A bill working its way through the state legislature would create a state-funded program to help new mothers in the first few months and years after the birth of their children.
The CalWORKs Baby Wellness and Family Support Home Visiting Program would spend $100 million to offer home visits from nurses or social workers to new mothers who are living in poverty.
Support for home visiting programs is grounded in research that has found regular postpartum home visits can improve the health of both mothers and their babies, prevent child abuse and neglect, support positive parenting and promote healthy child development and school readiness.
Diana Careaga, a program officer for home visitation for the early childhood services organization First 5 LA, said regular home visits can help stressed-out new moms become more confident parents. If they’re struggling financially, their home visitor can also connect them with resources that might ease their burden.
“Really the goal is supporting the parent-child relationship, and it promotes attachment and bonding as well as economic self-sufficiency and children’s readiness for school for future success,” Careaga said.
Postpartum home visitation also includes screenings for postpartum depression, and Careaga said up to 20 percent of Los Angeles County mothers already enrolled in a home visiting…
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