Adventist Health White Memorial | Los Angeles
In part of the community that Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM) serves, there are high rates of poverty and overcrowding. Meanwhile, changes to health care funding have made it harder for women in those situations to obtain prenatal and postpartum care, as well as pediatric care for their newborns. To increase access to care, AHWM launched the Welcome Baby Program.
The Welcome Baby Program is part of a community network of programs that work together to provide supportive services to families with newborns. Developed in partnership with First5LA, it is a voluntary, universally provided hospital and home-visitation program offered at no cost to pregnant and postpartum women.
The primary objective of Welcome Baby is to work with families to maximize the health, safety, and security of the baby and parent-child relationship and to facilitate access to support and services when needed. The Welcome Baby Program provides nine points of contact: three prenatal visits; a hospital visit; and five postpartum home visits using trained professionals to work with patients on site and in their homes.
The Welcome Baby team provides individual support and information on parenting, early child development, bonding and attachment, health care, nutrition, breastfeeding, and home safety. Mothers are seen as early as the first trimester of pregnancy and followed through the baby’s first nine months. The program has three overarching goals: (1) increase breastfeeding; (2) increase access to health care; and (3) increase connections to local community resources. The caregivers help the moms make and keep all necessary pediatric or OB/GYN appointments, as well as track immunizations and other health needs for their infants.
Through the program, new mothers are connected to other community and government resources as well, such as LINK, WIC, food banks, and educational programs.