Baby showers a First Step toward wellness

 

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Elaine Brooks of UnitedHealthcare led a Baby Shower in Dover on Nov. 18 providing expecting and new moms with information about the services available to them both through the health care company and the state. (Submitted photo/UnitedHealthcare)

DOVER –– UnitedHealthcare is on a mission to provide the best care to pregnant women as well as new moms and their babies across Delaware.

To get the word out, the Newark-based Delaware branch of the health care company offers four “baby showers” a year throughout the state to provide women with important information to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby as part of its Healthy First Steps Program.

The baby showers are fun and lighthearted with games, raffles and lunch all while providing valuable information and connecting women with medical experts. On average, each event attracts about 200 moms-to-be.

Just a few of the services Healthy Steps provides are finding an OB/GYN and pediatrician, arranging prenatal appointments, arranging for home health care if needed, assisting with transportation to and from appointments and helping ordering doctor requested supplies.

UnitedHealthcare even offers postpartum incentives for those they cover for basic things like attending scheduled appointments.

Healthy First Steps is geared to produce safe and healthy pregnancies and deliveries in Delaware. The state ranks 35th in overall health in the nation, with more than eight infant deaths before the age of one for every 1,000 live births.

At the baby showers, new moms learn about federal and state services available to them like the federal Special Supplemental too Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children, more commonly known as WIC. WIC is a federal nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy.

WIC also provides information about breastfeeding in addition to breastfeeding support.

Smart Start, a state-run program is available for women who qualify for Medicaid. The program provides answers to questions about pregnancy, delivery and the early days after the birth of the baby. It also helps expectant women find resources in the community for needs such as housing, utilities, transportation or child care.

Information about WIC and Smart Start can be found online at dhss.delaware.gov or by calling 739-4437

“We want women to know about all the services available to them not only through us but through the state and other programs,” Elaine Brooks, leader of the Nov. 18 Dover baby shower said.

Healthy First Steps has a 24/7 hot line for moms to call with questions or for information. Call 1-800-599-5985 for help.

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