What is Healthy Start?

Healthy Start is a voluntary program designed for parents who are expecting a baby or have a newborn. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, Lee Health, and community donors, the Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL provides support to help pregnant women and children gain access to the services and support they need to be as healthy as possible. Our mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, infants, and young children in Collier, Lee, Hendry and Glades County.

How do you qualify?

Healthy Start believes every woman deserves to know if she or her baby is at risk. After agreeing to complete the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen, the medical provider will refer patients to Healthy Start based on their answers provided from the survey. Answers on the survey are always private.  Healthy Start and the provider’s office will communicate with each other to ensure the client has the best outcome possible. Women are referred to the Healthy Start Program when there are identified risks that may affect the baby and mother.

If a mother, or baby, does not score into the program based on the risk screen, a provider may refer them into the program based on other factors. Families may also self-refer.

To view a copy of the Healthy Start Prenatal Risk Screen, Click here.

If a woman qualifies for Healthy Start, one of our caring professionals will contact her. They will provide education and support, and arrange other services which may be needed.

Every doctor in the state of Florida is required to offer a Healthy Start Risk Screen survey. A second survey will be conducted when the baby is born. This is called the Healthy Start Infant Risk Screen. We want to ensure the baby gets the best start in the first year of life. If there are problems when the baby is born, Healthy Start services will be available if needed. To view the Healthy Start Infant Risk Screen, Click here.

Free Healthy Start services include:

  • Help to have a healthy pregnancy weight
  • Phone calls or visits with a Care Coordinator, who is a trained nurse or social service worker
  • Information about local resources
  • Free classes in baby care, breastfeeding, and childbirth education
  • Help to stop smoking
  • Help with high stress, difficult problems or postpartum depression
  • Help with breastfeeding, including in-home postpartum support
  • Check-ups of the baby’s health and development
  • Free parenting classes
  • Grief counseling
  • Help with necessary baby supplies

*Many services are available in Spanish and Creole

If you are not in need of Healthy Start services, we encourage you to complete the Healthy Start screen at your birthing facility as it will be helpful in gathering the data and funding necessary to improve the system of care for ALL moms and babies in Southwest Florida.

CONTACT US

Our team is here to help you throughout your pregnancy and with your new baby. To learn more about our services, call the number listed below.

Collier County:
(239) 252-8551
Lee County:
(239) 225-7734
Hendry County:
(863) 612-5027
Glades County
(863) 301-6020