Maternal Health

Did you know that if you have a normal, healthy pregnancy, it’s important to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks? Dr. Karen Cassidy, market medical director for population health at UnitedHealthcare of Tennessee, joined us on a recent episode of Community Healthy Matters to discuss maternal health and the importance of carrying your baby to full term. View her segment here.

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of a woman’s life, but it can also be overwhelming. UnitedHealthcare encourages healthy pregnancies by providing access to prenatal, post-partum and well-child care. They also offer programs and online services to help moms stay healthy throughout their pregnancies and are committed to raising awareness of the importance of full-term deliveries.

One in three women in the U.S. has a C-section, which is a significantly higher rate than the rest of the world. If your pregnancy is healthy, it’s important to carry your baby to full term because babies born before 39 weeks are more likely to have breathing problems and developmental delays. And, premature births before 37 weeks of pregnancy account for 35 percent of all infant deaths. Unless there are medical reasons, give your baby all the time he or she needs to grow, and wait for labor to begin on its own rather than scheduling delivery around your or your doctor’s schedule.

Expectant moms can ensure a healthy delivery by eating well, staying active, getting enough rest, limiting stress, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and keeping up with prenatal appointments. Carefully choosing the right maternity care provider and your birth setting is an important, too. If you are thinking about giving birth at an out-of-hospital birth center or at home, call your insurance provider and make sure you understand your insurance coverage related to those services.

According to Dr. Cassidy, the best thing that an expectant mom can do for her baby is to take care of herself. What’s good for the mom is good for the baby. For more information on maternal care, visit ChildbirthConnection.org or marchofdimes.org/39weeks.

Women who breastfeed have less of a risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. And the longer a woman breastfeeds one or more children, the higher the benefit. In addition, breastfeeding a baby girl can actually reduce her lifetime risk of breast cancer by 25%. For more information, visit Komen.org and search for “breastfeeding.”

Breast milk is a unique nutritional source that is superior to almost any other food for infants, including formula. Discussing the benefits, challenges and helpful tips concerning breastfeeding is Jill Bennett, a Child Birth Educator with Saint Thomas Midtown.

Tennessee is one of the most challenging places in the U.S. to live with allergies. Pediatrician Hillary Hunt from Tennessee Medicine and Pediatrics joins us to discuss allergies, testing and treatment options in children.

Breast milk is a unique nutritional source that is superior to almost any other food for infants, including formula. Discussing the benefits, challenges and helpful tips concerning breastfeeding is Jill Bennett, a Child Birth Educator with Saint Thomas Midtown.
Brian Todd  from the Nashville Health Department to talk about ways to “Fight the Bite” to protect your family from mosquito bites and the importance of including immunizations in your back-to-school planning this summer.

March’s topics include overweight children, building young families and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, talks about addressing the issue of overweight and obesity in children.

Representatives from March of Dimes discuss an innovative program called Tied Together, a dynamic parent education program designed to build on the strengths of young families.

Substance abuse during pregnancy can result in agonizing drug withdrawal for the newborn. Karen D’Apolito, director of the neonatal nurse practitioner program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and March of Dimes volunteer, talks about this growing concern and the steps being taken in Tennessee to help prevent it.

Substance abuse during pregnancy can result in agonizing drug withdrawal for the newborn. Karen D’Apolito, director of the neonatal nurse practitioner program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and March of Dimes volunteer, talks about this growing concern and the steps being taken in Tennessee to help prevent it.

Did you know if you take drugs during pregnancy, they can pass through the placenta to your baby in the womb?

Then because they are no longer receiving the drug after birth, the newborn infant may suffer painful symptoms of withdrawal. This is called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and it’s a growing problem in Tennessee and across the country. If you are expecting a baby and are using drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, ask your health care provider for help with stopping as soon as possible to help keep you and your baby safe.

 

 

Did you know approximately one in five pregnant women in Tennessee smokes during her pregnancy?

If all pregnant women in the United States stopped smoking, there would be an estimated 11 percent reduction in stillbirths and a five percent reduction in newborn deaths. If you need help to stop smoking, talk to your doctor or check out the information available at smokefree.gov.

Did you know preterm delivery is the most frequent cause of infant mortality, accounting for more than one-third of all infant deaths in the first year of life?

Preterm birth is when a baby is born before 37 complete weeks of pregnancy. And in addition to the physical and emotional impact of pre-term births, the Institutes of Medicine suggest at least $26 billion is spent each year for hospitalization of preterm infants. To help give your baby a healthy start in life, see your doctor regularly, stay healthy during your pregnancy, and try to avoid delivery before 39 complete weeks of pregnancy.

January’s topics include full term delivery and waiting for health babies, managing diabetes in adults and children and fighting hunger in Tennessee.

Dr. Michael Warren from the Tennessee Department of Health talks about the importance of carrying your baby to full-term, and why healthy babies are worth the wait.

Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Deanna Aftab Guy joins us to talk about diabetes, its prevalence in Tennessee, and tips for identifying and managing the disease in adults and children

Jaynee Day of Second Harvest Food Bank talks about the problem of hunger impacting the lives of 1 in 4 children in Tennessee everyday and how Second Harvest is working to solve hunger issues in this state.