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First Steps Maternity Support Services and Infant Case Management (MSS/ICM)

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 people through Medicaid.

Infant Case Management (ICM) provides support and referral to needed medical, social, educational and other resources in your community so that your baby and family can thrive.

MSS/ICM also provides the following:

  • Learning about health and pregnancy

    • Finding a doctor for you during and after your pregnancy (miscarriage, termination, or childbirth)
    • Finding a doctor for your baby
    • Learning how pregnancy affects you during and after
    • Birth control, sexual health, and family planning services
    • 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/chestfeeding support
  • Nutrition education

    • Learning about healthy foods for you during and two months after your pregnancy (miscarriage, termination, or childbirth)
    • Learning about healthy foods for a new baby
    • Managing health concerns; high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or weight
    • Receiving breastfeeding/chestfeeding education and support
    • Learning about infant feeding
  • Emotional support

    • Adjusting during and after a pregnancy ends (miscarriage, termination, or childbirth)
    • Adjusting to a new baby
    • Strengthening relationships with family and friends
    • Talking about feeling stressed, sad, or depressed
  • Drug and alcohol use information

    • Learning about effects of drugs and alcohol on you 
    • Learning about effects of drugs and alcohol on a baby
    • Talking about drugs and alcohol concerns
  • Referrals for health care providers

    Call the Parent Child Health 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 use/abuse
    • Domestic or family violence resources
    • Educational needs
    • Early Head Start

    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 community partners

    Services available at multiple locations, including home visits

    Public Health providers (which include nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and community health workers) provide information and counseling around health concerns, mental health, nutrition, pregnancy, and child health for Medicaid-eligible pregnant and parenting clients in King County.

    Services can be provided at Public Health Centers, community partner sites, and through home visits.

    • MSS and ICM
    • Nurse Family Partnership: visits to first time people who are pregnant (< = 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: Refer to Step 5 above for instructions.

  • For policy makers

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

    MSS 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. Read the MSS fact sheet to learn more.