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More Colorado moms are getting free home visits after giving birth

Jefferson County's Family Connects program brings nurses into homes for postpartum check-ins
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Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 15:06:54-05

Bringing a baby home from the hospital is usually a joyful time, but it can also be overwhelming. That’s why Jefferson County Public Health is now participating in Family Connects Colorado, which offers families additional postpartum support.

95% of parents with a newborn report needing additional support but don’t know where to find it, Kate Follett, a public health nurse supervisor said. Family Connects allows families to set up an appointment with a nurse for a two-hour home visit.

“When you go into someone's home, you're seeing them where they're comfortable, you're seeing how the family interacts with each other, and it can be a great way to clue into other resources that a family might need and not know how to ask for,” Follett said.

Arvada resident Mattie Stevens found out about Family Connects after giving birth to her daughter in December.

“It sounded amazing to me to have somebody come to us instead of us trying to get out of the house with a newborn and a toddler,” Stevens said.

During the two-hour visit, the nurse is able to check on the baby, as well as talk to the mother about her physical and mental health. An initial pilot period found that families with the home support had a 50% reduction in emergency department visits and hospital overnight stays through the first year of the baby’s life, and a 44% reduction in child welfare involvement through age 2. Mothers also reported less anxiety.

Stevens said she was able to ask about things that came up with the baby during the visit, getting answers to questions in real time, rather than waiting for a doctor’s office appointment.

“It was really just like sitting down with a friend that's also a nurse,” she said.

Jeffco Public Health has partnerships with Denver Health and Lutheran Medical Center. The program is offered to families at no cost. Eagle and Boulder Counties also have Family Connects programs and Denver is planning to launch its program in the near future.

More Colorado moms are getting free home visits after giving birth

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