Birth Your Way + Health

Birth Your Way+Health is a prenatal, group-based intervention designed to improve birth outcomes for Oregon’s Lane County Women Infants and Children (WIC) clients by addressing the Lane County Public Health Authority aims to increase healthy perinatal behaviors.  Lane County WIC provides services to 49% of all pregnant women in Lane County. The Birth Your Way+Health program is grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based approach that has demonstrated effectiveness in over 60 randomized-controlled trials for treating anxiety, depression, chronic pain, smoking cessation, eating behaviors and more.  We aim to assess the feasibility of integrating the program within the Lane County WIC agency while evaluating program efficacy using both a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and single subject design.

Birth Your Way+Health is a prenatal intervention that targets the psychosocial determinants of infant mortality and negative birth outcomes.  A small feasibility study is currently underway, funded by the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon, while a larger-scale efficacy trial, funded by the Center for Women in Society at the University of Oregon, will be implemented at Lane County WIC in Fall 2014.  The original Birth Your Way program aims to decrease perinatal stress and postpartum depressive symptoms, and to increase satisfaction with birth, a key predictor of postpartum well-being.

Birth Your Way+Health is an adaptation of the Birth Your Way program, designed for and developed within Lane County WIC, to additionally target the health behavior determinants of infant mortality and negative birth outcomes, while taking into account the Lane County Public Health Authority aims for 2013-2016.  Birth Your Way+Health aims to reduce perinatal tobacco use and to increase healthy diet and exercise behaviors in pregnant and new mothers. Lane County WIC staff report that although prenatal tobacco use rates are high in Lane County, independent prenatal smoking cessation classes are hard to fill.  Pregnant women may find an ACT-based childbirth class that integrates values-directed healthy behavior change strategies within a childbirth class setting appealing.  A continuation of the implementation science approach modeled thus far will enable the researchers and Lane County WIC to continue to refine and develop the program in future trials in order to meet community and agency needs.

Project Team: 
Primary Investigator