Nurture KC Hot Topics, News October 24, 2022

An in-depth look at Nurture KC in The Kanas City Star

Last Sunday’s edition of The Kansas City Star featured a cover story titled: “Missouri is one of the worst places to have a baby. It doesn’t have to be.” by Lisa Gutierrez and Anna Spoerre. Nurture KC was key to this in-depth feature article showing how we help pregnant moms with tangible results. In fact, Nurture KC’s Maternal Morbidity Report spurred the article.

A few highlights of the article worth noting if you’re short on time:

“Nurture KC has also launched a pilot program to provide doulas to 25 high-risk women. ‘I think that’s really the next frontier if we are serious about women’s health and infant health because having that support system and an advocate, it will improve outcomes, and we’ve seen that happen elsewhere, and that would be an incredible step forward if Missouri and Kansas as well would look at that issue,’ said Russell of Nurture KC. Studies show that pregnant women who have doulas at their side have fewer babies with low birth weights and fewer C-sections.”


“As a lead community health worker at Nurture KC, Metcalf helps expectant and new mothers from the 14 poorest ZIP codes in the metro access the care and knowledge they need to thrive. On a recent crisp fall morning at Nurture KC’s midtown office, Metcalf spoke with Fabiola Irias, a mother of three with a fourth baby on the way. Irias held her hand to her round belly as they sat together, a shelf stacked high with free diapers behind them. A poster above them read ‘Papas Bienvenidos’ — Welcome Fathers. Metcalf spoke with Irias, who is expecting a girl in December, about asking for plenty of time to hold her baby, skin to skin, at the hospital to help with breastfeeding. They talked about counting the baby’s kicks in the third trimester as an easy way to track early warning signs of trouble.

‘Irias, who recently moved to the United States, is without a car, so Nurture KC arranges for a taxi to bring her to and from her monthly appointments. On a recent Wednesday she left with a new diaper bag, one of the first gifts for her new baby. Before she left, Irias embraced Metcalf, tears filling her eyes. She’s never felt so supported in a pregnancy before, she said. Irias is one of more than 40 families Metcalf works with through Nurture KC’s federally funded Healthy Start program, meant to help the most at-risk families. Part of the program teaches how to keep sleeping babies safe. Staff members visit mothers and their newborns at home when they ask for the extra support in the 18 months after giving birth. They help them navigate postpartum depression, sign their baby up for Medicaid, find food and clothing banks, even connect them with immigration lawyers. But more than anything Metcalf is someone families can talk to, face to face.

‘If most moms can have somebody that visits and provides information where they are, I think that is key,’ Metcalf said. In a perfect world, she added, every new family would have postpartum home visitations if they wanted them.”