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Baby Basics

What is Baby Basics?

Baby Basics is a health literacy program that helps pregnant moms read, understand, and act upon pregnancy information.  Baby Basics was created for underserved families by The What to Expect Foundation in New York City. The Baby Basics program has the following goals:

  • Provide comprehensive and easy-to-read prenatal materials that are not only beautiful but also serve as a catalyst for learning and family literacy.
  • Empower underserved parents to be active participants and effectively navigate the healthcare system, advocating on their own behalf and on behalf of their children and families.
  • Teach healthcare providers to think about health literacy and cultural competency with their patients, integrating tools into daily practice to improve patient communication and compliance.
  • Build community initiatives so families receive consistent, comprehensive, integrated, prenatal care information.

What are the Baby Basics materials?

The Baby Basics materials can be used one-on-one or with groups of pregnant women:

  • The colorful Baby Basics book  - written at 3rd and 5th grade reading levels – addresses the difficult economic, social, and cultural issues that many pregnant women face. The book contains evidence-based health information that meets ACOG health education standards.
  • The Baby Basics planner helps pregnant women get organized. The booklet has space to record appointments, test results, provider’s instructions, and write questions.
  • Baby Basics posters and supporting materials promote the program.
  • The Baby Basics Moms Club curriculum enables trained staff from health systems and community-based programs to facilitate group education classes for pregnant clients (and the Dads, too). 

What are Baby Basics Moms clubs? 

Moms clubs are prenatal education and support groups held by community-based organizations, schools, churches, clinics, prisons, and other entities.

  • Club facilitators distribute the Baby Basics materials to the women in the club and use the 24 activities included in the curriculum to facilitate learning and discussion.
  • Each activity has both a prenatal education and health literacy goal and corresponds to content in the book and planner.
  • The curriculum is organized into six sections, and clubs typically run six sessions.
  • Facilitators take a 2-day Educational Program Baby Basics training that includes a focus on group facilitation and adult education.
  • Facilitators help participants find local resources and find ways to extend support to each other beyond the group meetings. 

How can clinics benefit from Baby Basics? 

Baby Basics provides clinics and community-based programs with simple tools and strategies for helping each client learn how to care for herself and her baby. The teaching strategies for using Baby Basics serve as a quality improvement tool for clinics that helps organize care for clients.

An initial evaluation of the program found that patients participating in Baby Basics reported increased adherence to prenatal visits and greater satisfaction with their medical care compared with patients who did not participate in the program.

Pregnancy is the health literacy teachable moment. The Baby Basics program offers an appealing, engaging, and safe way to empower your clients for better health and better future.

Links to additional Baby Basics information

For more information please contact:

Liz Tung

Program Director, B’more for Healthy Babies

The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc.

2305 N. Charles Street, Suite 200

Baltimore, MD 21218





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Sponsored by the Office of Mayor Catherine E. Pugh,
Baltimore City Health Department,
The Family League of Baltimore, and
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield