Surprises happen. In fact, half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. So if you are a woman of child-bearing age, you should be prepared. To give your baby the best chance possible of a healthy life, you need to ensure you’re healthy now.
Here are some tips to help you along:
Take Your Vitamins: Every woman should take 400 mcg of folic acid daily (that’s vitamin B). This can be done by taking a multi-vitamin that includes the dosage, or by eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, peanuts, grains and citrus. For more information about folic acid, which can greatly reduce the risk of birth defects, please visit www.marchofdimes.com.
Visit Your Doctor: Get a checkup to be sure you do not have any illnesses you could pass on to your child. Some have no symptoms, but could be dangerous for a baby. If you do not have a doctor or are concerned you cannot afford one, we can help. Please call Children's Services Council at 1.888.634.7900.
Quit Smoking: If you smoke, please quit. Recent studies have shown that even exposure to second hand smoke gives a baby an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and smoking during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and/or low birthweight. Click here for smoking cessation information.
Eat Well: Eat a nutritionally balanced diet. That can be difficult in our society, but it will help you look and feel better now and, should you get pregnant, it will benefit you and your baby in many ways. If you need help accessing healthy food resources, please contact Palm Beach County Food Bank at 561-629-3491 or visit www.pbcfoodbank.org.
Get Prenatal Care: If you do get pregnant, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. There are many things you will need to know now that can prevent problems in the long run. So keep your appointments and follow doctor's orders. And during your first visit, be sure you have a Healthy Start screening done, this is a simply a questionnaire that determines whether you're eligible for free services.
We Can Help: If you don’t have a doctor or can’t afford one Children's Services Council can help. We can connect you to medical care and - if you're eligible - provide additional services to help you get ready for your baby. Please call 1.888.634.7900.
If you need help with housing, food or other issues please call 211.