Health Coaching + Change in Early-Life Care Benefits Babies, Moms

Findings show reduced infant overweight and increased receipt of maternal postpartum care among low-income dyads

FRIDAY, Aug. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — An early-life, systems-change intervention plus coaching is associated with improved infant weight status and maternal postpartum care, according to a study published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

Elsie M. Taveras, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assessed the effects of the First 1000 Days intervention on the prevalence of infant overweight (assessed at six and 12 months) and maternal postpartum weight retention and care (assessed at six weeks postpartum). The analysis included 995 term, low-income infants and their mothers receiving care in two intervention community health centers and 650 dyads in two comparison health centers.

The researchers found that at six months, infants had lower weight-for-length z scores and lower odds of overweight (adjusted odds ratio, 0.46) than infants receiving usual care at comparison sites. These differences persisted at 12 months (adjusted odds ratio for overweight, 0.60). For mothers, the intervention was associated with modestly lower, but nonsignificant, weight retention at six weeks postpartum and higher odds (adjusted odds ratio, 1.50) of completing their postpartum visit versus receiving usual care.

“An early-life systems-change intervention combined with coaching was associated with improved infant weight status and maternal postpartum care,” the authors write. “Such interventions hold promise to improve the population health of women and children.”

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