Babies First is a community-wide effort to improve the health and well-being of mothers, babies and families in Fresno County.


Pic Babies First
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"To provide committed, caring leadership to empower neighborhoods and communities and to build self-esteem through education, collaboration, and partnerships, resulting in access to health services, resources and information to promote healthy families and reduce infant mortality."

Babies First reaches out to central and west Fresno neighborhoods, to educate and ensure that pregnant women get the care they need to have a healthy baby.

Healthy Start Initiative

In 2014, Fresno County received another five-year Healthy Start Grant to reduce infant mortality and other perinatal health disparities. To qualify for the grant, infant mortality rates by census tract were reviewed to determine the project area. The project area selected includes 63 census tracts which have high infant mortality rate in one or more racial/ethnic groups 1.5 times the national average of 9.9 per 1,000 births.

Low birthweight is the leading cause of death during the neonatal period. Contributing factors to low birthweight include late or inadequate parental care, smoking, alcohol, illicit drug use and poor nutrition.

To learn more about the impact Babies First has made in the lives of program participants and the community, refer to the following:



Babies First works with perinatal providers to assure that pregnant women receive the services they need to have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby. In addition to perinatal care, these include assistance with childcare, Medi-Cal, WIC (Women Infant & Children), food, housing, transportation, and referrals for specialty care. Through referrals from medical providers, outreach finds pregnant women through media messages, health fairs, and block parties, and community presentations. Visit the Outreach Section for more information.

Home Visits

Public Health Nurses and Health Education Assistants make home visits to pregnant women, new moms and their babies. They make these visits before and after the baby is born— sometimes up to the baby's second birthday. Working with the client, Public Health Nurses develop a plan of care to address medical and psychosocial problems, and they teach infant care and parenting skills to the mother.

Health Education

Health education is an essential component of Babies First. Home visits include education about parental care, infant care, well-woman care, and other health topics, as needed. In addition, public health nurses provide health education classes related to the health and safety of mothers and infants in the community. Classes on car seat safety and water safety are also available. Presentations may be requested by calling 559-600-3300.