Our hope is that all of Baltimore’s babies are born at a healthy weight, full term, and ready to thrive in healthy families.
BHB works to improve the quality of care provided by physicians, nurses, social workers and others who work with pregnant and postpartum women. During Rattle & Roll Day each year, BHB distributes print and video materials to more than 120 service sites. These materials promote BHB services and programs, and educate families on key health topics.
BHB works to improve home visiting services for women with high-risk pregnancies. To ensure that all women with first-time or high-risk pregnancies receive the best care possible, BHB has helped all home visiting programs in Baltimore City to transition to evidence-based models of care.
With the support of the Mayor’s officet, the BHB Initiative works to improve policy related to maternal and child health. The Baltimore City Health Department and the Family League of Baltimore City – the two lead agencies for BHB - bring together forces to plan quality of care initiatives for specific health issues. The task forces comprise staff from community-based, health and social services, and academic organizations.
Key achievements to date include mandating safe sleep education at birthing hospitals and improving triage of pregnant women into appropriate levels of home visiting care. BHB continues to encourage providers to complete pregnancy risk assessments (PRAs) for all pregnant women as the important first step for accessing home visiting and other support services.
Nonprofit groups in Patterson Park North & East and Upton/Druid Heights do intensive community outreach to link women to services and resources. They work hand in hand with service providers, faith-based groups, businesses, schools, and community leaders to build networks of support for women. Both communities offer Baby Basics Moms Clubs – prenatal education support groups – to help pregnant women connect with important information and support. Click here for a schedule of Baby Basics Moms Clubs.
In January 2012, BHB launched an exciting program to help women lose weight and become more fit. The B’more Fit for Healthy Babies program is a free fitness and nutrition program for women receiving public benefits who have had a child in the past two years. The program is offered in two locations: Upton/Druid Heights (English speaking) and Highlandtown (Spanish-speaking). For information about B'more Fit for Healthy Babies for postpartum women, click here.
In January 2014, a third club was added that is open to the general public - men and women age 18 and older - who receive public benefits. For more information about this club in Park Heights, click here.
BHB’s efforts to improve policies, services, and outreach is supported at every turn with media and community campaigns that prompt women to have better conversations about health with their partners, family members and friends, and healthcare providers. In 2010, BHB launched the SLEEP SAFE campaign to address the second leading cause of infant mortality in the city – unsafe sleep for babies. The SLEEP SAFE campaign featured testimonials from three Baltimore Moms whose babies died while sleeping in an adult bed. In 2011, BHB broadened its focus to include tobacco smoke. The Dads campaign encouraged partners to protect their babies from tobacco smoke and the associated higher risk of SIDS. The 'Just Hold Off' campaign - also launched in 2011 - reminded smokers to step away from pregnant women and babies before lighting up.