Each year, thousands of L.A. County families who deliver at one of the 13 Welcome Baby hospitals sign up to be paired with a Welcome Baby Parent Coach who supports them during pregnancy and up to 9 months after the birth of their baby. This support includes tips on having a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, parenting education, lactation consulting, and infant development screenings, plus connections to community resources and other helpful services.
Through it all, Parent Coaches become trusted partners, and families know they can turn to them for just about anything. Such was the case for Jocelyn Velez, a first-time mother who participated in the Welcome Baby program through Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. Her Parent Coach Barbara Ortega and Welcome Baby Program Manager Maria Magaña recently interviewed Jocelyn about her experience in the program. (See video below.)
“Barbara is amazing. She made me feel comfortable right from the beginning,” says Jocelyn. “Every visit felt like a friend was coming over to check in on me. I felt very, very comfortable sharing my experiences, sharing my struggles. And I always looked forward to our scheduled visits…. I knew there was someone there for me if I needed anything. She was more than a Coach — she was like a confidant or a good friend of mine,” Jocelyn explains. (Before the pandemic, the program offered home visits, but now visits are conducted virtually.)
As a first-time mother, Jocelyn had many questions and appreciated how Welcome Baby supported her during pregnancy and her transition into parenthood. Watch her interview to learn how this personalized support gave her the peace of mind she needed.
Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills is one of 13 hospitals in L.A. County that offer the Welcome Baby program, which is completely free because it is funded by First 5 LA. It is a part of the Family Strengthening Network, a team of hospitals and organizations working together to support families throughout Los Angeles County by providing home visiting services. In the 2019-20 fiscal year, over 18,000 families received services through the Network. Learn more and sign up at WelcomeBabySupport.org.