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Health Services and Treatment

Do you have a baby or grandbaby on the way (or just arrived)?

There is no other time in life filled with so many changes (physical, emotional, financial, and social)! Preparing to welcome a tiny new human into the world can be an exciting but can also  feel overwhelming and you are likely to have lots of questions.

The Early Care program is a FREE nurse home visiting service to help pregnant/postpartum women, expectant/new fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers of infants up to 6 months of age. The nurse is available to serve as a guide providing education on a variety of topics, support, and linkages to other programs and services based on your specific needs.  

The goals of the Early Care program are:

  • Reduction of infant mortality and low birth weight babies (keeping newborn babies alive and healthy)
  • Reduce maternal mortality (keeping pregnant and new moms alive and healthy)
  • Elimination of racial disparities in perinatal outcomes (making sure ALL moms have access and receive the same quality healthcare)
  • Promotion of parental and infant health and safety (making sure moms and babies stay healthy and safe)
  • Fostering infant growth and development (helping babies learn, grow, and thrive)

Medical guidance changes over the years so even if this is not your first rodeo, make sure you are prepared with the current reliable recommendations, not just what is posted on social media. Convenient visits are conducted in the comfort of your own home, but if you prefer, telehealth visits (phone, email, video chat) are available too. Give us a call if you are interested in learning more or would like to enroll. 

Are you ready to enroll or have more questions? Call 410-632-1100


Maternal Warning Signs:

Serious maternal complications are rare, but they can happen to anyone during pregnancy and up to 1 year postpartum. It is important to know the warning signs so you know when to seek medical evaluation/care without delay. It could save your life.

 

Resources:

Urgent Maternal Warning Signs - Learn More

Text4Baby App

The free Text4baby app makes it easy for you to get health/safety information and see how your baby is growing each week. You can also set-up appointment reminders and explore videos on things like nutrition, safety, and baby’s development.

Click here for more information.

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Count The Kicks

Movement Matters! Count the Kicks is a FREE App. A baby’s movements are an important sign of his/her well-being in the third trimester. By getting to know what is normal for your baby, you know when you need to seek medical evaluation/care. Available in multiple languages. 

  • Time: Start the timer and record the time it takes you to feel 10 movements. 
  • Count: Pick a time when baby is active to start counting, preferably the same time every day.  App can be set to send you reminders. 
  • Pattern: After each day’s counting session, App will compare you current session to your past sessions. 
  • Contact: Call your doctor or go directly to the hospital if you notice a decrease in your baby’s movement. 

 

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Safe Sleep for Infants

More than 3,600 babies in the U.S. die suddenly and unexpectedly every year from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation. Many of these deaths are preventable. To learn more about Safe Infant Sleep visit safesleepacademy.org

If you do not have an approved infant sleep surface for your baby, please call us. We have a limited supply of pack-n-plays available if you meet eligibility requirements. Call 410-629-1100 opt. 4 and ask to speak with the Early Care Program. 

What is Safe Sleep?

 

SIDS Prevention:

Decrease your baby's chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Please always place your baby Alone, on his or her Back, and in his/her Crib for sleeping and napping. 

To find resources for health insurance, substance use disorder, and nutrition assistance, click here

Breastfeeding

When it is possible, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for both mom and baby. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) babies who receive breastmilk have lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), gastrointestinal infections, and more. This means a happier healthier baby and less time missing work due to having to stay home with a sick child. Not only does breastfeeding benefit your baby, but it’s good for you too! Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer. 

Did you know that your breastmilk changes over time based on your baby’s age, time of day, and specific needs?! The benefits of breastfeeding are endless and last a lifetime! Check out some of the common myths and facts about breastfeeding here.

Every feeding counts, but many moms stop breastfeeding earlier than they planned simply because of lack of support. If you are interested in breastfeeding, develop a support plan now and begin learning about breastfeeding before baby arrives. The websites listed below are great places to start some self education.

If baby is already here and you are in need of support, please call the Tidal Health Breastfeeding help line at 410-543-7199 or reach out to the Early Care Program nurse (who just happens to be a certified breastfeeding specialist!) at 410-632-1100 ext.1246 (Mon-Fri).

Visit these websites to start learning more about how to get started with breastfeeding today!

https://firstdroplets.com/

https://wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov/

Simplified.com

 

Breast Pumps

If you need a breast pump, you may be eligible for a free pump through your insurance or WIC. We recommend that you ask about this PRIOR to the arrival of your baby to get the ball rolling. Insurance will require a doctor’s order and proof of birth of the baby. Call your insurance company (phone number on the back of your insurance card), WIC or Chesapeake Health Care OB to find out the details.

 

Additional Information

 

Postpartum Depression or Anxiety

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common mental health condition that affects about 1 in 8 women. Everyone experiences PPD differently, but here are some common signs:

  • Feeling angry or moody 
  • Feeling sad or hopeless 
  • Feeling guilty, shameful, or worthless 
  • Eating more or less than usual  
  • Sleeping more or less than usual 
  • Unusual crying or sadness  
  • Feeling overly anxious
  • Loss of interest, joy, or pleasure in things you used to enjoy  
  • Withdrawing from friends and family  
  • Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself

MENTAL HEALTH:

For immediate assistance getting help or finding care you can access: 

  • Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: call or text 988 for free access to a trained crisis counselor. TTY users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988 
  • National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: call or text 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). TTY users can use a preferred relay service or dial 711 and then 1-833-852-6262.

Postpartum Support International

  • PSI Helpline: 1-800-944-4773
  • Text “Help” to 1-800-944-4773

For Concerns about Human Trafficking call 1-888-373-7888.

Relationship Safety:

Abuse, whether emotional or physical, is never okay. Abuse crosses all racial, ethnic and economic lines. Abuse often gets worse during pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, 1 in 6 abused women is first abused during pregnancy. More than 320,000 women are abused by their partners during pregnancy each year. 

For many families, pregnancy can bring about feelings of stress, which is normal. But it's not okay for your partner to react violently to stress. It's common for couples to argue now and then. But violence and emotional abuse are different from the minor conflicts that couples have.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my partner always put me down and make me feel bad about myself?
  • Has my partner caused harm or pain to my body?
  • Does my partner threaten me, the baby, my other children or himself?
  • Does my partner blame me for his actions? Does he tell me it's my own fault he hit me?
  • Is my partner becoming more violent as time goes on?
  • Has my partner promised never to hurt me again, but still does?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy relationship. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Free 24/7

Life Crisis: Free 24/7 

Safe Haven Law in Maryland:

In Maryland no one ever needs to abandon a newborn. Under the Safe Haven law, a mother of a newborn who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can safely give up custody of their baby up to 10 days after birth. Take your baby to a hospital (Atlantic General Hospital) or local police station and say, “This is a Safe Haven baby” and walk away. No questions asked. A person who invokes Safe Haven is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution as long as the infant is unharmed.

If you have questions about Maryland’s Safe Haven Law, call the Department of Social Services 410-677-6800 or visit their website

 

Other Helpful Resources:

 

 

 

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