Before, During, and After Pregnancy

To help your pregnancy and time with your new baby run as smoothly as possible, it is important to take steps before, during and after pregnancy that help set you on the right path. The resources below will help guide you through each stage of pregnancy. 

Questions to Ask Yourself and Discuss with Your Doctor Before You Become Pregnant

1. Are you eating a healthy diet?

Before you become pregnant, your diet should include calcium, iron, and folic acid. Drinking milk, orange juice and eating a lot of different foods is important.

2. Do you exercise every day?

Walking, swimming, or other non-contact sports are usually good, safe exercises.

3. Are your shots up to date?

Before you or your partner get pregnant, it's important to get your shots to prevent infections such as German Measles, Chicken Pox and Hepatitis.

4. Do you smoke tobacco, drink alcohol or take drugs?

Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs such as cocaine, crack, marijuana or heroin may harm you and a growing baby.

5. Do you take any medicines?

Talk with your doctor/nurse about any medicines you take. Medicines include medicine that you had a prescription for and medicine that you bought yourself - even vitamins.

6. Do you have any health problems?

Past and present health problems can be a sign that you may need special attention before and during your pregnancy. For example, if you have diabetes or HIV, you would need this special attention.

7. Do you or anyone in your family have any health problems that could be passed on to your baby?

Some health problems, such as sickle cell disease, happen more often in some families. These are called genetic disorders. Your doctor will talk to you about these possible health problems.

8. Are you living and working in a healthy environment?

Some substances such as chemicals and lead, found at home or at your job, may make it harder for you to become pregnant or may harm the growing baby.

9. Is your partner in good health?

It's important for your partner to follow the same healthy lifestyle that you do.

What Should I Do if I am Pregnant?

If you find out you’re pregnant, it’s important to see your doctor right away. Be sure to let BMC HealthNet Plan know too. The sooner you start getting care, the healthier your pregnancy will be. And the sooner we know, the more we can help you!

Tell Us You Are Pregnant

You can either call Member Services or call our Care Management Team to let them know. BMC HealthNet Plan offers pregnant members many benefits, including:

  • Educational materials about being pregnant
  • Help with getting appointments with your doctor and finding transportation to your doctor appointments
  • Free generic prenatal vitamins
  • Information on quitting smoking
  • Extra goodies and items like a car seat for your new baby! (Don’t wait until you have the baby to get his or her car seat! You can get it up to 45 days before you deliver by calling the Member Services Call Center at 1-888-566-0010.) Note: These items are available for MassHealth members only. 
  • Information on helpful community resources
  • A BMC HealthNet Plan Care Manager to help support you through your pregnancy

After Your Baby Arrives 

The weeks after you give birth are important ones — for you and your baby. Even if you had an easy childbirth experience and are feeling great, you need to see your doctor or nurse soon.

10 Good Reasons to See Your Doctor After Your Baby is Born

A doctor's visit after your baby is born is called a postpartum visit. This visit will help you continue to make healthy progress so that when you are at home with your baby you can:

1. Get help with the feelings that come with having a new baby. 

Bringing a new baby home changes the lives of both parents and especially the mother. Your provider can help you to understand the feelings that new parents often have.

2. Discuss the life changes that happen after having a baby.

Your life has changed. For example, you have less time for yourself. Also, you may be wondering how to get your husband or partner to help with caring for the baby.

3. Talk about how to care for your new baby and situations where you might need more services. 

You got help in the hospital on basic infant care, such as bathing and changing your baby. Now that you are at home, you may have new questions about caring for your baby. Your provider can also explain what services are available to help you.

4. Discuss your plans for birth control and family planning. 

It is not too soon to consider this topic. Remember: if you are not using birth control, you can become pregnant even if you are breastfeeding. Your provider will help you with birth control and family planning.

5. Make sure your body has returned to its normal state. 

Your body has just gone through nine months of pregnancy and childbirth. Your provider will examine you to make sure you are having a healthy recovery and that your female organs are returning to the original, pre-pregnancy size and position.

6. Discuss any signs of depression, which may happen after giving birth. 

Feeling tired and sad is normal in the days and weeks after giving birth. Your provider can determine whether or not this feeling is mild or a more serious problem that requires treatment.

7. Talk about any medical problems that may need attention. 

You may have an existing medical condition, or a new one, that needs to be managed. This condition could have an impact on future pregnancies. Your provider will take care of your medical problem and check your overall health.

8. Discuss breastfeeding and caring for your breasts. 

Many new mothers have question about breastfeeding or want to stop breastfeeding after the first few days. Those who are not breastfeeding may have other concerns. Your provider can answer all these questions.

9. Talk about your menstrual cycle and sexuality. 

Depending on whether or not you are breastfeeding your baby, your menstrual cycle will return in the weeks after you have given birth. Your provider will explain what to expect and answer any questions about having sex after childbirth. 

10. Discuss nutrition and exercise. 

Eating right and getting exercise are especially important for new mothers. Your provider will explain how choosing the right foods and getting exercise can help you get back in shape, which will give you the energy you need to care for your baby.

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