Congratulations on your pregnancy! Being pregnant can be a very exciting time. But it can also be stressful. This is a time when your body is rapidly changing, bringing on both physical and mental health challenges. This is also a time when you need to do many things to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Don’t worry – CareSource is here for you! Keep reading for steps to take for a healthy pregnancy.
Report your pregnancy
Be sure to let CareSource and the Division of Family & Children Services know as soon as you become pregnant. This way, we can be sure to send you all the information and resources you will need throughout your pregnancy.
Consider working with a Care Manager
Working with a Care Manager is a great way to help make sure you’re getting the best support and care throughout your pregnancy. Working with a Care Manager is vital if your pregnancy is high-risk. Our Care Managers will commit to giving you the best physical care and help you stay on track for all your prenatal visits. They will also strive to give you emotional support and hear you out, no matter what you’re going through.
Interested in working with a Care Manager? Call Member Services at 1-855-202-0729 (TTY: 1-800-255-0056 or 711) and ask for Care Management.
Go to all prenatal visits
Scheduling prenatal visits with your OB provider is one of the most vital steps to take for you and your baby. Seeing your OB provider early, and regularly throughout your pregnancy can help your OB provider spot problems before they occur and prevent problems during delivery.
If you’re healthy and have no risk factors, you can expect to see your OB provider:
- Every 4 weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy
- Then, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks
- Then, once a week until delivery
Need help getting to your prenatal visits? We’re here for you! CareSource offers free rides to and from all provider visits. Just call Member Services at 1-855-202-0729 (TTY: 1-800-255-0056 or 711)> 48 hours before your visit. We will arrange a ride to and from your visit.
Join the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program
Did you know that if you are pregnant, you can get food, education and support at no cost to you? Just enroll in the WIC Program! WIC benefits can be used to buy groceries such as dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This can help you keep a healthy diet during pregnancy.
Join an online prenatal education class
The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia has an online community called Pickles & Ice Cream Georgia. They host a free, 90-minute online prenatal course for anyone who is currently pregnant.
Learn about pregnancy, WIC and everything else you need for a happy, healthy pregnancy. You can also earn up to $20 in gift cards for taking part in these classes! Check out upcoming Pickles & Ice Cream events to sign up and learn more.
Get recommended vaccinations
Want a list of other vaccinations you might want to ask your OB provider about? Check out this guide for vaccinations during pregnancy.
Go to regular dental visits
During pregnancy, keeping your teeth and gums healthy can become a challenge. This happens for many reasons. For one, pregnancy often causes nausea. This causes pregnant women to brush and floss less often. Pregnancy can also make you crave foods that are not always good for your teeth, like sweets. Finally, pregnancy hormones can loosen the tissues and bone that keep teeth in place. All these things can lead to:
- Tooth damage
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- And more
This is why going to regular dental visits is key to keeping good dental health while pregnant.
To learn more, go to https://www.caresource.com/ga/members/education/pregnancy/medicaid/ and click on the Pregnancy and Oral Health Brochure.
Avoid tobacco smoke
If you are a smoker, quit smoking as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy can cause many problems for your baby, such as:
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- Premature birth
- A low birth weight
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Asthma and other breathing problems
If you need support to quit smoking, call the Quitline at 1-877-270-STOP (1-877-270-7867). The Quitline includes free coaching, quit plan and educational materials.
Use opioid painkillers? Talk to your OB provider right away
Have you been prescribed opioid painkillers, like Vicodin or Percocet? If so, it’s vital that you let your OB provider know right away that you’re pregnant. This way, they can come up with another solution to help you manage pain, like nonopioid options for chronic pain. Even if opioid painkillers are prescribed to you, they can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy. They can cause problems like:
- Birth defects
- Premature birth
- A low birth weight
- Small head circumference
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Another thing that can happen to your baby when you take drugs, like opioids, during pregnancy is something called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is when a baby withdraws from certain drugs they are exposed to in the womb before birth. Signs and symptoms of NAS are:
- Body shakes, seizures, twitching and tight muscles
- Fussiness, crying a lot or having a high-pitched cry
- Poor feeding/sucking or slow weight gain
- Breathing problems, including breathing really fast
- Fever, sweating or blotchy skin
- Trouble sleeping and lots of yawning
- Diarrhea or throwing up
- Stuffy nose or sneezing
Eat nutritious food
Good nutrition during pregnancy is vital for you and baby. Choose high-calcium foods, fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors, high-fiber foods, good sources of iron, and taking a prenatal vitamin every day. Avoid alcohol and limit your use of caffeine, including soda.
