Back to sleep, tummy to play

Apr 10, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Tummy time is an essential part of a child’s development. Tummy time is the time when baby is placed on their stomach, while they are awake and supervised.

Tummy time helps baby develop strong head, neck and shoulder muscles, and promotes certain shutterstock_87274753motor skills, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH). Tummy time can also reduce the risk of baby’s head becoming flattened. Tummy time is also encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

It is strongly recommended that babies sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib for bedtime and naps. But during times when baby is awake, tummy time is critical for a child’s growth.

Tummy time should take place on a flat, ground level surface, on top of a blanket or something soft. Putting a toy or a colorful object in front of baby during tummy time can help them interact with their surrounds and encourage movement. As baby gets older, tummy time can extend and become more frequent.

For more information on tummy time check out the links below.

Different ways to do tummy time

Tummy Time Tips

Infant and Toddler Safety

Remember, back to sleep, tummy to play!

2017 March for Babies

Apr 4, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. Join the Healthy Start Coalition team as we walk in the 2017 First Coast March for Babies for stronger, healthier babies.IMG_5098

The three-mile walk will be held on May 6 , 2017 at 9 am at Jacksonville University.

Visit our team page to sign up to walk with us or donate!

The March of Dimes has supported many of the Coalition’s community-based programs including the Baby Sleep Practices Survey, Camellia project and the statewide 39 Weeks initiative.

Nurse-Family Partnership expansion: Covering more ground and saving more babies

Mar 22, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Duval County Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program is expanding to serve 50 families in Baker and Clay counties through a new grant from the Florida Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative (MIECHV).

The 18-month, $375,000 grant, will equip each county with one nurse who will serve 25 families per year. UF Health Jacksonville and the Florida Department of Health Duval, the direct service providers for NFP in Duval County, will provide the nurses and supervision, along with support, coordination and guidance from the two county health departments.

The Nurse-Family Partnership offers an evidence-based model that addresses a gap in the current continuum of home visiting services by using specially-trained nurses to provide intensive, long-term care education and support to first-time mothers living in high-risk communities.

Baker County is a rural county immediate west of Duval County. According to the County Health Rankings released each year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Baker County ranks as one of the unhealthiest counties in the state.  There are currently no in-county prenatal care providers and no delivering hospitals in Baker County. Baker County also ranks in the top 10 in the state for substance-exposed newborn births according to a 2015 report from the Florida Department of Health.

Clay County, although it fares better than surrounding areas, has pockets of areas with poor birth outcomes and considerable health disparities among the African American and Hispanic populations. Like Baker, Clay County also ranks in the top 10 in the state for substance-exposed newborn births according to a 2015 report from the Florida Department of Health.

Guest Post: Breastfeeding at the Magnolia Project

Jan 24, 2017  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

Mesha Demps is the Women’s intervention Specialist and a Certified Lactation Counselor at the Magnolia Project. One of Mesha’s primary roles at the Magnolia Project is to help assist and encourage mothers to breastfeed.

IMG_2152Breastfeeding is one of the best things that a mother can do for her baby. Here at The Magnolia Project we are dedicated by making sure that our mothers are informed about the advantages, benefits, and importance of breastfeeding.

The Magnolia Project has two Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs), Mesha Demps and Odille Thomas, who provide support, counseling and education to the women of the Magnolia Project. The CLCs have been working endlessly to educate the women of Magnolia about breastfeeding and all of the benefits they can gain because of breastfeeding.IMG_2081

Breastfeeding can be very difficult for new mothers and mothers who have had a child before. The fastest drop-off rates occur in the first 10 days after hospital discharge. Mothers stop breastfeeding at different times for different reasons. Some of the reasons are lack of support at the onset of breastfeeding, not having enough milk, work/school, breast pain and because baby will not latch.IMG_2274

The CLCs provide support within the first 24 hours after birth to assess the process of breastfeeding with mom and new born baby.  In an effort to foster and ensure fidelity/duration of breastfeeding, mothers are educated about the benefits for self and baby thereby, improving the number of mothers who will breastfeed for at least 6 months.

Recently the CLCs of Magnolia had a breastfeeding photo shoot for new mothers who are breastfeeding and mothers who have breastfeed for longer than 6 months. At the photo shoot there were babies raging from two weeks old to one-year old. These mothers of Magnolia know the importance of breastfeeding and the bonding time that they receive with their babies while nursing. The CLCs wanted to applaud the mothers and continue to encourage them to keep up the great work.



In the spotlight: The Magnolia Project

  •   Written by Jerail Fennell   •  no comments

The Magnolia Project was featured in the Federal Division of Healthy Start and Prenatal Services (DHSPS) newsletter as the Healthy Start Grantee Spotlight organization. Read the article below:

This month DHSPS is spotlighting The Magnolia Project in Jacksonville, FL for their work to improve the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years by empowering communities to address medical, behavioral, and cultural and social service needs. Read below more information about The Magnolia Project:share-5

Prenatal care is a group effort now at the Magnolia Project, an initiative of the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition.  Pregnant women that receive care at the women’s health clinic in the Jacksonville urban core can now participate in a compassionate group setting, with the launch of new SHARE (Support Health Assessment Relationship Education) classes that combine medical care, peer support and education.

The group care model utilized materials and literature from Centering Pregnancy through a membership agreement.  Centering is a nationally recognized model that provides patient-centered care and results in positive health outcomes for moms and babies.

While too many babies are born too small and too soon in Northeast Florida and throughout the country, research has shown that group prenatal care can lead to better birth outcomes, including among low-income and African American populations. Studies show babies born to mom in group prenatal care had higher birth weights and longer gestations. Click on the link below to take you to The Magnolia Project article that was featured in the Florida Times Union paper: