If you are trying to have a baby or are just thinking about it, it is not too early to start getting ready for pregnancy. Preconception health and health care focus on things you can do before and between pregnancies to increase the chances of having a healthy baby.
Show Your Love is a national campaign to increase the number of women who plan their pregnancies and engage in healthy behaviors before becoming pregnant.
Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. 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.
Doctors can spot health problems early when they see mothers regularly. This allows doctors to treat them early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others. Doctors also can talk to pregnant women about things they can do to give their unborn babies a healthy start to life.
Take care of yourself and your baby by:
- Getting early prenatal care. If you know you’re pregnant, or think you might be, call your doctor to schedule a visit.
- Completing the Healthy Start prenatal screen at your doctor’s office. This screen can help link you to services you may need during your pregnancy.
- Getting regular prenatal care. Your doctor will schedule you for many checkups over the course of your pregnancy. Don’t miss any — they are all important.
- Following your doctor’s advice.
Click here for information about finding prenatal care, enrolling in Healthy Start, and obtaining health insurance during your pregnancy.
Your Baby’s Health
After your baby is born, there is lots to think about and do! For answers about Newborn Screening, circumcision, breastfeeding, immunizations, crying and much more, check out HealthFinder.
Make sure your child has a doctor and sees him or her regularly for well-child check-ups. The American Academy of Pediatrics can help you find a doctor in your community.
If you need health insurance for your child, check out options available through KidCare, Florida’s affordable health insurance for children.
Practice the ABC’s of safe sleep by placing your baby Alone, on her Back in her own Crib to sleep. Sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of infant mortality after the first month of life. The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida offers 10 tips to help you and your baby get a good night’s sleep in English, Spanish, and Creole.
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move.
Help Me Grow – Florida can also help you find developmental screening for your child and link you to services in your community if there are concerns.
Choosing the right early learning program is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. The Office of Early Learning in the Florida Department of Education has created Family Guide: Selecting Quality Programs for Children to inform you of available programs and to help you identify quality in these early learning options. Parents can also use the Quality Checklist for Evaluating Early Learning Programs when visiting potential early learning programs. The family guide and checklist will help you make informed decisions about which program is the right fit for your family.
Help in finding child care and other services is available through Child Care Resources & Referral provided by Florida’s Early Learning Coalitions.
Activities to Do with Your Baby