The Healthy Start program provides pregnant moms, newborns and families with children up to age 3 with education, support and resources they need to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Healthy Start services are available to all pregnant women and mothers of newborns and is not based on income or insurance, but is based solely on risk factors that may be present during pregnancy or at the birth of the baby.
- Healthy Start services are free and provided in the home, community settings, one-on-one phone calls or through a video conferencing.
- Healthy Start services are voluntary and provided where most convenient for the family.
- Healthy Start services are based on the family’s needs and proven methods to improve birth outcomes, child development, parent-child interaction and maternal health.
Pregnant women and new moms can sign up by calling our Community Connect program at (321) 634-6101.
How do I participate in the Healthy Start program?
As soon as you think you may be pregnant, schedule a visit with your obstetrician or health care provider. During this initial visit, ask for the Prenatal Risk Screen. This is a simple one-page questionnaire that is completed by you and your medical provider. The answers to these questions are kept confidential and are used only to provide the best possible care for you and your baby. Ask to be referred and a Community Connect Specialist from Healthy Start will contact you by phone to discuss the resources and programs available to you.
Is Healthy Start for babies too?
Yes. Before you go home from the hospital or birth center, ask your nurse or birth certificate registrar if your baby has received the Infant Risk Screen. Florida law requires that all newborns be screened. This screen can uncover factors that could affect your health or the baby’s health, growth and development. Ask to be referred to Community Connect, a Healthy Start Community Connect Specialist will contact you once you are home from the hospital to go over local resources and programs available to you as a new mom.
Healthy Start provides the following services and referrals based on needs:
- Get one-on-one support in your home or another convenient location
- Count on a friendly care coordinator throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born
- Access services that are designed to meet your unique needs
Prenatal Education and Support
- Understand changes to your body and emotions during pregnancy
- Learn what to expect during labor and delivery
- Get information on food, medicine and exercise that can help or harm you and baby
- Find out the warning signs for early delivery
Breastfeeding Education and Support
- Learn techniques for successful and enjoyable breastfeeding
- Get answers to your questions and concerns about breastfeeding
- Understand how breastfeeding benefits you and your baby
- Take care of your new baby
- Keep baby safe with the latest safety guidelines on sleep, car seats and more
- Learn about infant nutrition
- Understand the growth of your baby
Parenting Education and Support
- Prepare for your baby to come home
- Track and support your baby’s development
- Learn new ways to play and connect with your baby
- Become your baby’s first teacher
Individuals, couples or families are provided with short-term counseling to reduce stress and address emotional or social problems. Counseling to help you with:
- Feeling anxious or nervous
- Feeling depressed or having the “Baby Blues”
- Relationship and partner issues
- Family and home life stress
Health and Well-being
- Plan for future pregnancies
- Make healthy lifestyles choices for you and your family
Tobacco Education & Cessation
- Quitting/reducing smoking during pregnancy to reduce your baby’s risks of being born too early and too small
- Making your home smoke-free to reduce your baby’s risks for colds and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Removing nicotine from your body to help increase your breast milk supply and reduce baby’s fussiness
- Gain access to local resources for your family
Community Connect Referral Form
Community Agencies: We can connect pregnant women and families to community resources and local home visiting programs (Healthy Families, Healthy Start, and Nurse Family Partnership) that help ensure a healthy start in life.
If you have a pregnant mother or a family with the child under the age of 3 that is in need of support and services, please fill out this referral form and fax it to us at 321.634.6108.