Oregon governor Kate Brown recently proposed a home-visitation program for the families of new infants as part of her 2019 agenda. This would make Oregon the first state to provide in-home visits by a health professional to check on the newborn.
This proposal could provide families with three visits from a nurse who would monitor newborn development, weight gain, or other milestones. Ideally, they could come when the baby is 3 days old; 2 weeks old; and 2 months old. The health professional could also check on the mother to monitor signs of postpartum depression and help with breast feeding. This could become extremely helpful for new parents or low-income families without consistent access to health care.
However, some believe this opportunity for in-home visits could become a mandate. Skeptics envision a scenario that resembles something closer to wellness checks from child protective services more than visits from a health professional. These visits could also constitute an invasion of privacy if they are indeed mandated for every newborn.
While advocates on both sides have passionate opinions, it’s important to consider the details of the proposal have yet to be made public. Moving forward, it’s important to consider parents’ rights and civil liberties while also ensuring all newborns have access to proper care.