Prenatal care: for healthier babies everywhere
In honor of October’s National Child Health Day, we thought it was the perfect time to discuss the importance of promoting prenatal care to expectant mothers. After all, healthy children start with healthy pregnancies and we couldn’t think of many things that ranked higher on the list than ensuring the health and wellness of children everywhere.Prenatal checkups are important for healthy moms and babies. Mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have babies with a low birth weight and five times more likely to have a baby that dies as opposed to those who do receive prenatal care. For more information on how to promote the importance of prenatal checkups to your expecting patients, read on.

Why don’t mothers get prenatal care?
There are many reasons that mothers do not obtain prenatal care. For some, it is due to socioeconomic disparities, a lack of education or the absence of support from friends and family members. Others simply have no means to get to their appointments. Culture may prevent one from viewing prenatal care as a necessary means to a healthy pregnancy. Or, perhaps it is due to the desire to keep one’s pregnancy hidden, as may be the case with teen pregnancies.

Encouraging prenatal care
Regardless of the reason, education is the key. You can reach out to these high risk populations and communicate the importance of timely, consistent prenatal checkups. Stuff diaper bags with literature highlighting the significance of wellness care for a healthy pregnancy and distribute them to those who serve to benefit from this information. Consider offering incentives such as grocery store gift cards or public service certificates for patients who make and keep a high percentage of their prenatal appointments. Or provide those with transportation difficulty free or discounted bus passes or taxi cab vouchers for use in getting to their prenatal checkups.

Text appointment reminders and care tips to pregnant mothers and their support people. Partners HealthCare funded a successful text messaging program that encouraged pregnant women to get the appropriate prenatal care for each stage of their pregnancy. Texts were sent to those who opted in reminding moms to make prenatal appointments, count baby’s kicks and schedule baby’s ultrasound. After mom gets her ultrasound, provide her with a magnetic photo frame in yellows, greens, pinks or blues. Not only is this a great place for mom to proudly display baby’s first photo, it also serves as a great reminder to take special care of the precious cargo she’s carrying.

Consider imprinting a journal with important pregnancy milestones that coincide with the necessary prenatal appointments. Encourage your patients to utilize this to record appointment dates and times and key takeaways from each doctor visit. This is also a good place for patients to record any questions and/or concerns they may have in between visits. Throw in a baby-shaped pen for an added impression.

Postnatal care is equally important
Don’t forget, healthy babies don’t stop with prenatal care. Postnatal care is just as important for the health and wellness of mom and baby. Consider mailing a postnatal checkup reminder with a logo-imprinted congratulatory gift for mom and baby. The timeless book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a wonderful choice to welcome baby and serve as a gentle reminder to schedule those important checkups.

This October, encourage your expectant patients to get the prenatal care they need for optimal health and safety of mom and baby. Promoting prenatal care is the perfect way to honor and celebrate National Child Health Day.

“Child Health Day: October 3.” Child Health Day: October 3. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.

“Womenshealth.gov” Womenshealth.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.

Good, Philip. “Encouraging Prenatal Care With Gift Certificates.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Oct. 1990. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.

“Center for Connected Health.” Encouraging Prenatal Care. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2012.


