Prenatal Care is Good for Moms and for Babies

November 07, 2018

Even in this modern day and age, the ability to grow a little human being inside you is still magical. 

Whether you’re having your first baby or your fourth, getting care early can help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. 
 

Start Before You’re Even Pregnant!
couple on bed

If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, ask your doctor about a preconception visit. The preconception visit focuses on your health history and habits, with the goal of giving you personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations so you have the best chance for an easy, carefree pregnancy. 

At the preconception visit, you should tell your doctor about any prescription drugs or herbal remedies you’re taking. If you have a health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend certain foods and vitamins and getting your condition under control before you start trying to have a baby. 

Before you even see a doctor, here are a few good health tips to follow:

  • Most women should start taking a folic acid supplement at least one month before you start trying to get pregnant. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the brain stem or spinal cord.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • With your doctor’s approval, get regular exercise.
  • Excessive caffeine and consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and use of illegal substances can hurt your chances of conception and are harmful to the baby during pregnancy. 
  • Avoid exposure to substances like lead and radiation.

Once You’re Pregnant
sonogram

Even if you’re not sure you’re pregnant, visit your doctor. Prenatal care can drastically reduce your risk of complications, which is why it’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis. 

Prenatal visits usually include a physical exam, weight checks, and having your urine checked. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, your doctor may also check your blood and perform imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams, to check on your baby’s health. 

Prenatal visits are your time to ask questions about your pregnancy. Make notes as you think of them and bring them in – no question is too small, especially when it comes to the health of you and your baby.

AltaMed is Here for You!
prenatal class

AltaMed offers moms-to-be services that support their physical and mental wellbeing. Your doctor can tell you which services are appropriate for you.

  • Regular and frequent checkups, the whole time you’re pregnant
  • Classes and one-on-one information about pregnancy, childbirth, baby care, and breastfeeding 
  • How to apply for financial help and resources such as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and WIC
  • Help with cutting down or quitting smoking, drinking, or using drugs
  • Counseling on problems or family issues you may have
  • Referral to community agencies that can provide additional help and services


From even before you get pregnant, all through your pregnancy, delivery, and after, AltaMed is dedicated to helping your baby grow up, healthy and strong. We want to be your first stop, and your first choice, for your entire family.
 

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Open Enrollment: How to Get the Most Out of Your Benefits

October 15, 2018

Your health care plan is about much more than simply going to the doctor and getting medication when you get sick. Medicare and most commercial plans offer a number of benefits that can help you stay healthy and save money.

Not every plan offers all of these benefits, so you should contact the number on the back of your health care ID card or visit your plan’s website before you schedule an appointment.
 

Preventive services
mom and daughter at doctor

Did you know there are a number of services that you can get that will keep you and your entire family healthier – and they’re at no cost to you? Under the Affordable Care Act, health care companies cover what are called preventive services. They’re called preventive services because they can help prevent illness and disease. All in all, there are 15 covered services for children and adults, and they include:

  •  Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Type 2 diabetes screening (for adults with high blood pressure)
  • Age-appropriate immunizations for hepatitis A & B; HPV; measles, mumps, and rubella; and many others 
  • Tobacco use screenings and cessations interventions for tobacco users

You should always check coverage with your plan. You’ll still have to see a doctor that is in your network to get these services, but it’s well worth your time.
 

No-cost wellness services
yoga mat

Many plans offer free programs to help members achieve important health goals, such as losing weight, becoming more active, cooking and eating healthier, or reducing stress. For example, your plan might offer you a weight loss program that allows you to log your weight and get easy-to-use tips, recipes, exercise videos, and words of encouragement. 

These health and wellness programs are designed to be fun and easy to use, even for those who may be new to healthy habits. 
 

Mental health care
man smiling

We all know how important your mental health is, and the affect it has on your body and your family. Many insurance plans, including Medicare Part B, provide coverage for members to see a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or someone who specializes in substance abuse. 

And FYI, a depression screening with your primary care doctor is considered a preventive screening. See them first and get recommendations for next steps.


Special screenings for moms-to-be
mom and baby

You and your health plan both win when you have a happy, healthy baby. That’s why plans are required to cover special preventive services for women who are either currently pregnant or trying to get there. Besides health screenings for conditions like anemia and gestational diabetes, you should be covered for lactation support and breast pumps.
 

Nurse Line
call center nurse

It’s 3 am and your six-year-old just woke you up with a cough and a temperature of 99 degrees. Maybe it’s nothing, but you’d sleep better if you could get some advice. Call the nurse advice line. It’s a great way to avoid an expensive trip to the emergency room, and you can get help right when you need it. 

Your health plan’s nurse advice line is available 24/7. Call them anytime to talk to a licensed, registered nurse to find out more about common health issues. You can also call the AltaMed nurse advice line at (866) 266-5092.

If you’re experiencing a true medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room.
 

Save on your medication
meds


If you have prescription coverage, you can save even more with generic drugs. In most cases, they are totally identical to the “name brand,” at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist about them.

Many health care plans also offer mail order services. In some cases, you could pay less for your prescriptions. Even if you don’t, you’re still saving several trips to the pharmacy. 

Still need some help for Open Enrollment?
AltaMed is here to walk you through your Open Enrollment options for free. Let us help you make smart choices to help you and your family grow healthy.

Get help in English: 833-444-5560
Get help in Spanish: 833-444-5570

 

 

Dodging the Flu: Use Your First Line of Defense

October 02, 2018

Did you know that peak flu season can occur any time between November and March? With such a long range of exposure, it’s important to take precautions that can help protect you and your family.
 
At AltaMed, we’re dedicated to keeping our patients and communities healthy. Follow these easy tips to avoid getting sick this season, so you can spend more time doing what you love!
 

  • Give it a Shot: Flu shots can help protect you and loved ones as the first line of defense against the flu virus. AltaMed is offering flu shots at no cost to you or your family, no appointment necessary. Go to your nearest AltaMed medical office to get your flu shot.
  • Sharing isn’t Always Caring: If you begin to have any flu-like symptoms stay home to avoid getting worse or spreading it to others. Rinse and Repeat: Be sure to wash your hands several times a day, especially after coming in contact with someone who may be sick.
  • Rinse and Repeat: Be sure to wash your hands several times a day, especially after coming in contact with someone who may be sick.
  • Keep it Sparkling Clean: Clean and disinfect shared surfaces in your home or office to avoid the buildup of germs. 
  • Hit the Hay: Go to bed on time. Experts recommend at least 8 hours of sleep every night to maintain a healthy immune system.