Reproductive Health

Reproductive HealthYour reproductive health is important, whether you’re ready to start a family or not. There are ways you can make sure you’re in the best possible health to have a baby, as well as ways to prevent pregnancy and reproductive diseases.

If you could use some support navigating health insurance, finding a provider or services, or learning more about healthy behaviors, call your local Community Health Worker at 315-272-2661.

Community Health Workers (CHW) assist women of childbearing age on improving their health, as well as the health of their family. This is an outreach and home visiting program that serves Oneida and Herkimer county residents. CHWs work with high need women and infants to obtain health insurance and engage in healthcare. CHWs educate, refer and follow up to ensure success in making healthy decisions, reducing risky behaviors and encouraging overall wellness.

The best place to start is by answering the following question: Do you want to have a baby in the next year? (Click One)

 

 


 

 

 

You’ve decided you want to have a baby.

That’s great! Here are some women’s reproductive health items from WomensHealth.gov you may want to consider.

Why preconception health matters

Preconception health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It means knowing how health conditions and risk factors could affect a woman or her unborn baby if she becomes pregnant. For example, some foods, habits, and medicines can harm your baby — even before he or she is conceived. Some health problems, such as diabetes, also can affect pregnancy.

Every woman should be thinking about her health whether or not she is planning pregnancy. One reason is that about half of all pregnancies are not planned. Unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Another reason is that, despite important advances in medicine and prenatal care, about 1 in 8 babies is born too early. Researchers are trying to find out why and how to prevent preterm birth. But experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. By taking action on health issues and risks before pregnancy, you can prevent problems that might affect you or your baby later.

Five most important things to boost your preconception health

Women and men should prepare for pregnancy before becoming sexually active — or at least three months before getting pregnant. Some actions, such as quitting smoking, reaching a healthy weight, or adjusting medicines you are using, should start even earlier. The five most important things you can do for preconception health are:

  1. Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day if you are planning or capable of pregnancy to lower your risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine, including spina bifida. All women need folic acid every day. Talk to your doctor about your folic acid needs. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain higher amounts of folic acid.
  2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  3. If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions can affect pregnancy and some conditions can be affected by pregnancy. These may include asthmadiabetes, oral health, obesity, or epilepsy.
  4. Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medicines you are using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  5. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infection at work and at home. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

Talk to your doctor before you become pregnant

It’s best to be at a healthy weight when you become pregnant. Being overweight or underweight puts you at increased risk for problems during pregnancy. Learn how healthy food choices and physical fitness, together, can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Visit the WomensHealth.gov fitness and nutrition section.

Preconception care can improve your chances of getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy, and having a healthy baby. If you are sexually active, talk to your doctor about your preconception health now. Preconception care should begin at least three months before you get pregnant. But some women need more time to get their bodies ready for pregnancy. Be sure to discuss your partner’s health too. Ask your doctor about:

  • Family planning and birth control.
  • Taking folic acid.
  • Vaccines and screenings you may need, such as a Pap test and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
  • Managing health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, obesity, depression, eating disorders, and asthma. Find out how pregnancy may affect, or be affected by, health problems you have.
  • Medicines you use, including over-the-counter, herbal, and prescription drugs and supplements.
  • Ways to improve your overall health, such as reaching a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, being physically active, caring for your teeth and gums, reducing stress, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol.
  • How to avoid illness.
  • Hazards in your workplace or home that could harm you or your baby.
  • Health problems that run in your or your partner’s family.
  • Problems you have had with prior pregnancies, including preterm birth.
  • Family concerns that could affect your health, such as domestic violence or lack of support.

Bring a list of talking points to be sure you don’t forget anything. If you run out of time at your visit, schedule a follow-up visit to make sure everything is covered.

You’ve decided you do not want to have a baby in the next year.

The next step is planning accordingly for healthy pregnancy prevention methods. Here are some women’s reproductive health items from WomensHealth.gov for your consideration.

Talk to your doctor about birth control. There are many options available for you to choose from.

What is the best method of birth control (or contraception)?

There is no “best” method of birth control. Each method has its pros and cons.

All women and men can have control over when, and if, they become parents. Making choices about birth control, or contraception, can be difficult because there are many things to think about. To get started, learn about birth control methods you or your partner can use to prevent pregnancy. You can also talk with your doctor about the choices.

Before choosing a birth control method, think about:

  • Your overall health
  • How often you have sex
  • The number of sex partners you have
  • If you want to have children someday
  • How well each method works to prevent pregnancy
  • Possible side effects
  • Your comfort level with using the method

Keep in mind, even the most effective birth control methods can fail. But your chances of getting pregnant are lowest if the method you choose always is used correctly and every time you have sex.

Visit Bedsider.org to explore the different methods and which ones may meet your needs.

In the United States, up to half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If it is at all possible that you could become pregnant, consider these five most important things to boost your preconception health.

The five most important things you can do for preconception health are:

  1. Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day if you are planning or capable of pregnancy to lower your risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine, including spina bifida. All women need folic acid every day. Talk to your doctor about your folic acid needs. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain higher amounts of folic acid.
  2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  3. If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions can affect pregnancy and some conditions can be affected by pregnancy. These may include asthmadiabetes, oral health, obesity, or epilepsy.
  4. Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medicines you are using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  5. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infection at work and at home. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

If you could use some support navigating health insurance, finding a provider or services, or learning more about healthy behaviors, call your local Community Health Worker at 315-272-2661.

Community Health Workers (CHW) assist women of childbearing age on improving their health, as well as the health of their family. This is an outreach and home visiting program that serves Oneida and Herkimer county residents. CHWs work with high need women and infants to obtain health insurance and engage in healthcare. CHWs educate, refer and follow up to ensure success in making healthy decisions, reducing risky behaviors and encouraging overall wellness.

 

Contact Us

Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network
1000 Cornelia Street, 2nd floor
Utica, NY 13502

Phone: 315-732-4657
Toll Free: 1-877-267-6193
Fax: 315-732-5640
info@newfamily.org

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