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First Steps In-Home Visitation

A home-visitation program for pregnant women and families with children up to five years of age. Services include child development screenings, parenting education, home visits, nutrition counseling, and preventive health care.

Pennsylvania’s Safe Haven Law
All hospitals in Pennsylvania are Safe Havens.

If a parent cannot properly take care of their newborn (up to 28 days old), they can take the infant to any hospital and leave him/her there in the care of hospital staff. Parents will not have to talk to anyone. They will not get into any trouble as long as the baby is unharmed and not a victim of any crime. No one will ask any questions or make judgments. 

When a baby is left at the hospital s/he is in safe hands. A doctor will examine the baby and provide any medical care. Then the local child welfare system will take custody of the baby and find him/her a loving family. For more information visit the Safe Haven website or call 1-866-921-SAFE (7233).

pdf.gif Pregnancy support page from the DHS Community Referral Packet 

Safe Sleep ActionAlert

Infants and children one year of age and younger are particularly vulnerable to injury and death when safe sleep practices are not followed. DHS issued the pdf.gif ActionAlert - Safe Sleep Education and the pdf.gif Safe Sleep Leave-behind Flyer to inform staff and caregivers about these dangers and how to reduce them.

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services has partnered with text4baby – the first texting service to provide free health information to pregnant women and new moms.

Text4babyText4Baby sends subscribers approximately three text messages each week. Texts are customized based on the woman’s due date or her baby’s date of birth. Topics include: immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, birth defects prevention, oral health, safe sleep, and more. Text4Baby also connects women to health services by including national hotline phone numbers within the messages.

It is FREE to register for Text4Baby, and all messages are FREE, even for women who have a limited texting plan or do not have a texting plan at all.

If you are pregnant or have a child under one year of age, you can sign up for Text4Baby today by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish).

Obama Administration and Text4Baby join forces to connect pregnant women and children to health coverage and information, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press Release, February 28, 2012 

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The WIC Program is a health and supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women; breastfeeding women up to 12 months postpartum; non-breastfeeding women up to six months post-partum; infants and children up to five years of age who have a medical/nutritional risk and meet financial eligibility criteria.  WIC is provided by the Allegheny County Health Department (412-350-5801).

Additional Resources:

Safe Swaddling
Traditional swaddling can cause permanent harm to an infant's hips. There is a safer way to swaddle your infant as a way to soothe him or her, but not interfer with healthy development.