In 1984, a group of health professionals created Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies—The Montana Coalition (HMHB-MT), based on the national Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies model, to improve the health of mothers and children in Montana.

In its first year, HMHB grew to 100 members, who worked on projects including:

  • Women’s health survey
  • Study on baby bottle tooth decay
  • Survey of health conditions among migrant workers
  • Resource directory for maternal and child health
  • Adolescent health promotion plan
  • Establishment of the Children’s Alliance of Montana
  • Establishment of a council on maternal and child health in Montana
  • Implementation of a hotline for Montana pregnancy risk

In the 1990s, HMHB programs and efforts expanded to include:

  • A statewide teen health and pregnancy prevention program
  • The “Baby Your Baby” public education campaign to urge pregnant women in Montana to seek prenatal care and information
  • Breastfeeding promotion
  • Technical assistance for the Montana Hunger Coalition
  • Promotion of tobacco-free pregnancies
  • An educational campaign on nutrition and healthy eating habits

Today, HMHB is involved in:

  • Preventing shaken baby syndrome through our PURPLE Crying program
  • Promoting safe sleep to reduce the incidence of SIDS through the SafeSleep for Baby program
  • Providing car seats to families in need with our SafeSeat for Baby program
  • Advocating for improved access to care for mothers before and after birth, including increased support for those experiencing mood disorders or substance use disorders