At Capital Area Healthy Start, our goal is to provide service-oriented programs that meet the needs of women who are thinking about becoming pregnant, women who are currently pregnant, and women who have already given birth. Our programs are also designed to involve the family and loved ones of the mothers and mothers-to-be.
“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” Joyce Meyers
Whether you’re planning a pregnancy or not, it is important for you to spend this time getting and staying as healthy as possible. How healthy your body is now sets the atmosphere for a healthy pregnancy in the future.
Why should you be concerned about future pregnancies? It is because not all babies are born healthy. Sometimes babies are born too soon (preterm birth), too small (low birth weight), or with birth defects. Some of these problems can be prevented just by taking extra steps to care for your body before you become pregnant.
So you may be wondering what you can do to prepare for your future bundle of joy; here are some suggestions:
- Make sure you get 400mcg of folic acid daily. Folic acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps with a baby’s brain development.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs.
- Get some type of physical activity on a regular basis.
- Eat healthy, whole foods that nourish the body. Think vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans), lean meat, and plenty of water. Limit processed and other sugary, high-calorie foods.
- Maintain a healthy weight to keep such health problems as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol, and asthma at bay.
- Avoid risky sexual behavior. Abstinence from vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
- Visit your doctor annual for a physical.
MomCare is a program designed to help pregnant women who are newly enrolled in Medicaid have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. A MomCare advisor will contact you and provide the following services and support:
- Assist with navigating the Medicaid system.
- Assist with selecting a prenatal care provider for early and continuous prenatal health care.
- Assist with identifying a pediatrician or family practice provider who will see their baby after birth and for all newborn care medical needs.
- Provides information about the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition services and how to enroll in WIC.
- Explains the benefits of the Healthy Start program and how to enroll.
- Answers questions about the prenatal care process.
- Provides referral information for other community resources as needed.
Healthy Start Program
The Healthy Start program provides services and support needed by pregnant women to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Every woman who receives a positive pregnancy test from her health care provider is offered a Prenatal Risk Screen. This screen helps us identify any risks that could negatively affect you and the baby. Healthy Start services are no charge to you and include:
- Pregnancy health education
- Nutrition education
- Childbirth preparation
- Breastfeeding education and support
- New baby care
- Parenting education and support
- Help to quit smoking
- Stress management and emotional support
- General support and community referrals
Our care coordinators work individually with moms to determine the right support and services needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth, and healthy baby.