Community Awareness Pregnant Women and Child Health in Four North Carolina County
- Corresponding Author:
- Linda E May
East Carolina University (ECU)
Greenville, North Carolina, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 11, 2016; Accepted date: December 02, 2016; Published date: December 07, 2016
Citation: May LE, Spencer K, Daniels R, Rouse J, Stoop A, et al. (2016) Community Awareness Pregnant Women and Child Health in Four North Carolina County. J Preg Child Health 3:294. doi:10.4172/2376-127X.1000294
Copyright: © 2016 May LE, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Exercise and good nutrition improve overall health during pregnancy and childhood. North Carolina (NC) has a high rate of obesity, yet few programs intervene during and after pregnancy especially in rural communities. Prior to initiating programs for pregnant women and children in rural NC communities, we wanted to understand community awareness, resources, barriers, and solutions. The purpose of the study was to assess community awareness, barriers, solutions, and resources regarding healthy lifestyles in pregnancy and childhood in rural NC communities. Methods: We conducted focus groups in four Eastern NC counties (Harnett, Hertford, Pasquotank, Pitt). Each session addressed: awareness, barriers, solutions and availability of resources for a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and childhood. Qualitative analysis was done using NVivo. Results: All communities have common barriers such as lack of education, limited healthy food options, high rates of teenage pregnancy, and limited resources for physical activity. Common strengths include resources such as faith-based organizations, health departments, local businesses, and community members. Solutions varied depending on availability of community resources. Limitations: The relatively small sample of counties may restrict generalizations to other counties; however, the results provide a basis for further development of healthy lifestyle programs targeting pregnancy and post-pregnancy health issues. Conclusion: Communities had similar barriers and strengths, but found different solutions based on available resources. This suggests a tailored approach is necessary to improve the health of pregnant women and children in NC communities. Establishing collaborations to engage more community members will be critical to facilitate this process.