Kansas, Missouri babies having lower birth weights

Baby Blocks program helps moms-to-be

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - There is a new movement to help mothers-to-be in Kansas and Missouri deliver healthy babies. Alarming statistics show in both states, for every 1,000 live births, six babies do not survive. 

The number of low birth weight babies in both states is also a concern. United Health Care developed a program called Baby Blocks. It comes complete with an app and community baby showers.

The Baby Blocks program in Kansas is for new and expectant moms who are enrolled in the state KanCare Medicaid program and United Health Care. In Missouri, Baby Blocks is available to United Health Care members through their workplace. The program encourages the new moms to do four things that will reduce the risk of infant mortality and low-birth weight babies:

  • See your doctor as soon as you get pregnant.
  • Take your vitamins and medicine.
  • Stop smoking, drinking alcohol and using non-prescribed drugs.
  • Don't skip doctors appointments.

The Baby Blocks program also has a My Baby Blocks app that sends an alert to the mom's computer reminding her of doctor's appointments and when it's time to take her medicine. It also has helpful information about health and safety for the mother and baby. 

Ashley Johnson is a new mom in Johnson County.  Her 2-week-old daughter, Jasmine, weighed a healthy 8 pounds 7 ounces at birth. Johnson enrolled in the Baby Blocks program and signed up for the My Baby Blocks app. She called it another layer of support system that is nice to have. 

"I have some community organizations, my family, and her [Jasmine's] father, so it's a journey; but I'm not alone," Johnson concluded.  

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Cynthia Newsome can be reached at cynthia.newsome@kshb.com.

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