National Birth Defects Awareness Month: Spotlighting Centene's Commitment to Healthy Moms and Babies


Baby drinking from bottle

National Birth Defects Awareness Month in January raises awareness of birth defects prevention and their impact on individuals, parents and families. Centene is dedicated to improving the whole health of pregnant members and their babies through a variety of resources and services.

Centene’s Start Smart for Your Baby® program leverages innovative technology and support to identify high-risk, pregnant members to help reduce the risk of birth defects and increase healthier birth outcomes.

The company’s Neonatal Center of Excellence leads best practices across Centene to enhance neonatal care and address the medical, social and financial needs of those at high risk for having an infant born prematurely and/or critically ill. 

Locally, Centene’s health plans, including Superior HealthPlan, Sunshine Health and Home State Health, provide prenatal vitamins to members to supply iron, calcium and folic acid for developing babies. The Neonatal Center of Excellence and Pharmacy Operations team are collaborating on an enterprise-wide program to further ensure pregnant members receive prenatal vitamins and targeted folic acid supplementation to improve their health and reduce their baby’s risk of birth defects. 

Keeping babies healthy through proper nutrition is also a key focus. Care Managers connect new mothers to formula and breastfeeding resources, including breast pumps, doulas and lactation support.

This includes Nebraska Total Care member Skarleth, whose baby has a medical condition that requires thickener for all fluids. Watch how the health plan’s care team ensures Skarleth receives what she needs to safely feed her daughter.