What should I do if I'm planning to have a baby?
If you are planning to have a baby, get ready by making sure you are as healthy as possible. Use family planning services to plan when to have your baby.
Talk to your doctor or clinic and ask for information about pregnancy.
Take a multi-vitamin that has folic acid in it. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevent some birth defects.
Don't smoke or take street drugs. Only take medicine that your doctor says is okay.
If you have chronic health problems like asthma or diabetes, get regular medical care.
Be sure you have had your shots for rubella, tetanus and hepatitis.
Get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (diseases you can get when you have sex) before you become pregnant.
Do pregnant women need special care?
Pregnant women need special care during pregnancy, called prenatal care. Prenatal care visits with a doctor or clinic will help pregnant women stay healthy, and help their babies stay healthy too.
Problems during pregnancy
Call your doctor right away if:
You have constant low back pain or cramping, or sharp pain in your stomach that wont go away
There is a sudden gush or leaking of fluid or bleeding from your vagina
You notice that your baby is moving less (after the fifth month)
Go to your doctor or clinic for prenatal care as soon as you think you are pregnant.
Keep going during your pregnancy go as often as the doctor or clinic tells you to.
How can I find a doctor or clinic for prenatal visits?
To get help finding a doctor or clinic to take care of you during pregnancy, call Illinois Health Connect at 1-877-912-1999 (TTY: 1-866-565-8577). The call is free.
What happens at a prenatal visit?
At least once a month during pregnancy, the doctor will:
Check your blood pressure, listen to your heart and lungs, weigh you and ask you for a urine sample. Sometimes the doctor will also do an internal vaginal exam.
Check the baby's heart rate, and measure the baby's growth.
Answer your questions, and talk to you about what to expect during the pregnancy.
To stay healthy while you are pregnant
Visit your doctor or clinic as soon as you think you might be pregnant.
Keep all your prenatal appointments.
Eat healthy foods. Use WIC if you qualify.
Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use street drugs. They can hurt you and your baby.
Exercise regularly if your doctor says it is okay.
Wear a seat belt.
Don't take any medicine even aspirin without checking with your doctor to be sure it is safe.
Read labels on paint, bug spray, cleaners and other chemicals to see if there are special warnings for pregnant women.
Tell your doctor and dentist that you are pregnant before getting x-rays.
What is WIC?
WIC is the Women, Infants and Children program. WIC helps pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children get the food they need to stay healthy.
WIC is free. You can get healthy foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, fruit juice, cereal, dried beans and peas from WIC. WIC covers infant formula with iron for babies who are not breast-fed.
To find a WIC office near you, call 1-800-323-4769, (TTY: 1-866-295-6817). The call is free.
What happens after my baby is born?
Your new baby will get health insurance through Moms & Babies for one year. Sometimes the hospital will tell us when your baby is born. Then we will send you a medical card with the babys name on it. If you do not get a new card within a few weeks of your baby's birth, call 1-866-255-5437 (TTY: 1-877-204-1012) to tell us that your baby arrived. You will be covered for at least 60 days after giving birth.
Your health is important for your baby! Be sure to visit your doctor within six weeks of having your baby to make sure you are healing well.
Breastfeed your baby. Babies who are breastfed are healthier.
You and your baby will both be healthier if you do not smoke. If you need help to quit smoking, call the Quitline at 1-866-784-8937 (TTY: 1-800-501-1068). The call is free.
Remember, it is never too late to quit smoking!
Wait at least one year before you get pregnant again. That way your next baby will have the best chance to be healthy. Talk to your doctor about family planning and birth control.
What are the baby blues?
Often a new mother feels a little sad, confused, scared and nervous after the baby is born. These feelings sometimes called the baby blues are normal, and usually go away in about 10 days.
Sad feelings that last more than two weeks may be serious. If a pregnant woman or new mother feels sad or worries most of the time, or if she never seems to feel happy, she should visit her doctor or clinic right away. You can also call the Moms Hotline for help at 1-866-364-6667. The call is free.
All Kids Hotline 1-866-ALL-KIDS (1-866-255-5437)