What We Do
Cradle Kalamazoo offers programs in the following priority areas: Cultural Competency, Family Support Services, Reproductive Health, and Safe Sleep.
Cradle Kalamazoo believes that cultural competency is a key component needed by organizations to effectively provide services to pregnant/expectant mothers, infants, and their families. Cultural Competency is the awareness of the impact of one’s own culture, the differences of other cultures, and the willingness to bridge cultural norms for the benefit of another.
Cradle Kalamazoo is striving towards educating community members and creating policies that empower individuals, programs, and institutions to become more culturally competent. Our partners learn about the history and environment that have contributed to the high racial disparities in infant death. They are also encouraged to make changes within their institutions that can facilitate understanding, communication, and access to services for mothers, expectant women, and their families. By bridging the cultural norms of service providers and clients/patients, we as a community will help reduce infant deaths.
Family Support Services
Cradle Kalamazoo understands that pregnancy and raising children can be difficult. It takes a village to raise a child. Cradle Kalamazoo is coordinating care and services offered by Family Support Programs that are dedicated to providing support services for pregnant/expectant mothers and infants. These programs offer resources for parents and infants both inside and outside the home. Our Family Support Programs are family-focused and work with all members of a family to ensure mothers have a healthy pregnancy and infants have a healthy start in life.
Families who participate in home visiting programs benefit from improved maternal, infant, and child health. Services promote positive parenting techniques, healthy child development, and school readiness. Home Visitors provide referrals to other support services for families in need. Family Support Programs work together to ensure that you are receiving the best services possible and the concerns you identify together are resolved.
For more information or to enroll in a program, please contact 269-888-KIDS (5437) or visit our resources page.
Fetal Infant Mortality Review
Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine are leading Kalamazoo’s Fetal-Infant Mortality Review (FIMR). FIMR is conducted monthly in order to understand and improve the factors that contribute to infant death in our community.
For more information visit the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services’ FIMR page.
Cradle Kalamazoo is providing the community with Reproductive Health Education to promote spacing between births and healthy planned pregnancies. Unplanned and rapid repeat pregnancies can lead to infant death. Rapid repeat pregnancies can result in babies that are too small and/or born too soon. Through education, families can better plan for their pregnancies. Our approach is to be respectful of everyone’s religious and cultural beliefs, preferences, privacy, and personal circumstances.
Cradle Kalamazoo is working to ensure that every baby has a safe sleep environment. Unsafe sleep environments are a leading cause of infant death and are completely preventable. Sleep Safe is a nationally recognized program to help protect your baby from sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (also called SUIDS), suffocation, and other sleeping related dangers.
We recognize the importance of culture and individual preferences for child bearing and child rearing. We also recognize that safe sleep education is an on-going conversation and not a lecture. Cradle Kalamazoo uses innovative ways to communicate with parents, grand parents, caregivers, health care providers, child care providers and everyone helping with caring for a baby.
Safe Sleep Tips:
- Safe Sleep ABCs: babies should sleep Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib.
- Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface, like a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet.
- Use only the mattress made for your baby’s crib.
- The mattress should fit snugly in the crib so there are no spaces between the mattress and the crib frame.
- The mattress shape should stay firm even when covered with a tightly fitted sheet or mattress cover.
- Keep cribs empty of bumpers, pads, toys, and blankets.