EmbraceHer is a virtual perinatal group intervention program model targeting pregnant and parenting reproductive-age African American women living in Alameda County. EmbraceHer is integrated within the Maternal, Paternal, Child & Adolescent Health Unit’s Starting Out Strong Family Support Services, a perinatal case management home visitation model.
Initially slated to offer in-person group sessions and care coordination, the EmbraceHer team quickly pivoted to develop virtual groups in the nation’s first region to issue COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders in March 2020. Beginning this year, three group series will be offered online through a private ‘Facebook-like’ social media platform that fosters community-building, continuity of care, and long-term continuous client engagement and participation.
EmbraceHer’s first group series, Polish Your Crown, Sis!, kicked off its first virtual group session in July 2020, and will be offered twice weekly all year. The session format uses psychoeducational approaches to promote Black women's well-being through lively discussion and learning about topics of interest to participants including health and mental wellness, Black culture, current events, sisterhood, parenting and family life.
In collaboration with Alameda Health System medical providers, nurse midwives, lactation consultant, family support workers, and doulas, virtual EmbraceBIRTH Childbirth Education Classes and BElovedBIRTH Black CenteringPregnancy® prenatal care groups were launched in early Fall 2020.