Because of You

Foundation-Supported Programs Giving Healthy Starts To Babies, Moms

While it may seem hard to believe in an era of advancing healthcare and technology, infant mortality is still a very real problem in the United States and even here in Franklin County.

But thanks to two Mount Carmel Foundation-supported programs, more Central Ohio moms and their babies are getting safer, healthier starts.

The first of those involves HALO® SleepSacks. Thanks to the support of KEMBA Financial Credit Union and the Foundation, Mount Carmel’s Welcome Home Program is delivering free HALO® SleepSacks to moms and their newborns as part of the safe sleep education provided during every home visit.

HALO® SleepSacks are wearable blankets that, in addition to being warm and cuddly, are a safer alternative to loose blankets and other soft items in babies’ cribs that can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Mount Carmel West has also become the newest partner site for the Moms2B Program, a new community partnership developed by The Ohio State University that helps expectant mothers build relationships with healthcare providers; provides health assessments and peer support; and takes care of new families’ nutritional needs through healthy meal preparation and access to mobile food pantries.

Participants meet weekly for a healthy meal; receive medical, social and peer support during their pregnancies and following the birth of their babies; learn about positive health habits; and receive help from staff regarding barriers to a healthy start. Moms also have access to educational resources, including GED and job preparation assistance, preconception health support, and tips on infant care, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and parenting.

“Mount Carmel is dedicated to ensuring that every baby starts life healthy,” said Mount Carmel Outreach Clinical Manager Mary Jo Dickinson. “These programs and others like them are helping us actively address the infant mortality rate in Franklin County and the incidence of SIDS, which is the third-leading cause of infant death in the U.S.”

This article was originally published in the Summer 2014 Inspire Newsletter.