What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start legislation provides for universal risk screening of all Florida’s pregnant women and newborn infants to identify those at risk for poor birth, health and developmental outcomes.
The Program involves a holistic approach to maternal and child health, encompassing
service planning, community involvement, funding and provision of services.
Who can receive Healthy Start services?
ALL pregnant women regardless of their marital, economic
or immigration status are eligible to participate in the Healthy Start
program if they are at high risk for poor pregnancy outcomes.
This includes postpartum women and their
newborns up to age 3.
How much does it cost?
Healthy Start is a free program offered in the
state of Florida. It is available to all pregnant women and
families with babies up to age 3.
How do I enroll in Healthy Start?
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 Healthy Start 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. It’s as easy as that and it’s up to you! Just say YES to the screen! OR, call your local Healthy Start Program.
Is Healthy Start for babies too?
Yes. Before you go home from the hospital or birth center, ask your nurse if your baby has received a Healthy Start Postnatal Infant Screening. This questionnaire can uncover factors that could affect your health or the baby’s growth and development during the very important first year of life.
What if I don’t need any help?
Even if you don’t have problems or the desire to use the Healthy Start services, completing the Healthy Start screen at your doctor or midwife’s office will be helpful in gathering the data and funding necessary to improve the system of care for ALL moms and babies in North Central Florida.
Heathy Start Program
Healthy Start provides the following services for moms and babies:
Click on items below to find out more about Healthy Start Services.
Healthy Start provides a personal Care Coordinator to assist you with services throughout your prenatal care and after the birth of your baby.
Your Care Coordinator will meet you at your doctor or pediatrician’s office, your home or any place that is convenient for you. She will assist you with services and educational opportunities to help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Childbirth education can help you have the most positive birth experience and outcomes for you and your baby. Services are provided to you and your support person in a group setting. Some takeaways from childbirth education would be:
- To understand the changes taking place with your body and emotions during pregnancy
- How to prepare for labor and delivery
- Breathing and relaxation exercises
- How to care for the health of you and your baby
Breastfeeding Education & Support
Breastfeeding is beneficial for you and for the health of your baby. Services are offered by your Care Coordinator on a one-on-one basis and tailored to meet your needs. Some takeaways from breastfeeding education and support would be:
- To learn techniques for successful and enjoyable breastfeeding
- To help answer questions and concerns about breastfeeding
- To provide you with breastfeeding support and encouragement
- To understand how breastfeeding benefits you and your baby
Parenting Education & Support
Empower yourself and your family with information on supporting healthy growth and development for your baby. Services are provided to you and your family during personal visits with your Care Coordinator. Some takeaways from parenting education and support would be:
- How to prepare for your baby to come home
- How to take care of your new baby
- To understand the growth and development of your baby
- To learn new ways of play and how to connect with your baby
Tobacco Free Education & Support
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself. Quitting means you will have a healthier baby and you will be a healthier mom. Services are available to you, your partner, and family members to create a smoke free environment for your baby. Some takeaways from tobacco free education and support would be:
- How to quit smoking during pregnancy to reduce your baby’s risks for being born too early and too small
- How to make your home smoke-free in order to reduce your baby’s risks for colds and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- How to remove nicotine from your body to help increase your breast milk supply and reduce your baby’s fussiness
Women’s Health Education & Support
A women’s health plays an important role in the health of her future baby. Services are available to help you be healthy between the end of one pregnancy to the beginning of the next. Some takeaways from women’s health education and support would be:
- How to plan for future pregnancies
- How to take care of yourself after the birth of your baby
- How to make healthy lifestyle choices for you and your family
Local Healthy Start Contact Information
- Citrus County
(352) 726-1731 ext. 361
- Hernando County
- Lake County
- Sumter County