Prenatal Partners is a program that pairs two students (genetic counseling students, and first- and second-year medical students) with an expectant mother for the duration of the pregnancy. The student partners serve as a support network for the expectant mother.
During the first week of September, all interested students are required to attend two orientation seminars. At this time, students are given a folder with a Prenatal Partners Handbook, as well as all other pertinent forms required during a pairing. The expectant mothers are identified by social workers, and they are referred to the program coordinators. The students are paired from different classes to minimize scheduling conflicts with courses. There are monthly meetings to discuss issues that arise during the pairings and serve as a forum to discuss how pairings are progressing.
Partners maintain telephone contact with the mother before each prenatal visit, accompany the mother to prenatal visits and Preparation for Childbirth classes offered at Mount Sinai, and attend the birth of baby. The student pairs are given a beeper during the last month of the pregnancy, and the mother is instructed to page the beeper when she goes into labor. After she has given birth, the mother is asked to evaluate her partners.