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RBC — For women who are pregnant, maintaining good health and regular medial care (prenatal care) is the best way to ensure a healthy baby.
According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, babies from 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. The Child Health Plan Plus Prenatal Care Program helps pregnant women get the care they need during pregnancy.
“Pregnancy can be a scary time full of uncertainty for women if they do not have access to health care,” said Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien. “CHP+ gives every woman peace of mind by providing affordable and quality prenatal care, helping them stay healthy and have healthier babies.”
The CHP+ Prenatal Care Program is the state’s low-cost health insurance program for uninsured Colorado pregnant women ages 19 and older whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. There is no enrollment fee for the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program. All pregnancy care is free including prenatal care, labor and delivery and post-delivery visits. There are small co-payments for prescriptions or other health care needs. CHP+ also covers pregnant women for 60 days after delivery and their babies for 12 months after birth.
Pregnant women may also qualify for immediate temporary coverage and access to health services while waiting for their final eligibility determination.
To apply for PE, pregnant women must go to a PE site to complete an application. For a complete list of CHP+ PE sites, go to www.chpplus.org or call 1-800-359-1991.
“Prenatal care is more than just health care, it also includes education and counseling,” said O’Brien. “Women can learn about proper nutrition and physical activity, what to expect when giving birth as well as basic skills for caring for their infant.”
According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, when doctors see expecting mothers regularly they can spot health problems early. There are many things pregnant women can do to take care of themselves and their babies:
n Take the multivitamin or prenatal vitamin prescribed by the provider.
n Get early and regular prenatal care. Whether this is the woman’s first pregnancy or third, health care is extremely important. The doctor will check to make sure the pregnant woman and the baby are healthy at each visit. If there are any problems, early action will help the mom and the baby.
n Make sure all shots and vaccines are current. Talk to a doctor about which are safe to receive while pregnant.
n Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods. Choose foods low in saturated fat.
n Try to be active for 30 minutes, most days of the week — unless otherwise directed by a doctor. If short on time, get exercise in 10-minute segments, three times a day.
n Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause long-term harm to the baby. Ask a doctor for help to stop smoking.
n Ask a doctor before taking any medicine. Some are not safe during pregnancy. Remember that over-the-counter medicines and herbal products may cause side effects or other problems so ask a doctor before taking these products too.
n Get informed. Read books, watch videos, go to a childbirth class and talk with experienced moms.
Visit the CHP+ Web site at www.chpplus.org for more information, in English and Spanish, about eligibility or to get an application for the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program or call toll free at 1-800-359-1991. For additional information regarding CHP+ education and professional training opportunities, please call (303) 830-3558.