Division of Maternal and Child Health

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our goal is to provide leadership, in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve the physical, socio-emotional health, safety and well-being of all Kentucky women, infants, children, adolescents and their families.

Programs and Services


Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) provides support throughout your pregnancy and the first two years of your baby’s life. HANDS supports families as they build healthy, safe environments for the optimal growth and development of children. For more information visit the HANDS website.

First Steps provides services to children with developmental disabilities from birth to age 3 and their families. Children with a develolpmental delay or established risk for delay may be eligible for services. For more information visit the First Steps website.

WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education and counseling and screening and referrals to other services to pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, infants and children up to their fifth birthday. Services are provided locally through public health departments. For more information visit the WIC website.

Newborn Screening provides screenings for newborns to determine if a baby has certain health conditions. Specific conditions can lead to slow growth or other poor newborn outcomes. For more information, visit the Newborn Screening website.


The Division of Maternal and Child Health has more than 40 programs that directly or indirectly impact the lives of Kentucky's families. Some of our larger programs are:

  • Birth Surveillance Registry
  • Breastfeeding Promotion
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
  • Child Care Health Consultation
  • Child Fatality Review and Injury Prevention
  • Child Injury Prevention
  • Connect the Dots
  • Evidence-based MCH strategies
  • Healthy Schools
  • Help Me Grow
  • Maternal Mortality Review
  • Metabolic Foods and Formulas
  • Neonatal Abstinence Sydrome
  • Nurturing Parenting
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring
  • School Health Nursing
  • Strengthening Families
  • Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Registry​​


The Division of Maternal and Child Health will often participate in, lead, or support various initiatives that support Kentucky's families. While other initiatives can be found here, the most important initiative is Safe Sleep Kentucky.

Safe Sleep Kentucky is a statewide effort to raise awareness of and help inform parents and other child caregivers of the importance of safe sleep for babies. The effort seeks to prevent SIDS-related infant deaths by emphasizing ABCD, the four letters associated with the best practices to make sure infants sleep safely.

  • A is for Alone - Stay close, sleep apart
  • B is for Back - On my back for night and naps
  • C is for Crib - In a clean and clear crib
  • D is for Danger - Be aware, not impaired. Drinking and drug use impair your ability to care for a baby, making bed-sharing and other unsafe sleep even more dangerous for the baby.

Related Links

Maternal Mental Health Hotline

Being an expecting or new mom can be stressful and challenging. There are supports to ensure healthy pregnancies and new parents. To access this support and care, call the toll free hotline at (833) 9-HELP4MOMS.

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Alcoholic Anonymous Hotline
    (800) 467-8019

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence affects all ages, races, ethnic groups, income levels and educational backgrounds. Domestic violence can take many forms: physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse and other harmful behaviors. If you are a victim of abuse or have abused someone, confidential help is available.

  • Abuse Hotline (800) 752-6200
  • Drugs or Alcohol (800) 729-6686
  • Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program (800) 544-2022​​​​

Contact Information


Agency News

Public Health Receives Grant Funding from Anthem Foundation to Help Pregnant Women Quit Smoking

School Physical Form

Students entering kindergarten and sixth grade should have a body mass index (BMI) percentile check as part of required back-to-school health physicals. BMI measures are used to monitor four weight categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese. Collecting this information will help Kentucky more accurately monitor the status of children’s health based on BMI measures.