Welcome Baby

Printer-friendly version
The Welcome Baby program offers hospital and home-based services for pregnant women and mothers who have just given birth. The main goal of Welcome Baby is to work with families to enhance the parent-child relationship and the health, safety and security of the baby, and to make it easier for families to access support services when needed. The Welcome Baby program includes prenatal and postpartum home-based visits, as well as a hospital visit at the time of the child's birth. California Hospital Medical Center, in partnership with Maternal Child Health Access, began implementing the Welcome Baby Pilot in Best Start Metro LA in 2009.

First 5 LA has approved strategic partnerships with 24 targeted hospitals to expand Welcome Baby throughout L.A. County. These hospitals serve 80 percent of all families within Best Start Communities and more than half of births countywide.

Who is served by this program?

The Welcome Baby program is a free and voluntary program offered to mothers who deliver, or plan to deliver, their infants at participating hospitals. The program is intended to be offered universally to all families regardless of income status, potential challenges or risk.

What kinds of services are provided?

All families delivering at participating hospitals, regardless of where they live, will receive a Welcome Baby hospital visit at the time of their baby's birth. Families residing within and out of the Best Start communities will benefit in different ways from Welcome Baby. Families residing within a Best Start community will be eligible for up to nine Welcome Baby engagement points: three times prenatally, once at the hospital, and up to five times after the baby's birth. Families living outside the Best Start communities will receive up to three postpartum home visits, as needed. During the visits, a member of the Welcome Baby staff provides services including:

  • Observing and evaluating infant feeding and providing breastfeeding advice
  • Observing parent-infant attachment and infant behavior
  • Assisting families in establishing a medical home, following up on well-child visits and identifying health insurance coverage, if necessary
  • Educating parents about the parent-child bond and how it can build confidence and success
  • Screening mothers for postpartum depression and, if needed, referring them to services
  • In partnership with parents, performing a reputable screening to assess child development milestones
  • Referring families to their local Best Start community activities

Who is funded under this program?

Antelope Valley Health Partners

California Hospital Medical Center

Centinela Hospital Medical Center 

Citrus Valley Health Partners

Good Samaritan 

Miller Children’s Hospital

Northridge Hospital Medical Center

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro

Providence St Joseph Medical Center 

St. Francis Medical Center

St. Mary Medical Center

Torrance Memorial Medical Center 

Valley Presbyterian Hospital 

White Memorial Hospital

How does Welcome Baby address First 5 LA's four goal areas?

Welcome Baby specifically addresses the First 5 LA goal areas that children maintain a healthy weight, are safe from abuse and neglect and are ready for kindergarten. By providing intervention services immediately before and after birth, the goal of the program is to offer support to women and their families to reduce potential risks to the baby's health and safety.