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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Healthy Start

Marion County Healthy Start

Healthy Start helps pregnant women, women who are between pregnancies, infants, and children up to age 3. HealthyHispanic Baby Start provides education, resource information, case management, and care coordination services in order to improve birth outcomes and decrease infant mortality. Healthy Start staff members visit families in their homes, providing customized care. Services are voluntary and free to qualified families.

Who can receive Healthy Start services?

All pregnant women regardless of their marital, economic or immigration status are eligible to participate in Healthy Start if they are at high risk for poor pregnancy outcomes. This includes postpartum women and their newborns up to age 3.

How much does it cost?

Healthy Start is a free available to pregnant women and families with babies up to age 3.

How do I enroll in Healthy Start?

As soon as you think you may be pregnant, schedule a visit with your obstetrician or health care provider. During this initial visit, ask for the Healthy Start prenatal risk screen. This is a simple one-page questionnaire that is completed by you and your medical provider. The answers to these questions are kept confidential and are used only to provide the best possible care for you and your baby.

Or just call your local Healthy Start office.

Healthy Start Services

Care Coordination. Healthy Start provides a personal care coordinator to assist you with services throughout your prenatal care and after the birth of your baby. Your coordinator will meet you at your doctor or pediatrician’s office, your home, or any place that is convenient for you. The coordinator will assist you with services and educational opportunities to help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Childbirth Education. Childbirth education can help you have the most positive birth experience and outcomes for you and your baby. Services are provided to you and your support person in a group setting.

Breastfeeding Education & Support. Breastfeeding is beneficial for you and for the health of your baby. Services are offered on a one-on-one basis and tailored to meet your needs.

Parenting Education & Support. Empower yourself and your family with information on supporting healthy growth and development for your baby.

Women’s Health Education & Support. A woman’s health plays an important role in the health of her future baby. Services are available to help you be healthy between the end of one pregnancy to the beginning of the next.

Tobacco Free Education & Support. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself. Quitting means you will have a healthier baby and you will be a healthier mom. Services are available to you, your partner and family members to create a smoke-free environment for your baby.

Counseling Services. Sometimes new mothers feel overwhelmed with all the changes in their lives. Counseling can be provided one-on-one, with a partner, or with family members in a confidential setting.