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Healthy Start ~ Loving Steps Program


The Healthy Start/Loving Steps program is designed to prevent low birth weights and infant mortality in pregnant women who are age 20 and up and residents of Westmoreland County. Our goal is to enroll clients in their first trimester to have the greatest impact on their pregnancies, and to give the infants the healthiest start in life. Moms and babies are followed until baby is 2 years old.

Health Start offers:

A Nutritionist: The nutritionist provides information on how to eat healthy throughout the pregnancy to support a healthy baby. Guidance is provided on how to feed the infant and the benefits of breastfeeding. Infants with medically complex problems can be enrolled up to 2 years of age. There is also a walking program our nutritionist heads up to help moms shed the extra weight after the baby is born.

A Registered Nurse: The nurse provides prenatal education and care coordination. Clients are assisted with medical problems related to their pregnancy and connected with community services, such as WIC and DSS. The nurse supports breastfeeding education and coordination of care with OB/GYNs as needed.

A Resource Mother: The resource mother is the mentor to the client throughout her stay in the program. She educates clients using the research-based Florida State Curriculum, which includes a variety of topics covering pregnancy until the baby is 2 years old. She connects the clients with community services as needed, supports and educates on pregnancy, the postpartum period, and child development through age 2. She also supports and educates on the benefits of breastfeeding. Most Resource Mother services are provided through a home-visiting format.

We also have a Hispanic resource mother to assist with the growing Hispanic population in Westmoreland County. She is a certified medical interpreter, fluent in both English and Spanish.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer H. Filkoski, RN
Healthy Start Care Coordinator
Westmoreland Co. Health Dept.
Phone: (804) 493-1124
Fax: (804) 493-9352
Email: Jennifer.filkoski@vdh.virginia.gov

 

Last Updated: 08-26-2011

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