Resources are available for pregnant women in the community who need financial support during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.
Pregnant women can apply for some government programs through the purchasing zone health department. Programs include WIC, which provides nutritional support to women, infants and children under 5.
A screening tool for the Kentucky WIC is available online. The health department also offers the Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program, a voluntary home visiting program for parents and families that provides information on antenatal care, nutrition, safety and development of the family. ‘child. Families must enroll in this program before a child is 3 months old, according to the purchasing district health department website.
Nicole Farley, executive director of Hope Unlimited, a Christian nonprofit organization with offices in Paducah and Metropolis, Ill., Helps provide services to low-income parents who need support during their pregnancy.
“We are privileged to be able to be here and to be able to serve the community and it really makes a difference,” said Farley.
Hope Unlimited operates a full service obstetrician clinic in Paducah, which provides services ranging from pregnancy testing to postpartum, Farley said. There, the organization offers free and limited walk-in pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. Farley said ultrasounds are used to confirm how far along the mother is in her pregnancy and could be used to provide proof of pregnancy, which she says is necessary to seek services like Medicaid, WIC and other services.
Farley said Hope Unlimited serves uninsured clients as well as patients on Medicaid throughout their pregnancy. She added that all services through Hope Unlimited are free and confidential, and that the services are funded by private donations, church support, grants and foundations.
The organization also offers free parenting classes, baby sets and car seats for expectant moms and dads. He also sponsors a “Learn to Win” program where parents who complete classes can earn money to spend at Hope Unlimited’s Hope Closet and purchase clothes, wipes and diapers.
Sydney Kuiper, a registered nurse who works in postpartum care at Baptist Health Paducah, said the hospital has a maternal pivot nurse who works with Medicaid patients and provides them with resources to support their pregnancy. Kuiper said the hospital can refer these patients to other departments in the city for help, such as Hope Unlimited.
Baptist Health Paducah and Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital offer breastfeeding services to new mothers to show them how to feed their babies. The hospitals both offer outpatient breastfeeding services for mothers who have difficulty breastfeeding after leaving the hospital.
Kim Coram, an international board-certified lactation consultant, said Baptist encourages mothers to breastfeed. Consultants accompany mothers the first time they breastfeed their infants and can help them throughout their stay in the hospital. They will also help mothers who want to use formula to feed infants to do so and will also show mothers how to suppress the development of breast milk if mothers choose to do so.
Mercy Health Director of Public Relations Nanette Bentley said Mercy Health-Paducah Obstetrics and Gynecology is on track for its “busiest year ever” in terms of total office visits, virtual visits , surgeries and births, with referrals to the office up nearly 30% from 2020.
When a baby is born, Baptist Health Paducah and Mercy Health-Lourdes Hospital offer the option of skin-to-skin contact by placing the baby on the mother’s breast.
The two local hospitals will also support parents who miscarry or have a stillborn child. Assistance is available at both hospitals, and both will also provide souvenirs. Coram said Baptist Health Paducah offers free funerals for stillborn babies at almost all stages of their development.