Bronx Healthy Start Spotlight

Bronx Healthy Start Partnership

Healthy Start Services

The Bronx Healthy Start Program helps pregnant women get the health care and support they need during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Services are free, voluntary, and confidential.

Get Started

  1. Complete the Bronx Healthy Start Program application at a community event, home visit, during your first prenatal appointment, or here (in English) (in Spanish)
  2. A Case Manager will review your application and work with you to develop a plan to get the services you need.

Home Visiting

  • By electing to participate in local home visiting programs, families receive help from health, social service, and child development professionals. Through regular, planned home visits, parents learn how to improve their family's health and provide better opportunities for their children. Home visits may include: 
  • supporting preventive health and prenatal practices 
  • assisting mothers on how best to breastfeed and care for their babies 
  • helping parents understand child development milestones and behaviors, 
  • promoting parents’ use of praise and other positive parenting techniques, and 
  • Working with mothers to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions.

Safe Sleeping

As a parent or caregiver, you have an important job - ensuring your baby is safe when sleeping, whether in the day or night. But there are risks that can put your baby in danger while sleeping.

Here are some tips to keep your baby safe:

  • Babies should sleep alone, on their back, on a firm, flat surface such as a crib, bassinet or cradle. The area should be smoke-free. Adult beds, couches, chairs, waterbeds and the like are not safe for babies to sleep in. 
  • The crib mattress should be covered with a tightly fitted sheet that tucks well under the mattress pad. Use a sleep sack instead of a blanket and keep pillows and stuffed animals out of baby’s bed. 
  • Babies should sleep on their backs during naps and at night until age 1, unless the baby’s doctors says another position is better. Don’t forget to remove the bib before putting baby to bed. 
  • Do not use a drop-side crib when putting your baby to sleep. These cribs have been recalled by the federal government because a baby can get trapped in the slats and suffocate. 
  • Parents should talk about safe sleeping to anyone who cares for their baby, such as grandparents, babysitters and others.

For more information on safe sleeping please click here to view a Safe Sleep for Babies video.

For information about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and safe sleeping, please click here.


Baby blues or depression

There are the baby blues and then there’s depression. The risks can start even before a baby is born and can extend into the school-age years. Knowing the difference can be tough but getting help is a priority. So how can you tell the difference between baby blues and depression?

Look for these clues:

  • Changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Feelings of great sadness, hopelessness or worthlessness 
  • Crying for no reason 
  • Feeling little interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy 
  • Feelings of inadequacy or not being able to meet the basic needs of your infant 
  • Extreme anxiety or panic 
  • Having trouble making decisions 
  • Feeling out of control

If you’re worried about how you’re feeling or reacting to your baby, please discuss this with your doctor. You’re not alone. Help is available.

English Spanish  
American Psychological Association  
Brochure: What is postpartum depression?

Reproductive Life Planning: Birth Spacing

Growing Your Family

Did you know spacing your pregnancies at least two years apart benefits you, your babies and your family? By giving your body time to recover between pregnancies, you’re reducing such risks as:

  • High blood pressure and excess protein in your urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (called preeclampsia). 
  • Uterine rupture in women who attempt a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC) and other complications. 
  • Low birth weight, premature birth, or dying within the first year. 
  • Baby not getting sufficient nutrients.

So whenever possible, try to wait at least two years.

NYS Comprehensive Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program 

Preconception Health and Reproductive Life plan  


Positive Parenting

Being a parent is very rewarding and enjoyable, but as any parent can tell you, it is not always easy. Parenting in a positive way means using practical techniques to reduce stress and address everyday parenting concerns.

  • Here are some examples of positive parenting: 
  • Create a stable, supportive, peaceful home. 
  • Build positive relationships with your children. 
  • Deal clearly, calmly and consistently with any problem behavior. 
  • Encourage behavior that you like. 
  • Know what is reasonable to expect from your children and yourself. 
  • Take care of yourself as a parent.

Need some support?
Get more information at the following links
Zero to Three: parents
 PBS Parents
Learn the signs, Act early
Safer Spaces for Baby (Spanish

Preparing for Baby: The trip home

Congratulations! You’ve safely carried your baby for about 40 weeks or so. You have questions about labor & delivery? What you will need for baby at home? Wondering what to pack when you go to the hospital?

After your baby is born, you will need a car seat to travel in a vehicle to take baby home and any other time you travel in a vehicle! It is unsafe and illegal and unsafe to travel if your baby is not correctly in their car seat.

Plan to get your child’s car seat at least 6 weeks before your due date. Speak with your Healthy Start staff as soon as possible to help you get the right car seat or to have your seat checked to make sure it is correctly installed before baby arrives. For more information on car seats and infant safety, click here.

Shopping for Baby

Ten Tips to keep your baby safe (Spanish)  
 For information on Booster Seat rules click here For more information on NY State’s Occupant Restraint Laws click here Print a copy of our brochure to help you plan.


Father Involvement

A father’s impact touches every aspect of a child’s life: his health, his safety, his happiness, his success in school and in relationships. For more on the importance of dads, and for tips on how you can become a more involved father, visit The Father Factor, from the National Fatherhood Initiative. click here.

Also follow these links for local information and services:

CUNY Black Male Initiative 
Court Innovation 
NYC DYCD Family Support 
Real Dads Network 
A call to Men
Men’s Health 

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