Within the first two months of her pregnancy, Brenda Barish enrolled in Baby Benefits, offered by her employer. After Barish returned the completed risk-assessment questionnaire that she received in her prenatal kit, a Baby Benefits' nurse contacted her. Barish indicated on her form that she had experienced complications during a past pregnancy, which the nurse recognized as a factor that could increase her risk of having preterm labor with this baby. The nurse continued correspondence with Barish during the next six months, teaching the pregnant woman about the danger signs for which to watch. The nurse also worked with Barish to change lifestyle behaviors that negatively impact pregnancy.
In her seventh month of pregnancy, Barish called her Baby Benefits nurse to report complications. She told the nurse that her doctor had ordered complete bed rest as a preventive measure for preterm labor. She said that she was unable to comply with her doctor's order because of the demands of her 3-year-old. The nurse worked with Barish's employer and arranged for payment of custodial home care to assist the woman. The cost for this service was less expensive than hospitalizing Barish for the remainder of her pregnancy. It also was easier on her family. As a result, she was able to comply with the order for bed rest, and carried her pregnancy to full term, delivering a healthy baby.
The cost savings associated with the prevention of a premature birth at 30 weeks' gestation is approximately $84,000.
ABC Co. offers Baby Benefits to its employees and to employees' spouses. Helen Smith enrolled in the program through her husband's work site in her first trimester. She received the initial packet, which included information on preterm labor.
Reading through the materials, she was glad to learn that she didn't have any of the risk factors for preterm labor. At about 28 weeks' gestation, however, Smith experienced what the materials indicated could be symptoms of pre-term labor. She called the Baby Benefits nurse. Based on Smith's information of what she was experiencing, the nurse, too, suspected preterm labor and immediately referred Smith to her physician for treatment. Smith followed through, and her preterm labor was stopped.
Smith continued her pregnancy without further difficulties and delivered a full-term, healthy baby. She told the nurse that without the knowledge of the signs of preterm labor, she would have ignored her symptoms.
The cost savings associated with the prevention of a premature birth at 28 weeks' gestation, which would have necessitated neonatal intensive care, is approximately $112,000.
Personnel Journal, October 1993, Vol. 72, No.10, p. 44.