resilience. We help her incorporate the tools of mindfulness, gratitude practice and good nutrition in her everyday life in order to increase her protective factors so that she can thrive.


SUCCESS STORIES

  • Lauren came to Black Infant Health pregnant with her first baby. The father of the baby was in disbelief and wanted nothing to do with the baby. Lauren was very upset and unsure of her ability to parent alone. She also worked part time only and realized she needed more income to support herself and her new baby. Lauren never saw herself going to college and now that she had a baby to support she was even more adamant about gaining full time employment. Through her participation in the group at Black Infant Health, Lauren found support and reported feeling less depressed about her situation. She felt behind in her knowledge of parenting an infant because she had not had adequate time to prepare and found the psycho-education provided in the Black Infant Health group very helpful and informative. She reported feeling more confident as a mother because of her group experience. By working closely with her Family Health Advocate on her Life Plan, she was able to connect her short term goals to her long term goals and decided enrolling in college was her best option for financial stability.

    Lauren
  • Tiffany came to the San Francisco Black Infant Health program pregnant with her second child and with a one year old daughter in tow. At her home visit enrollment, Tiffany was giving her one year old a bottle full of Kool-Aid and preparing for her dinner that consisted only of canned or boxed processed foods. Tiffany began attending the groups at SFBIH where staff modeled nutrition and healthy eating habits. By the time Tiffany left SFBIH, she was only giving her children water and milk to drink and making weekly trips to the farmer’s market to feed her family.

    Tiffany
  • Marcy was a young, twenty-two year old mother who had a near death experience during her delivery and entered SFBIH postpartum. She woke up from her Cesarean-section surgery only to be informed that the doctors had to perform an emergency hysterectomy to save her life; she would be unable to have any more children. This caused Marcy to go into a deep depression and isolate herself. As she attended the weekly support groups at SFBIH, she began to form relationships with the other women in the group and go on outings with them outside of the program. Marcy has continued to maintain her friendships now that she has completed the SFBIH program.

    Marcy
  • Aisha came to SFBIH unemployed and pregnant for the second time after experiencing a fetal demise in her first pregnancy. She was extremely anxious about her pregnancy and nervous about being able to deliver a healthy baby. SFBIH was able to provide her with psychosocial education about her pregnancy and stress management techniques. Aisha reported using the breathing techniques she learned from SFBIH whenever she felt her anxiety rising around her finances or her pregnancy and says it was very helpful to her. Aisha delivered a healthy full term baby and also returned to participate in our postpartum groups. She was unable to complete the postpartum series because she successfully gained employment.

    Aisha
  • Tamika came to SFBIH after delivering her first baby. Prior to giving birth, Tamika was unaware she was pregnant. She went into the emergency room for stomach pain that she assumed was related to her pancreatic condition and left the hospital with a baby. She felt unprepared and blindsided. The father of the baby was in disbelief and wanted nothing to do with the baby. Tamika was very upset and unsure of her ability to parent alone. She also worked part time only and was realizing she needed more income to support herself and her new baby. Tamika never saw herself going to college and now that she had a baby to support she was even more adamant about gaining full time employment. Through her participation in the group at SFBIH, Tamika found support and reported feeling less depressed about her situation. She felt behind in her knowledge of parenting an infant because she had not had adequate time to prepare and found the psycho-education provided in the SFBIH group very helpful and informative. She reported feeling more confident as a mother because of her group experience. By working closely with her Family Health Advocate around goal setting, she was able to connect her short term goals to her long term goals and decided enrolling in college was her best option for financial stability.

    Tamika
  • Monique came to the Black Infant Health group at an advanced maternal age pregnant with her third child and experiencing numerous stressors. She was having a lot of parenting issues with her teenage child and going through a custody battle. Monique was also shot during her pregnancy due to living in a high crime housing project. As Black Infant Health continued to work with Monique, she revealed that she was abusing substances. The Public Health Nurse at Black Infant Health was able to connect her with a recovery program. Monique returned to Black Infant Health in her sobriety and was able to successfully complete postpartum sessions and complete her Life Plan.

    Monique

OUR FREE SERVICES

We encourage a commitment to self-love and healthy living through our group education program and individual client services. Our ultimate goal is to improve African American infant and maternal health and decrease health disparities and social inequities.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

• Pregnant African American women
• 18 years of age or older
• San Francisco resident
• Willing to participate in a 10 week support group

Contact Us

Please send your questions or comments to SF Black Infant Health by filling out the contact form below.



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