Last updated: February 07. 2014 8:21PM - 923 Views
By Mary Anne Johnson RN, Health Dept.

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The Sampson County Health Department Maternal Health Program offers prenatal services Monday-Friday to the pregnant women of Sampson County. The Maternal Health Program works in conjunction with Social Services, Sampson Regional Medical Center, local physicians, and other resources to strive towards the goal of reducing infant mortality and assuring healthy mothers and infants. The Health Department functions as a Pregnancy Medical Home that allows our Maternal Health Clinic staff to communicate with Prenatal Care Program Managers to plan and provide caring and effective prenatal care.

When a woman suspects she is pregnant, she can come to the Health Department and request a pregnancy test. If the test is positive, the woman is offered a prenatal appointment in the Prenatal Clinic. Maternal Health services include: one-on-one prenatal visits with specialty-trained nurses and practitioners, physical examinations, laboratory services, referrals and follow-up, WIC services, pregnancy education, prenatal vitamins and case management. We accept private insurances and Medicaid and services are based on a sliding-scale fee.

What a woman does BEFORE pregnancy can affect the health of any children she may have. All women of women of childbearing age should take a folic acid supplement, especially if they are planning a pregnancy. Folic acid decreases the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. A healthy diet and physical activity/exercise are also very important for a healthy pregnancy. What is done during pregnancy also makes a difference. It is important to take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Equally important, future fathers should strive to be healthy and take care of themselves. Smoking, drinking, and using street drugs can affect pregnancy. The key to a healthy pregnancy is to plan ahead and receive early and continuous prenatal care. It is important to take prenatal vitamins, eat healthy, and drink plenty of healthy fluids (especially water) during pregnancy. Our goal is to have both - a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

Sampson County Health Department also provides Postpartum/Newborn Home Visits. Health Department Nursing Staff provide home visits to new mothers and infants usually within two weeks of delivery. The visit includes: an assessment of the mother and infant; referrals for any problems that are identified during the visit; and assistance with accessing any resources needed that are identified during the visit, such as obtaining WIC services or applying for Medicaid.

For more information regarding prenatal services, call the Sampson County Health Department at 910-592-1131, extension 4212, 4967, 4962 or 4973. To make an appointment to begin your prenatal care, call the Health Department at 910-592-1131, extension 4001, 4960 or 4220. To request a Postpartum/Newborn Home Visit, call the Health Department at 910-592-1131, extension 4973, 4247, 4969 or 4230.

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