LANCASTER – The Welcome Baby program, which offers hospital and home-based services for pregnant women and mothers who have just given birth, has expanded to the Antelope Valley, officials announced this week.
The program will provide free support and information to pregnant women and new mothers at the hospital and in their home; provide primary health prevention and parent education, and introduce families to support services and resources in their community.
The Welcome Baby Program is free and open to babies born at Antelope Valley Hospital, regardless of income or insurance.
“We are pleased to see Antelope Valley Partners for Health step up to offer this vital resource to our region. In recent years, the Antelope Valley has yielded some alarming health statistics, including an unacceptably high rate of childhood obesity,” stated Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris in a news release. “Our children are our future. With programs like Welcome Baby, we will build a better, healthier future for our community.”
The Welcome Baby Program in the Antelope Valley is a collaboration among long standing partners of Antelope Valley Partners for Health, Black Infant Health of Antelope Valley and Children’s Bureau of Antelope Valley.
The primary objective of the program is to work with families to maximum health, safety and security for the baby and parent-child relationship and to facilitate access to support.
AVPH anticipates the program reaching about 40% (2,400) of the families giving birth at AV Hospital in the first year and 80% (4,800) in the second year. The program preferably would like to enroll women prenatally so they may receive the most education and skills available. AVPH started enrolling families in December 2013; to date it has enrolled more than 200 women.
Welcome Baby will be a vital part of AVPH’s efforts to improve outcomes for all the children of the Antelope Valley, as the organization looks forward to a continued partnership with First 5 LA.
“AVPH is thrilled to receive this funding from First 5 LA, and excited to be a part of the Universal Welcome Baby Program because it will allow us to offer services that will provide a healthy start for the babies of our community,” said Michelle Kiefer, Executive Director of AVPH. “The partnership with First 5 LA is invaluable in our campaign to promote overall health and increased child safety in the Antelope Valley. We appreciate not only the funding from First 5 LA, but also the expertise and technical support they are continuing to share as part of this initiative.”
Welcome Baby began in 2009 as a pilot program in the Best Start Metro LA Community. Since that time, it has enrolled over 3,500 moms.
For more information in the Antelope Valley Welcome Baby Program, contact Lisa Tims with Antelope Valley Partners for Health, 661 942-4719 ext. 489 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.avph.org