This guest blog is written by Anna Matthews, Case Manager with the Magnolia Project. The Magnolia Project is a federal Healthy Start program that improves the health and well-being of women during their childbearing years by empowering communities to address medical, behavioral, and cultural and social service needs.
After serving only pre- and interconception women, the Project expanded last September to offer case management services to pregnant women.
Preconception health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant.
Knowing the health conditions and risk factors of a woman before she becomes pregnant allows her to have a discussion with her partner and her doctor to make a plan of action for managing existing conditions and preventing others. Health problems, such as diabetes, can affect pregnancy, as can some foods, habits such as smoking and medications — even before conception.
At Magnolia, the Case Manager works closely with providers to stay abreast of the health of mother and baby. The Case Manager also makes sure that expectant mothers understand the importance of prenatal health which includes getting to appointments on time, taking their vitamins, staying active, reducing stress and healthy eating. We also educate them on the dangers of smoking, drinking and doing illegal drugs and how these activities can negatively impact their pregnancy.
Women should be healthy before becoming pregnant. It is important for the mother to take her health seriously and understand that the baby’s health depends on her health.