The Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition has taken one of their successful programs, originally named Belly Beautiful, and expanded it by leaps and bounds including a name change to Babies & Beyond, showing the scope of what the new program now offers.

CEO Andrea Berry and Program Manager Kristen Crocker have developed a 4-tier program that will accommodate every one of their client’s needs and is aimed to touch every mother in Indian River County during pregnancy and post birth.

“Bringing a baby into the world can be a scary time. The Babies and Beyond program is here to help make that transition as safe, peaceful and empowering as possible. Our classes are for every pregnancy, including first time and experienced moms. Each pregnancy is different and we are here for you,” comments Ms. Berry.  ”

Kristen Crocker, who is an RN and experienced OB nurse leads the classes.  She has been with the organization since 2015 and has been directly involved in developing Babies & Beyond. “I am passionate about this program and feel blessed that I am here to help ‘mommas’. We started weekly classes in August, and look forward to continuing them on a regular basis. We love seeing the ‘mommas’ bring their families to our sessions as well. We are not here to pass judgment…  We are just here to help ‘mommas’ have a safe, healthy pregnancy that leads to healthy, happy babies.”

The four tiers of Babies & Beyond cover Prenatal Education, Lactation/Breastfeeding with hospital bedside support (post birth), Nurse Home Visitation (post birth) and Playgroups. Each free class covers a different subject relative to the prenatal client, labor, birth, and infant care. They are held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., and repeat at 6 p.m., at the Healthy Start office.  Some of the weekly topics include changes associated with pregnancy, stress management and preparing for childbirth, breastfeeding, laboring, birth, infant care and nutrition. Classes will repeat monthly with introduction of new topics as needed to meet client needs.

Babies & Beyond is funded through the generosity of support from the county as well as the Indian River County Hospital District, United Way, and Indian River County’s Children Services Advisory Committee, hospital and philanthropists in the community. The Indian River County Healthy Start Coalition offers a broad spectrum of programs to insure that every pregnant woman and their young children receive all necessary healthcare and support services. They are located in the Bridgewater Plaza at 1555 Indian River Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Vero Beach. The classes are free and a calendar of classes can be obtained by calling 772-563-9118 or visiting the website, www.irchealthystartcoalition.org.