New moms face a lot of new challenges every day! They don't have to face them alone, even if grandma's not around to pass on her wisdom and experience. There's a special program that makes house visits to make sure mom and baby are doing okay.
At 7-months-old, Gavin Wallace is a happy, healthy little boy. Now that he's crawling, he's getting into everything and this is just the start. That's why home visits by the Mississippi County Health Department are so important to new mom Renee Wallace. "She's helpful, she categorizes Gavin into what age groups he's in, she's helpful," Wallace says. This isn't the first time Francine Triplett's met with the family. She's been working with Wallace since she found out she was pregnant. Triplett says, "We try to do monthly visits, and we try to tell them about services out there that they can get and they don't know about." Like where to find cribs or car seats, when to schedule immunizations, and tricks on changing baby's feeding schedule. Invaluable advice that Renee's soaking up. Wallace says, "I ask her about stuff like, if he's been sick, if the medicine they've got him on is okay for him, or if he breaks out into a rash, or just if he's doing good or not."
These visits are more than just about getting advice though, they're also about forming a friendship. "I talk to her mainly about herself, you know, how things are going with her," Triplett says. Wallace says, "My husband works nights so I like it when she comes here, it gives me someone to talk to." After a day of being with a baby, that can mean the world to a new mom!
Many health departments across the Heartland have home visit programs. As part of our Baby Your Baby campaign, we're working with health departments in Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Northwest Tennessee.