Pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging time. With so much to prepare, it can be difficult to stay on track with varied doctor appointments and making healthy choices. These decisions significantly impact the well-being of babies, and frequent consideration can be crucial. The Baby Bootique, an incentive program at Saint Joseph's Hospital, addresses this.
“It’s designed to offer incentives to moms and families who make positive choices while they’re expecting a baby,” said Chuck Ault, Regional Director of Community Health Improvement for Intermountain Health.
The Baby Bootique program is run out of the Saint Joseph’s clinics offering obstetrical services, the Seton Women’s Center and the Family Medicine Center. It motivates expectant patients, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, in their journey towards healthy pregnancies.
To reward healthy choices, the Baby Bootique provides participants with coupons that can be exchanged for essential items such as clothing, diapers, and car seats. By offering tangible benefits, the program ensures expectant parents have access to necessary resources, which can alleviate financial burdens and contribute to overall baby health.
Chuck explained how the program helps level the playing field for moms who don’t have many resources. There can be many barriers to prenatal care, such as transportation, finance, and time.
“Something like attending a monthly doctor’s appointment, especially if there’s a lot of busyness going on, it’s really hard to prioritize that,” said Chuck. “The additional incentive helps move it up in the priority list, and the result in the end is a healthier baby.”
Babies with birth weights less than 5 pounds and 9 ounces are more likely to have health problems compared to higher weighing babies. From 2018-2021, participants in the Baby Bootique program averaged 9.4% of babies with low birth weight, which is significantly lower than the 10.2% for non-participating patients in the clinics. With the average rate of low birth weight in Colorado being 9.4%, incentives like this can be the difference between healthy and unhealthy.
The Baby Bootique provides specific help, early prenatal care, education, and rewards to empower expectant parents and achieve better baby outcomes. By addressing the unique challenges faced by expectant families, the Baby Bootique program is lowering health risks for both mom and baby.