The HHI Healthy Baby Program was designed in 2013 to provide support to mothers of infants in shelters through breastfeeding support classes, health education workshops and classes on transitioning out of shelter with young children and infants.
Classes are offered by an experienced neonatal nurse. In 2013, approximately two classes a month were offered at Lutheran Settlement House/Jane Addams Shelter, Salvation Army Red Shield Residence and ECS St. Barnabas Mission Shelter. The number of participants varied from five to 18 each class. The mothers and shelter staff have welcomed these classes with open arms.
The initial success of this program allowed HHI to collaborate in 2014 with the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a Philadelphia public health agency whose nurses provide weekly weight checks of infants in Philadelphia shelters. This collaboration has fostered better communication between nurses from CHOP and PHMC about the needs of these mothers for education and support while in shelter and as they prepare to move out.