What else should you eat during pregnancy? What should you avoid? Get more tips on what to eat during pregnancy.
Exercise more often
Even if you haven’t worked out much in the past, being pregnant is a great reason to start. Exercising during pregnancy is safe for the most part. Plus, it provides so many benefits for you and helps you through your pregnancy.
Want to find out what activities are safe during pregnancy, what to avoid and more? Learn the facts about exercising during pregnancy. Check with your OB provider before starting an exercise routine.
Download pregnancy apps
Whether this your first child or your third, many questions may run through your mind before and after your baby is born.
Text4Baby can help answer these questions and more. When you sign up, you will get up to three text messages a week with health and safety tips throughout your pregnancy and until your baby is one year old. Visit text4baby.org to sign up and learn more.
Another app you could check out is Count the Kicks. This app monitors the well-being of your baby during your third trimester of pregnancy. It does this by tracking your baby’s movement patterns. Be sure to tell your OB provider as soon as possible if you notice big changes in your baby’s movements. Visit countthekicks.org to sign up and learn more.
One more app we suggest is the CareSource mobile app. Even though this isn’t a pregnancy app, it will be useful throughout your pregnancy. You can use this app to schedule free rides to your appointments, find an OB provider for your prenatal visits, keep track of rewards and so much more!
Take care of your mental health
For some women, pregnancy can lead to depression due to the drastic hormonal changes happening in the body. 1 in 8 women have symptoms of depression during pregnancy (prenatal depression) and after pregnancy (postpartum depression).
Pay attention to how you’ve been feeling lately. Symptoms of prenatal and postpartum depression may be similar to depression, but also include:
- Crying a lot
- Feeling moody or angry
- Not wanting to be with friends and family
- Feeling distant from your baby
- Feeling worried, scared or panicked
- Blaming yourself for no reason
- Doubting whether you can care for your baby
If you have any of these symptoms and need help finding a mental health professional or getting access to other support and resources, call the CareSource mental health hotline at 1-833-674-6437.
For help day or night, call CareSource24, our Nurse Advice Line, for help 24/7 at 1-844-206-5944 (TTY: 1-800-255-0056 or 711). This number is also on your CareSource member ID card.
If you feel you are in a crisis or emergency situation, call 911. You can also call the Crisis Text Line or text HOME to 741741 to get help or call 988.
Pre-select a pediatrician for your baby
You will need to take your baby in for well-visits and immunizations right after birth. The good news is you don’t have to wait until after your baby is born to start looking for pediatricians. You can choose one right now! Just fill out the pre-birth selection form below to sign up for a pediatrician: Call your Care Manager or Member Services to get help finding a pediatrician.
Remember to sign up for the Babies First® program
Getting the proper care when you are pregnant is not just good for you, it’s rewarding, too! As an expecting mother, you and your baby can earn up to $265 through the Babies First program, during your pregnancy.
Interested in getting rewarded throughout your pregnancy?
Prenatal Care Resources
- Pregnancy and Oral Health
- Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
- Having a Healthy Pregnancy for Teens
- Diabetes and Pregnancy
- Breastfeeding- All about breastfeeding
- Eating for pregnancy- Eating During Pregnancy
- Caring for you and your Baby Booklet #1
- Caring for you and your Baby Booklet #2
Have other questions related to prenatal care?
Call our Maternal Care Team at 1-833-230-2034 (TTY: 1-800-750-0750 or 711).