Paramedics deliver Project Swaddle

Helping rural moms and babies stay healthy

Project Swaddle paramedic Darren Forman makes an at-home visit to check on a baby’s health.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — Crawfordsville in west-central Indiana is in the middle of a maternity-care desert, where residents have little to no access to obstetrics care.

Thankfully, the community is home to Project Swaddle — a home-visiting program facilitated by paramedics who aim to help mothers and their newborns.

Pregnant women and mothers who face health, social or environmental challenges can receive in-home care through the program.

“The challenges of providing rural emergency care are plentiful,” said Paul Miller, deputy chief of the Crawfordsville Fire Department. “One is providing OB care.

“That’s how we started in mobile integrated health, delivering Project Swaddle. We’re seeing more and more physicians leave rural communities for larger cities and metropolitan areas. That impacts rural communities’ access to care.

“We looked at changing the expectations for providing care for our community and bringing it to the patients.”

Project Swaddle is a partner with Franciscan Health’s Paramedicine Program and Crawfordsville’s Community Paramedicine Mobile Integrated Health Program.

The community’s only labor and delivery space closed in 2013. Shortly after, paramedics saw firsthand that many women didn’t have the support they needed.

To help women in the area, Project Swaddle was created in 2018. Since then, more than 200 women have been served by the program.

The prenatal and postpartum program offers everything from in-home treatment to transportation services for clinic visits.

What It Looks Like

Women in the program are usually visited by a community paramedic every two weeks until the 36th week of pregnancy, at which point it goes to one a week.

Postpartum women and infants enrolled in the program also receive weekly visits.

Visits may include a medical check-up, testing, or medication administration, along with a general wellness check.

The parents are educated on prenatal and postpartum care and best practices. The paramedic is available to answer questions.

Project Swaddle is now being replicated in other communities throughout the state.

Pregnant women can enroll in Project Swaddle as early as the first trimester of their pregnancy and can currently receive care up to 90 days postpartum.

Learn more about Project Swaddle at

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor