The goal of Healthy Start is to reduce infant mortality, reduce the number of low birth weight babies and improve health and developmental outcomes. Signed into law in 1991 under Governor Chiles, Healthy Start legislation calls for the 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 Healthy Start program offers:
- Care Coordination and Outreach
- Breastfeeding and Childbirth education
- Parenting education and support
- Smoking Cessation Assistance
- Nutritional services and counseling
- Psychosocial counseling
- Home Visits
If you are interested in benefiting from Healthy Start services, please contact your local Healthy Start.
Florida Statute 383.14 requires that all pregnant women be offered the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screening at their first or consequent prenatal visit and the Healthy Start Infant (Postnatal) Risk Screening be offered to parents or guardians of all infants born in Florida before leaving the delivery facility.
Even if a women doesn’t have problems or the desire to use Healthy Start services, completing the Healthy Start screen is helpful in gathering the data and funding necessary to improve the system of care for ALL moms and babies in Florida. So, we encourage every pregnant woman in Florida to say YES to the Healthy Start Screen.