About the Protect Our Babies Movement
Ohio is among the worst states for infant mortality with black babies dying at 3 times the rate of white babies. Cuyahoga County infant mortality rate is double that of the national rate with black babies dying 5.9 times the rate of white babies. The Protect Our Babies Movement (www.pobmovement.org) uses a culturally specific approach to reduce infant mortality rates in Black babies. The POB Movement utilizes academic “bench” science and community residents’ “trench” knowledge. It is grounded in a philosophy of community-based participatory public health as social justice and based on the understanding that cultural beliefs and practices can be both protective and harmful.
The POB Movement uses SMS (texting) and social media to disseminate information and collect data. Our SMS content is inclusive of a clinically validated “Healthy Mom’s Health Risk Assessment” developed by Case Western Reserve University’s (CWRU) Center for Health Research and Policy. Additionally, CWRU/MetroHealth, Center for Reducing Health Disparities contributed to our content development.
Core themes for the POB Movement include: acknowledging and reducing racial disparities in infant mortality, improving community member’s knowledge about stress and its impact on premature births, supporting partnerships with medical care and social services systems, and driving community ownership and mobilization. Strategies include using social media, multimedia, texting and literary arts to foster community dialogue and raise awareness, drive culturally appropriate outreach and education, and improve self-advocacy, mentorship, and support.
We work in tight partnership with faith and community-based organizations including corner stores, barbers, stylists, and nail techs. Key Partners, such as Mom’s First, Birthing Beautiful Communities, The Food Trust, OIMRI, Healthy Fathering Collaborative and the Neighborhood Leadership Institute have fostered relationships with several trusted secular and non-secular community-facing organizations (Community Partners) in Cuyahoga County. We provide all collateral material and simply ask these trusted Community Partners to promote the POB Movement to their constituents, congregants, members, and clients. We then ask community members to TEXT “Infant” to 30644 and/or to “Like Us”, and share us, within their very own social media network.
We aim to scrutinize the effect of our partnership activities on changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that are thought to influence maternal and infant health; and effecting changes in personal and organizational policy and practice.
Want information sent to you about the POBMovement? Join the movement here!