Baby Yourself with this free program for Birmingham expectant moms

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Baby Yourself
Is your family expanding? (Kelly Sikkema)

Baby Yourself is an impactful program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, dedicated to supporting Birmingham expectant mothers through all stages of pregnancy. Read on to learn more about the initiative, and how you can get involved today.

Discover Baby Yourself

BCBS Baby Yourself
Jefferson County’s infant mortality rate was 7.3 in 2020. (Alabama Department of Public Health)

In a report released by Alabama Department of Public Health in 2020, we learned that Jefferson County’s infant mortality rate was 7.3. This means that for every 1,000 live births in Jefferson County, there were 7.3 infant deaths.

While our county’s infant mortality rate is lower than some others in the state, companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama are working diligently to get that number down. They believe that the key to healthy pregnancies, births and thriving infants is education and access to resources, which is where the Baby Yourself program comes in.

Gifts, education and more for Birmingham moms

Baby Yourself
Showing some extra love for our Bham mamas. (Garrett Jackson)

Baby Yourself is a free program for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama members who are expecting a child, whether it’s their first or not. The program supports women through all stages of pregnancy, from prenatal nutrition and education all the way through labor, delivery and postpartum check-ins.

Within the program, members are paired with a dedicated nurse who is ready to go above and beyond a routine doctor’s visit. They are equipped to answer questions on everything from navigating introducing your new baby to their siblings to lactation questions, your birth plan and more.

Did I mention there are gifts involved? That’s right, in addition to the nurse’s support, participants in the Baby Yourself program will also receive gifts throughout their pregnancy, plus educational materials and books—all completely free for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama members.

Supporting Bham Moms for nearly 25 years

Tessa BCBS
Meet Tessa Strickland. (Brian DeMarco)

I had the opportunity to chat with Tessa Strickland, the Department Manager of Health Management at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. She knows a thing or two about about caring for our Birmingham moms—she has been involved with Baby Yourself for nearly 25 years!

She shared that what really sets this program apart is the accessibility and genuine emotional support the mothers receive. It is designed to complement mom’s regular visits to the doctor, which offers the nurses a unique opportunity to offer mental health support and services. Whether that be recommending Birmingham-area support programs or simply lending an ear, your personal nurse is at the ready, by phone or email.

“Because they have a dedicated nurse, these ladies really build a bond—it’s not like they’re just calling a general number and each time they get someone different. These OB-trained nurses not only provide education, but are also equipped to listen for specific cues and offer mental health services and resources as needed. A huge component of this program is offering mental health support for moms and making sure they have the tools they need to best take care of themselves throughout pregnancy and beyond.”

—Tessa Strickland, Department Manager, Health Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama

How you can Baby Yourself

baby yourself
All babies deserve a healthy start. (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama)

Would you or someone you know benefit from the Baby Yourself program? It’s completely free for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama members, and you can easily register online or call the toll-free number above.

For non-members, Baby Yourself has a FREE app with all sorts of cool features, including things like a contraction counter, baby size calculator, weekly checklists and more. Download the free app in the Apple Store and Google Play store.

To learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield member benefit programs, head to their website.

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Madison Croxson
Madison Croxson
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