Smart Start Campaign Launched in Lake County
Program aims to educate and equip local families.
Imagine having the least support available when you need it most. That’s the unfortunate reality that many new parents face when they transition from hospital to home after having a baby.
“Sleep deprivation and stress from caring for an infant can come as a surprise to first time moms” says Allison Panella, community benefit specialist at Sutter Lakeside Hospital. “On top of this, many families in our area experience income and housing instability, which can result in unsafe conditions for newborns.”
To help support every baby’s first year of life and raise awareness of safe sleep habits, an innovative countywide campaign called “Smart Start” was recently launched by Sutter Health’s Lakeside Hospital in partnership with Mother-Wise, Lake County Tribal Health, and First 5 Lake County. The campaign is intended to help families reduce their newborn’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and prevent suffocation deaths. In addition, this campaign will connect new parents to available resources.
Educate Expectant Moms
The centerpiece of the campaign is an hour long training led by registered nurses from the Sutter Lakeside Family Birth Center and volunteers from Mother-Wise. Free and open to all Lake County residents expecting or with a new baby, each Smart Start class covers why babies shouldn’t sleep in bed with a parent or caregiver; on their side or stomach; or in a crib cluttered with pillows, toys or blankets. In addition to safe sleep strategies the training outlines the risk that second hand smoke poses to newborns and provides resources to help parents and caregivers stop smoking.
The first training was held on July 5th and classes will continue to be offered on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:20-6:30, through the end of the year. Classes are held at Sutter Lakeside’s Hospital Conference Room at 5176 Hill Rd E, Lakeport; to learn more or register call the Family Birth Center at 707.262.5085.
Equip Them Too
The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safe crib, yet many women who give birth in Lake County can’t afford a crib or bassinet for their newborn. “Every month I treat women who tell me that a crib, or a thermometer, or even baby wipes are a luxury beyond their means” said Jackie Rad, R.N.C., M.S.N., nurse manager of the Sutter Lakeside Family Birth Center.
To address this need, Sutter Health’s Lakeside Hospital is giving all expectant or new moms who complete the Smart Start class a free baby bundle, which includes a Pack N’ Play, sleep sack, baby clothes, digital thermometer, pacifier, diapers, wipes and other essentials that support a smooth transition home. The Pack N’ Play – with no blankets or other items inside – meets the American Academy of Pediatrics criteria as a safe place for babies to sleep.
Offer Ongoing Support
The last pillar of the program is to connect new parents with a wealth of resources and ongoing family support. This is facilitated through an education and resource binder compiled by Sutter Lakeside Hospital, with materials on a variety of topics. Additionally, Mother-Wise will follow-up with all families 30 days after their delivery due date to check on their adherence to safe sleep strategies and provide coaching. The phone call is also an opportunity to screen for postpartum depression and connect moms, dads and caregivers to wellness programs and other Lake County services.
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About Sutter Health
Sutter Health was named one of the nation’s top five large health systems in 2016 thanks to its integrated network of physician, employee and volunteer pioneers—more than 60,000 people strong. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support and learn from the more than 3 million people in their care—nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population, in one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the world. Sutter pioneers adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey.
The Mother-Wise program is a locally designed initiative to address Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) for new mothers. Started by a collaborative of health and human service agencies and concerned citizens from Lake County, Mother-Wise aspires to be the “next best thing to family” when it comes to support. We strive to support the best possible outcome for all moms, babies, and families in the first year after birth. With well-trained local volunteers providing in home support, new moms can learn how to feel better and where to go for help when they feel overwhelmed. Mother-Wise leads education on self-care, breastfeeding and sleep safety and hosts weekly moms’ groups in both Lakeport and Clearlake. For more information about Mother Wise visit facebook.com/MotherWiseLakeCounty
About First 5 Lake County
In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 10, the ballot initiative that created First 5 commissions in every county in the state to support the healthy development of children from birth through 5 years of age. The First 5 Commission of Lake County includes the Superintendent of Schools, a member of the Board of Supervisors, the Directors of Lake County’s Social Services and Health Services departments, and five at-large members from the community. First 5 Lake’s current strategic plan includes investing over two million dollars over the course of four years into local programs and systems-change efforts focused on young children and their families, with the vision that Lake County’s children will receive the best possible start in life and thrive. For more information, visit www.firstfivelake.org or facebook.com/First5Lake
About Lake County Tribal Health
Lake County Tribal Health is the largest locally owned and operated Comprehensive Outpatient Clinic in Lake County. LCTHC was established to enhance the health and well-being of our community by providing the highest quality of professional healthcare in a comfortable and caring environment. We are in constant pursuit to improve our services from cradle to grave at every level to ensure we remain a trusted center of excellence, caring for as many members of our community as we can. With four local sites around the lake, LCTHC advocates healthy lifestyle choices including chiropractic care, good nutrition, proper rest and relaxation, exercise and attention to emotional well-being. We strive to inspire and education our patients to become active participants in their own well-being, enabling them to reach optimal health and wellness and shifting the community’s focus from sickness to health. For more information, visit www.lcthc.com or facebook.com/Lake-County-Tribal-Health-Consortium