Sometimes, parenthood is scary.
Already a mother of two, Sara experienced complications during her pregnancy with her daughter, Emilee, that led to an early delivery. Her daughter’s lungs were underdeveloped, and she was put on oxygen to help her breathe.
Although Sara was an experienced mom, she hadn’t raised a newborn in several years, and she’d never cared for a medically fragile baby.
“I was afraid,” she remembers.
Thankfully, Sara’s family receives care through the Westside Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic in Denver. Her pediatrician asked if she’d like to enroll in their HealthySteps program, and Sara said yes.
HealthySteps is a unique early childhood program that places a childhood development specialist within a pediatric primary care team. Working together, the doctor and HealthySteps specialist provide integrated care and support parents through the challenging first three years of a child’s life. HealthySteps specialists also connect families to other community resources as needed.
Sara credits her HealthySteps specialist with coaching her through the first anxious months of her daughter’s life and helping her access groceries, clothing and furniture after she moved out of an unhealthy living situation. Today, Sara and her family are thriving, and, at 11 months, Emilee is off oxygen and learning to speak and walk.
“I don’t have the words to explain how grateful I am,” Sara says of HealthySteps. “Just knowing there’s someone there to support you with what you’re going through. It’s life changing.”