Cumberland County Resources for Women During Pregnancy and Postpartum

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According to a local health official, health insurance is not required for women to receive pregnancy and postpartum services in Cumberland County.

Health educator Dustee Lipumano of the Cumberland County Health Department said the maternity clinic, which offers low-risk prenatal care, is accessible to all pregnant women.

If the health department cannot meet a patient’s needs, then they are referred and connected to receive care elsewhere, said Deputy Chief Health Officer Ashley Curtice of the Cumberland County Health Department.

“The Department of Health does not have the capacity to meet all of the prenatal and gynecological needs of patients with high-risk conditions who require more specialized care,” Lipumano said. “CCDPH has entered into an agreement with Cape Fear Valley Health System to provide care for patients requiring more complex prenatal and gynecological care.”

Maternal health services at the maternity clinic are provided at little or no cost, she said. Fees are based on a “rolling fee scale,” which is a patient payment model based on income and the number of people in a household, Lipumano said.

The maternity clinic accepts insurance, Medicaid, self-pay, and North Carolina/Carolina Community Care Access.

CCNC/CA is a primary care case management health care plan, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“We also have our teen parenting program for teen moms, which is a support program,” Lipumano said. “Teen mothers can join the program during pregnancy or after giving birth.”

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Falling birth rate

The World Health Organization first declared COVID-19 to have caused a pandemic in March 2020. Birth rates across the country have declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to multiple media outlets.

In 2019there were nearly 350 more births in Cumberland County than in 2020according to data collected by the county.

Although birth rates have declined since the start of the pandemic, the cost of living continues to rise, leaving many pregnant women and new mothers in need of healthcare resources for their babies.

Postpartum begins when a baby is born. During the six-week postpartum period, the mother’s body is recovering and undergoing hormonal changes.

“After pregnancy, women can apply for reproductive life planning services at the Family Planning Clinic, determine their eligibility for our WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program, join one of our parenting programs, or the one of our case management programs … if eligible,” Lipumano said.

WIC is a government funded supplementation and nutrition program for women, infants and children. It helps with supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, lactating, and non-lactating postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to 5 years of age. years who are at nutritional risk, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The two case management programs offered by the Department of Health are the Care Management Program for High-Risk Pregnancies and the Care Management Program for At-Risk Children.

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Cumberland County women can determine their eligibility for resources and programs by calling 910-433-3600 or visiting cumberlandcountync.gov/publichealth.

Health and Education Editor Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at acastrellon@gannett.com or 910-486-3561.


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