Hispanic outreach program benefits mothers and babies

April 2, 2013
Marisela Serna, RN, is helping women in the Hispanic community improve their health and that of their families. SOURCE SUBMITTED

For more than nine months, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital’s Mother and Baby Care Unit has been working on a Hispanic outreach program to benefit expecting mothers. Through a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield BluePrints for the Community, Marisela Serna, RN, has been working through LaRed Health Services in Georgetown to support patients identified with gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs in women who are pregnant. When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes can cause the cells in her body to be less responsive to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps the cells in the body absorb sugars or glucose. According to the American Diabetes Association, pregnant women are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes if they are obese, have had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, or have a strong family history of diabetes.

Overall, about 2 percent to 10 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. Nanticoke Health Services’ Mother and Baby Care Unit found it was seeing a number of patients from the Hispanic community with gestational diabetes causing complications for mothers and newborns.

Nanticoke reports that Serna is supporting nearly 40 women identified with gestational diabetes.  Nearly 140 women have received education and support related to nutrition and physical activity to improve the health of them and their families.

“It is so important that Hispanic women receive healthcare and education during pregnancy. A baby should not have complications or die because a mother didn’t understand how to help her unborn child through diet, exercise and proper healthcare,” said Serna.

For more information about this program, call Serna at 302-245-1899.