First Time Motherhood / New Parent Initiative


In the fall of 2008, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, Women's Health Branch received a two-year grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant provided support for the First Time Parenthood Initiative. The target audience for this initiative are women and men ages 15-29 who are planning on conceiving a child in the future or those who may become pregnant unexpectedly, including those of racial/ethnic minorities. The project focused on six counties in Eastern North Carolina where infant mortality rates are high and the racial/ethnic gap in birth outcomes is wide. 

The grant had a number of activities and a variety of partners. The various activities are described below. If you would like more information about this initiative contact Alvina Long Valentin, project coordinator, at 919-707-5708 or For additional information about the First Time Parenthood Initiative and a preview of their products, click here.

Marketing Campaign

Increasing awareness about the importance of having a reproductive life plan is a core message for the project's social marketing campaign. The NC Healthy Start Foundation partnered with this project to develop media messages and public service announcements to reach Eastern North Carolina. These messages ran during the summer of 2009. Along with the messages, the media effort highlighted the North Carolina Family Health Resource Line (no longer operational). The Resource Line staff were trained to offer callers information on the North Carolina Family Planning Waiver, basic preconception health and wellness messages and provide resources for primary, pediatric and prenatal care. The project also used as a centralized source of health information for consumers and providers as part of this initiative.

Local Health Department Support

Health Departments in the six county region received assistance from the program to improve their ability to educate and support men and fathers. Funds were available to help the health departments create male/father friendly waiting rooms, install baby changing stations in men’s rooms, and promote preconception messages/services for men.


The UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research developed assessment tools and conducted surveys to determine the effectiveness of the various program components. 

Faith Community Training

The Center for Health and Healing worked with the NC Healthy Start Foundation to develop a preconception curriculum for faith communities. This curriculum covers the topics of recommended exams and screenings, healthy living, stress, depression, domestic violence and reproductive life planning. A series of trainings to implement the curriculum were given during the grant period.

Community Outreach Worker Curriculum and Training

The NC Healthy Start Foundation's Ready, Set, Plan! curriculum has been completed and was implemented in communities with local opinion leaders and outreach workers. 

Educational Materials for Consumers

Several great educational booklets were developed through this project. To read them, please click on the titles below. 

Health Care Provider Curriculum, Training and Tool Kit Links

A two-part curriculum and training series was implemented as part of this project. The first segment focused on Core Preconception Health Messages, Reproductive Life Planning, the North Carolina Family Planning Waiver, Folic Acid, and Cultural Competency/Health Literacy. Presentations were developed for each topic area and are available below. A toolkit was also developed in partnership with the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health to be given to each clinic/office that attended the training. Listed below are some quick links to some of the items in the toolkit. 

Curriculum 2009

To access the power point presentation for each of the topic areas covered during the spring 2009 trainings, click on the title of the presentation below:

Provider Tool Kit Links

General Information

Family Planning and Reproductive Life Planning

Health Literacy and Cultural Competency

  • North Carolina Program on Health Literacy
  • How to Talk to Your Doctor or Nurse
  • Effective Patient-Practitioner Communication
  • Health Literacy Statistics at a Glance
  • Check List for Providers
  • Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion
  • Ask Me 3 Patient Booklet
  • Words to Watch in English and Spanish
  • National Center for Cultural Competency
  • Cultural Competency Primer
  • Communication Tools and Tips for Your Patients
  • Health Disparities Book
  • Diversity Rx Website
  • Unequal Treatment: What Health Care System Administrators Need to Know About Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care
  • Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Revised: June 9, 2011

This web site is designed for informational use only; it is not designed to give advice, diagnose, cure or treat any medical condition you may have. If you have any questions about your health, please contact your health care provider.