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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Healthy Start

Florida Department of Health in Washington County

The Healthy Start program was initiated in 1991 by the late Governor Chiles in an effort to reduce fetal and infant mortality, reduce the number of pre-term deliveries and improve pregnancy outcomes.                                                                                               

Healthy Start provides information on pregnancy, nutrition and the development of the baby before the baby is born.  Healthy Start is resourceful in giving information to participants in how to sign up for WIC and how to get help from local agencies for housing, clothing, food and much more.

Healthy Start can answer questions like: 

  • What happens to my body while I’m pregnant?
  • What should I eat while I’m pregnant so my baby will be healthy?
  • Does my smoking effect the baby while it’s still in me?
  • What will labor be like?   Healthy Start is not a class.  It does not cost anything,

Our goal in Healthy Start is to help you stay healthy during your pregnancy and to help you have a safe delivery so you and your baby will have a better start on your new life together.

Eligibility 

  • Any pregnant woman or infant from birth to age 3 is eligible for Healthy Start Services. 
  • No income requirements are necessary to receive Healthy Start Services.

Services 

  • Home visits by a Nurse or a Family Support Worker.
  • Educational information about having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
  • Referrals to other Community agencies as needed.
  • Educational classes on Childbirth that include labor and delivery, relaxation, comfort measures, and newborn care. 
  • Education and support to assist with stopping smoking.
  • Education and support to assist with Breastfeeding.
  • Education and support to assist with Parenting.
  • Education and support to assist with Family Planning, Women's Health, nutrition, and exercise.

Classes

Breastfeeding Classes - A relaxed atmosphere to learn about specific breastfeeding topics such as LATCH, Proper Positions for Breastfeeding, etc., and also, a time for your breastfeeding questions to be answered by a Breastfeeding Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC) These services are free. (refer to the "Events" section on the home page for upcoming class opportunties)

Moms In Bloom Classes - Moms in Bloom classes are held bimonthly for new mothers and their children ages 0-1. Moms in Bloom is designed to give new moms a relaxed evening out with their babies while promoting positive bonding, meeting other moms, and developing new support systems. (refer to the "Events" section on the home page for upcoming class opportunties)

Links  

The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions (FAHSC) 

Contact

For more information regarding Healthy Start and upcoming classes, please call (850) 845-5103.