provider performs ultrasound on mother while father watches

Healthy Pregnancy Program

Pregnancy is a special time in a women’s life. It is important to see your doctor as soon as you know you are pregnant and to get prenatal care. Prenatal care is the care you get while you are pregnant. Going to all your prenatal visits helps to ensure you and your baby are healthy.

It is also important to get help while you are pregnant. L.A. Care’s Healthy Pregnancy Program helps new Medi-Cal mothers learn about the importance of getting care before and after the baby is born. During the program, you will get prenatal materials at each stage of your pregnancy on topics such as:

  • Planning a healthy pregnancy
  • Nutrition
  • Caring for yourself after giving birth
  • Breastfeeding

L.A. Care’s Healthy Pregnancy Program can help you give your baby the best start in life.
Our Health Education Advocate can help you schedule your first prenatal visit with your doctor.
If you need help scheduling this visit or would like more information, please call 1-888-839-9909 (TTY 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Prenatal materials are available in English and Spanish. For materials in your language or in another format, call Member Services at 1-888-839-9909 or TTY 711.

To sign up for free text messages providing helpful information during your pregnancy, go to text4baby.org or send the word "Baby" to 511411.

Eating Well

Pregnant women need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than they did before. Following a few guidelines helps ensure you and your baby both get what you need.

  • Eat foods from all the food groups every day (grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein).
  • Get enough folic acid (a vitamin which helps your baby’s brain and spine). Also called folate, it is found in cereals, fruits, and vegetables or as a pill.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by your doctor.
  • Limit caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.

To learn more follow the guidelines found on MyPlate.

Exercise

Most women can benefit from some exercise during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to see how much exercise is right for YOU during your pregnancy.

Walking and swimming are good choices. Aim for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. 
Avoid activities that require good balance such as bike riding and skating.

Things to Avoid

Some things may be harmful to your unborn baby.
Do not:

  • Smoke or breathe other’s smoke
  • Drink alcohol
  • Take any drug until you talk with your doctor
  • Eat fish high in mercury (shark, swordfish, King Mackerel, tilefish)
Breastfeeding

There are many benefits of breastfeeding, but it isn’t always easy. Don’t give up. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble.
Keep in mind that breast milk:

  • Has just the right amount of protein, fat, sugar and water to help your baby grow
  • Helps protect your baby from infection and illness
  • Is easier to digest than formula
  • Lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • May protect against overweight and obesity
Woman looking out window with hand on forehead
What is Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is a type of depression that happens after a baby is born.  Postpartum depression is more serious than the “baby blues” and can make it hard for a woman to care for herself and her baby. 

Need to talk to someone? Call 1-877-344-2858 / TTY 711 or 1-800-735-2929