What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start legislation provides for universal risk screening of all Florida's pregnant women and infants to identify those at risk for poor birth, health and developmental outcomes.
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 a poor pregnancy outcome. This includes post-partum women and their infants up to age three.
The goal of Healthy Start is to reduce infant mortality, reduce the number of low birth weight babies and improve health and developmental outcomes.
Implemented April 1, 1992, the key components of Florida's Healthy Start include:
Universal prenatal and infant risk screening to identify pregnant women and infants at risk for adverse birth, health and developmental outcomes;
Healthy Start care coordination and services that support families in reducing the factors and situations that place pregnant women and infants in jeopardy for poor outcomes.
Healthy Start includes targeted support services that address identified risks. The range of Healthy Start services available to pregnant women, infants and children up to age three include:
- Care coordination to assure access to needed services
- Childbirth education
- Parenting education and support
- Nutrition counseling
- Psychosocial counseling
- Tobacco education and cessation counseling
- Breastfeeding education and support
- Home visiting