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Simply Put's programming is inspired by the Baby Basics prenatal health and literacy book (in English, Spanish and Mandarin) and the Mom's Club programs that have reached close to 750,000 at risk expecting families across the US.

 

Baby Basics was created in 2005 with and for lower-income expecting families from diverse communities.. Many women (and their partners!) were really eager to get a book that answers their real questions, and reflected their authentic experiences during pregnancy - the good, the bad, and the ugly!

 

The evidence based Baby Basics program built a new paradigm of health education that encourages a woman’s personal and intellectual growth during the teachable moment of pregnancy. Young women who did not enjoy school or reading and were not in the habit of looking for written information, may not have opened the book - but once someone sat with them - and showed them a story, or an explanation or even an illustration that caught their interest - they too were eager to read and find answers to questions  - some they didn't even know they had.      

 

Next began a 15-year journey, developing a training program for providers  across the country so they could use the book to better communicate, coordinate and engage with pregnant families (ensuring that Baby Basics was a program - not just a big "book-giveaway.") 

Customized training and curriculum were created with leaders in the many fields that support expecting families in marginalized communities including:  

  • Ob-Gyns

  • Nurses

  • Front Desk Staff

  • Home Visitors from various programs: NFP, Healthy Families, Healthy Start, Head Start, Promontoros...

  • Literacy and ESL educators

  • Librarians

  • Social Workers

 

Baby Basic programs have been embedded into existing pregnancy programs in communities across the country. Major initiatives in cities such as Baltimore, MD; Cleveland, OH; Appalachia, VA and Rochester, NY reach every Medicaid eligible expecting woman with coordinated Baby Basics materials, and strength-based group or individual education.  All Baby Basics Programs are self-sustaining, supported by health departments, foundations and partner agencies.

Here are pdf links to both the Case Western University Evaluation of the Cleveland Program and the New York State Health Foundation Report - two of the many evaluations of the program.

 

But, if you take a few minutes to watch this video of the Moms First Program (at The Cleveland Health Departments'  Healthy Start Program) these women evaluate the book and program better than any report could ever do.


Baby Basics Outcomes? Expecting women were

  1. More satisfied with their care.

  2. Eager to engage in their prenatal care (andmore confident and skilled at asking questions during visits.)

  3. Able to use the book to self-assess the cause of their symptoms; use the language in the book to communicate their needs; and follow the book's protocal so they could get help during an emergency. 

  4. Were less confused by medical terms, and provider directions because they could refer to the book for definitions (this was especially useful to coordinate care from multiple  providers - as things were written in the BB Planner to be revisited and explained)    

  5. Eager to go to Moms Clubs if they were fewer lectures and more opportunities to speak to other pregnant moms - with an experienced educator who listened and explored with the group.

 

Their partners were: 

  1. Aware of (and thus more compassionate to) women's physically and emotional changes during pregnancy.  

  2. Eager to follow along and learn with her - even if they could not attend her prenatal appoinments. 

  3. More engaged in the pregnancy and delivery.

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