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Maternity Support Services (MSS) helps women have healthy pregnancies. Working with your MSS care team, you'll receive health education and counseling during your pregnancy and until your baby turns two months old. MSS provides:

  • Regular visits in the clinic
  • Home visits for special concerns
  • Support beyond your doctor or midwife, including nurses, nutritionists, social workers and community health workers
  • Referrals to OB care, WIC, health insurance and other community resources

MSS is part of the First Steps Program and is available to pregnant women through Medicaid.

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  • Finding a doctor for you and your baby
  • Learning how pregnancy affects you
  • Learning about fetal growth and development
  • Learning about childbirth and parenting
  • Caring for new babies
  • Learning about infant brain development and cues
  • Planning your family
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Birth control and family planning services
  • Learning about healthy foods for you and your baby
  • Tracking your weight gain
  • Managing health concerns; high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high weight gain
  • Learning breastfeeding education and support
  • Learning about infant feeding
  • Adjusting to a new baby
  • Strengthening relationships with family and friends
  • Talking about feeling stressed, sad, or depressed
  • Learning about effects of drugs and alcohol on you and your baby
  • Talking about drugs and alcohol concerns

Call the PHN Referral Line at 206-263-8374: 

  • Medicaid insurance coverage
  • Housing, food, dental, vision and financial assistance
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Classes on childbirth and parenting
  • Baby supplies and maternity clothes
  • Birth control
  • Counseling for mental health or substance abuse
  • Domestic or family violence resources
  • Educational needs
  • Early Head Start

For community partners

Public Health Nursing services

Public Health nurses (PHNs) work in a number of programs serving Medicaid eligible pregnant and parenting clients in King County. PHNs provide information and counseling around health concerns, pregnancy and child health, and linkage to community resources. PHNs provide services at Public Health Centers and on home visits.

Home Visit services are prioritized to Medicaid eligible clients at highest risk for poor health outcomes and based on PHN resource capacity. Home visiting is offered in the following programs:

  • MSS and ICM: targeted to the most vulnerable clients with health risks
  • Nurse Family Partnership: visits to first time pregnant women (< = 26 weeks gestation) and their infants until age 2. Within Seattle city limits there is no age restriction; for those living in King county, age is < 23 years.
  • Children with Special Health Care Needs: telephonic and home visits to infants & children under age 18.

How to make a referral

Download and complete a fillable PDF form to make a referral for Parent Child Health (PCH) services, including Public Health Nurse home visits, or call the PCH Information and Referral Line at 206-263-8374.

For policy makers

Research has shown that women who get into prenatal care early, and who receive adequate prenatal care, have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. Without Maternity Support Services, many low income pregnant women would not access prenatal care until later in their pregnancy—some would not access prenatal care at all.

Maternity Support Services prevents an estimated $5.3 million in hospital costs in Washington state each year by reducing the number of babies born with low birth weight. Learn more.

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