Supporting Members Through Holistic Pregnancy Care

Health & Wellness, Innovations & Initiatives


Pregnant mother reading to young child

Centene’s commitment to improving pregnancy outcomes and infant health has been a part of our clinical care management initiative for over a decade, and we continue to explore innovative ways to support pregnant individuals before and after delivery. States continue to adopt policies that extend Medicaid coverage after birth for up to 12 months, providing opportunity for increased mental and physical healthcare coverage for new parents. By extending coverage after birth, individuals are better able to access additional postpartum care, including treatment for depression, helping reduce adverse health outcomes, and racial disparities in maternal and infant health.

Our award-winning Start Smart for Your Baby® program has shown to reduce pregnancy-related complications, premature deliveries, low birth weight deliveries, and infant disease. The program’s outreach efforts include an extensive suite of wellness materials that address both the physical and mental health aspects of pregnancy. Intensive care management, provider collaboration, and support of the appropriate use of medical and mental health resources further encourage a healthy pregnancy and recovery. Furthering the opportunity for education and a healthy start for baby, local health plans across the country host baby showers for expecting parents, providing education and resources to help prepare for baby, how to care for them once they arrive, and highlighting the importance of post-delivery appointments for both child and mother.

Pregnant individuals impacted by substance use and substance use disorders (SUD) require individualized support delivered with dignity and without shame. Centene’s Strong Beginnings program takes a holistic care approach to addressing SUD to ensure new or existing physical side effects and mental health concerns are monitored. The program delivers evidence-based screenings, access to medication-assisted treatment, and harm-reduction education, improving the health of the pregnant individual and baby. Members are paired with care managers who facilitate access to resources, including connecting them with skilled providers accustomed to working with this population and peer support, decreasing barriers to care and delivering integrated prenatal care early in pregnancy.

Expanding Medicaid coverage for pregnant individuals after birth provides increased opportunity for early intervention, comprehensive post-partum care, and education that can improve health outcomes and encourage positive health behaviors. To learn more about how Centene is supporting the whole health of communities read our white paper, Achieving Whole Health through Behavioral and Physical Health Integration (PDF).