Infant & Maternal Care
According to the 2021 Community Health Assessment (CHA) conducted in Gaston County, maternal and infant healthcare ranked as one of the most critical health concerns in our community. From 2019 to 2020, Gaston County experienced an increase in infant mortality rate that were exponentially higher, 83% increase in infant mortalities in Gaston County compared to less than 2% increase statewide.
We can improve these outcomes by having comprehensive, affordable care before and after delivery along with extensive support services for all families.
According to the data collected, these increases in negative maternal health outcomes and infant mortality have disproportionately effected the African American and Hispanic communities compared to the rest of Gaston County.
Proper nutrition, equitable access to quality prenatal care and screenings for preventable complications are all important strategies to ensure a successful, full-term pregnancy and a healthy newborn and mother. Additionally, mothers and infants thrive when they have access to a safe, nurturing environment that meets the needs of the entire family.
Infant & Maternal Health Resources
There have been positive improvements in rates of prenatal care between 2016 and 2020, there is more work to be done. Below is a list of resources that offer support to expectant mothers and their families to ensure healthy, full-term pregnancies.
Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
The health department offers family planning services to help women plan their pregnancies and prevent unintended pregnancies. Family planning services include birth control counseling and education on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Gaston DHHS partners with CaroMont Regional Medical Center to offer maternity services to pregnant women who are receiving Medicaid, are uninsured or have insurance that does not cover maternity care. The services provided by this partnership provide care to routine and high-risk pregnancies.
Substance, Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Program
This program aims to assist mothers so they can conquer substance dependencies and deliver exceptional care to their newborns, both pre- and post-delivery.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP)
This program offers breast exams, mammograms and pap smears to detect breast and cervical cancer among qualifying women.
WIC (Women, Infant, Children)
The health department has a WIC office that promotes the health of women, infants, and children. This office administers the WIC program, which provides food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals for eligible families.
Gaston DHHS offers food and nutrition aid via the SNAP program. This program assists families with support to access nutritional benefits.
If you need assistance or would like to learn more about any of these available resources, visit the Gaston County Department of Human Health and Services website. You can also call 704-853-5000.