Sunshine Health’s Start Smart for Your Baby Program Promotes Healthy Pregnancies and Healthy Babies in Florida

Jan. 17, 2020 – January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about birth defects, their causes, and prevention resources to help reduce the risk. Although not all birth defects can be prevented, Sunshine Health’s Start Smart for Your Baby® pregnancy care management program can help improve maternal and newborn health to reduce the likelihood of birth defects.

Launched six years ago, the Start Smart for Your Baby® program has helped to reduce the rate of low birth weight deliveries in the Medicaid population through the use of the Sunshine Health Notification of Pregnancy (NOP) practice. The NOP provides members with an effective pregnancy-related risk assessment as early as possible to establish a relationship between our health plan member, their healthcare provider and their Sunshine Health care team.

Through Start Smart for Your Baby®, Sunshine Health supported more than 4,300 deliveries in 2019, helping to reduce the number of babies born with severe health and development difficulties. Additionally, members enrolled in the program are less likely to have a baby born at a very low birth weight of less than three pounds, five ounces.

“As we observe National Birth Defects Prevention Month, Sunshine Health remains committed to providing extra support to mothers and newborns who need it every step of the way,” said Katherine Friedebach, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Sunshine Health. “We want to raise awareness about the resources available through the Start Smart for Your Baby® program to provide additional support and help improve health outcomes for women and their babies.”

The Start Smart for Your Baby® program leverages insight and advice from Sunshine Health’s medical experts, while also providing pregnant members with a comprehensive, supportive care management network of clinical teams, care coordinators and community partners.

For more information, members can find Start Smart for Your Baby® program offerings and enrollment details at

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