Preconception Health & Pregnancy
Preconception Health refers to the health of women and men during their reproductive years, which are the years they can have a child. It focuses on taking steps now to protect the health of a baby they might have sometime in the future. If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is not too early to prepare for a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. You should speak with your healthcare provider about preconception care as it will involve steps you can take to reduce the risk of birth defects and other problems. As well as, finding and taking care of any problems that might affect you and your baby later, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Before you become pregnant, you want to make sure that you cut out any habits that are harmful for your baby, such as:
• SMOKING – Smoking during pregnancy is estimated to account for 20 to 30% of low-birth weight babies, up to 14% of preterm deliveries, and about 10% of all infant deaths according to the American Lung Association
• ALCOHOL – There is NO safe amount of alcohol to consume while you are pregnant.
• RECREATIONAL DRUG USE – Recreational Drug Use during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage, low birth-weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning problems
• PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – There are many prescription drugs that are teratogenic (cause birth defects). Talk to your healthcare provider about any and all prescription drugs you are taking
• HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS – There are some chemicals that can also be teratogenic. For example, most studies show that the greatest risk of exposure to pesticides is during the first three to eight weeks of the first trimester when the neural tube development is occurring. This is often before a women knows she is pregnant.
• STRESS – Stress has been linked to delayed or missed periods which can cause difficulty tracking ovulation and getting pregnant. Limit your amount of stress as much as possible. You may find it helpful to employ relaxation techniques or yoga to help moderate your stress level.
• HERBS – Most herbs and herbal remedies are not mandated by the FDA, and therefore, there is little to no research on the effect they have on pregnancy. Discuss any herbal or natural remedies you may be using with your healthcare provider
• CAFFEINE – Some studies have shown a link between high levels of caffeine consumption and delayed conception. A few studies have shown that there may be an increase in miscarriages among women who consume more then 200 mg (on 12oz cup of coffee) a day versus those who do not consume any caffeine.
When should care for pregnancy start?
CARE SHOULD START THE MINUTE PREGNANCY IS SUSPECTED. The single most important thing to do right away is schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider
Common symptoms of pregnancy:
• Some nausea and vomiting, also known as “morning sickness”, that usually subsides after about 12 weeks
• Fatigue and being more tired than normal
• Being more thirsty and hungry than normal
• Minor aches, pains and discomforts
• Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
• Heartburn or indigestion
• Being more emotional or teary than normal
• Changes in body
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- Prenatal Care
What is prenatal care?
Prenatal Care is the process of regularly monitoring your health and the health of your unborn child during your pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different if you have other children and early prenatal care will assist your medical provider to identify and address any problems that may arise.
It is important to see your doctor for an initial visit within your first trimester and at your scheduled appointment times so that he/she can monitor your pregnancy. If you are new to our health plan, it is recommended that you see your doctor within 42 days of enrollment. It is also important to have a dental check-up during your pregnancy because pregnant women are at increased risk for cavities and gum diseases. Inform your dentist that you are pregnant.
Your doctor will give you a schedule of all the doctor’s visits you should have while pregnant.
Most experts suggest you see your doctor:
- About once each month for weeks 4 through 28
- Twice a month for weeks 28 through 36
- Weekly for weeks 36 to birth
If you are older than 35 or your pregnancy is high risk, you’ll probably see your doctor more often.
- Postpartum Care
What is postpartum care?
Postpartum Care is the visit that you make to your doctor within 21 and 56 days after you have your baby. You will be examined to make sure that your body has recovered from the pregnancy and that you are not having any problems. If you had a cesarean delivery, your doctor may ask you to return sooner to check your stitches.
- Destination Motherhood Program
Pregnant? The best gift to give your baby is early and frequent checks by your doctor. Total Health Care offers a program to help you take charge of the health of you and your baby. Our Destination Motherhood program offers rewards for visits to your doctor, along with helpful information for your pregnancy. Once your baby is born, we also have tips and information to help your baby stay healthy.
To sign up for this FREE program or to receive more information, call 313-871-7815 or click here for responses by email
- Infant Health
Total Health Care’s goal is to assure your infant has the best possible start in life
As a parent, you understand that visits to the doctor are important when your child is sick. Children should also have routine well-child visits. During these visits, your child will receive a physical examination complete with any recommended vaccinations and/or screenings. Your child’s growth and development is monitored an nutrition, physical activity and safety are discussed. Without these regular visits, your child’s doctor might not catch a problem until it is too late to treat effectively! It is also a great time for you to establish a relationship with your child’s doctor.
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- Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP)
Are you pregnant and want extra help during your pregnancy?
If so, we would like to invite you to participate with the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP), a free benefit program for the Michigan women with Medicaid health insurance. Click here for more information.
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