CHP+ REMINDS PREGNANT WOMEN OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PRENATAL CARE
DENVER – January 2007 – It’s essential for women to get medical care (prenatal care) during pregnancy to keep themselves and their babies healthy. According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care. The Child Health Plan Plus Prenatal Care Program is here to help pregnant women get the care they need during pregnancy.
“Pregnant women who get prenatal care have healthier babies,” explained Bill Heller, director of CHP+. “At CHP+, we understand nothing is more important to you than your child’s health.”
The CHP+ Prenatal Care Program is the state’s low-cost health insurance program for uninsured Colorado pregnant women ages 19 and older whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. There is no enrollment fee for the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program. All pregnancy care is free including prenatal care, labor and delivery and post-delivery visits. There are small co-payments for prescriptions or other health care needs. CHP+ also covers pregnant women for 60 days after delivery and their babies for 30 days after birth.
“Doctors can spot health problems early when they see pregnant women regularly,” said Heller. “Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others. CHP+ encourages pregnant women to get regular health care throughout their pregnancy.”
According to the National Women’s Health Information Center there are many things pregnant women can do to take care of themselves and their babies.
• Take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
• Get early and regular prenatal care. Whether this is the woman’s first pregnancy or third, health care is extremely important. The doctor will check to make sure the pregnant woman and the baby are healthy at each visit. If there are any problems, early action will help the mom and the baby.
• Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, and calcium – rich foods. Choose foods low in saturated fat.
• Try to be active for 30 minutes, most days of the week – unless otherwise directed by a doctor. If short on time, get exercise in 10 minute segments, three times a day.
• Smoking and drinking alcohol can during pregnancy can cause long-term harm to the baby. Ask a doctor for help to stop smoking.
• Ask a doctor before taking any medicine. Some are not safe during pregnancy. Remember that over-the-counter medicines and herbal products may cause side effects or other problems. So ask a doctor before taking these products too.
• Get informed. Read books, watch videos, go to a childbirth class and talk with experienced moms.
Visit the CHP+ Web site at www.CHPplus.org for more information, in English and Spanish, about eligibility or to get an application for the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program or call toll free at 1-800-359-1991. Families can now download the CHP+ application from the Web site and mail it in. For additional information regarding CHP+ marketing, education and professional training opportunities, please call