October
Monthly
Adopt-a-Shelter-Animal Month
AIDS Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
Apple Month
Bat Appreciation Month
Bullying Prevention Month
(World) Blindness Awareness Month
Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month
Children’s Magazine Month
Christmas Seal Campaign (10/1-12/31)
Church Library Month
Church Safety and Security Month
Class Reunion Month
Co-op Awareness Month
Cut Out Dissection Month
Domestic Violence Awareness
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
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Eat Better, Eat Together Month
Emotional Intelligence Month
Emotional Wellness Month
Employee Ownership Month
Energy Management is a Family Affair – Improve your Home Month
Fair Trade Month
Financial Planning Month
Feral Hog Month or Hog Out Month
Gay & Lesbian History Month
German-American Heritage Month
Global Diversity Awareness Month
Go Hog Wild – Eat Country Ham
Halloween Safety Month
Head Start Awareness Month
Health Literacy Month
Home Eye Safety Month
International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month
International Starman Month
International Strategic Planning Month
International Walk to School Month
Long Term Care Planning Month
Month of Free Thought
National Aides Awareness Month
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
National Audiology Awareness Month
National Bake and Decorate Month
National Book Month
National Bullying Prevention Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Caramel Month
National Chili Month
National Chiropractic Month
National Crime Prevention Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Dental Hygiene Month
National Depression Education & Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Down Syndrome Month
National Ergonomics Month
National Family Sexuality Education Month – Let’s Talk
National “Gain the Inside Advantage” Month
National Go on a Field Trip Month
National Kitchen and Bath Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Medical Librarian Month
National Orthodontic Health Month
National Physical Therapy Month
National Popcorn Popping Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month
National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
National Reading Group Month
National Roller Skating Month
National RSV Awareness Month
National Sarcastic Awareness Month
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
National Stamp Collecting Month
National Window Covering Safety Month
National Work and Family Month
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
Organize your Medical Information Month
Octoberfest
Pear and Pineapple Month
Photographer Appreciation Month
Pizza Month
Polish American Heritage Month
Positive Attitude Month
Raptor Month
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month
Rhizomes and Persimmons Month
Rhubarb Month
Right Brainers Rule Month
Sausage Month
Self-Promotion Month
Spinach Lovers Month
Squirrel Awareness Month
Tackling Hunger Month
Talk About Prescriptions Month
Vegetarian Month
Wishbones for Pets Month
Workplace Politics Awareness Month
World Menopause Month
Weekly
Financial Planning Week: 1-7
Universal Children’s Week: 1-7
National Newspaper Week: 1-5
Customer Service Week: 1-5
Spinning and Weaving Week: 1-7
Sukkot: 1-9
World Dairy Expo: 2-6
No Salt Week: 3-10
World Space Week: 4-10
National Storytelling Weekend: 5-7
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival: 6-14
Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend: 6-7
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Mental Illness Awareness Week: 7-13
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National Carry A Tune Week: 7-13
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National Work From Home Week: 7-13
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National Food Bank Week: 14-20
Teen Read Week: 14-20
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Freedom of Speech Week: 16-22
Medical Assistants Recognition Week: 15-19
National School Lunch Week: 15-20
Food and Drug Interactions and Awareness Week: 17-24
Bullying Bystanders Unite Week: 21-27
Kids Care Week: 21-27
National Character Counts Week: 21-27
National Chemistry Week: 21-27
National Forest Products Week: 21-27
National Friends of Libraries Week: 21-27
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: 21-27
National Massage Therapy Week: 21-27
National Respiratory Care Week: 21-27
National Save for Retirement Week: 21-27
Pastoral Care Week: 21-27
Red Ribbon Week: 21-27
YMCA Week without Violence: 21-27
National School Bus Safety Week: 22-26
Disarmament Week: 24-30
Peace, Friendship and Good Will Week: 24-30
Prescription Errors Education & Awareness Week: 24-31
World Hearing Aid Awareness Week: 24-29
International Magic Week: 25-31
Give Wildlife a Break Week: 29-11/4
Daily
1: CD Player Day
1: Child Health Day
1:  Fire Pup Day
1:  International Day of Older Persons
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1: National Lace Day
1: World Day of Bullying Prevention / Blue Shirt Day
1: World Habitat Day
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2:  Guardian Angels Day
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8: Alvin C. York Day
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9: National Face Your Fears Day
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9:  World Post Day
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10: World Mental Health Day
10: World Porridge Day
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14:  Alternative Fuel Day
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15: I Love Lucy Day
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15: National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day
15:  National Grouch Day
15: National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
15:  National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
15:  White Cane Safety Day
16: Boss’s Day (or National Boss’s Day)
16: Department Store Day
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16:  World Food Day
17: Black Poetry Day
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17:  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
17: Medical Assistants Recognition Day
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18: Get to Know Your Customers Day
18: Get Smart About Credit Day
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18:  World Menopause Day
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19:  Bridge Day
20: Fall Astronomy Day
20: Information Overload Day
20: Miss American Rose Day
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21: Global Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD) Prevention Day
21: National Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day
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22:  International Stuttering Awareness Day
23:  IPod Day
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26: National Pharmacy Buyer Day
26: Mule Day
27: Cranky Co-workers Day
27: Make a Difference Day
27: National Forgiveness Day
27: Navy Day
28: Mother-in-Law Day
28:  National Chocolates Day
28: Reformation Sunday
28:  St. Jude’s Day
29:  Internet Day
29:  Lung Health Day
29: National Cat Day
29: Visit a Cemetery Day
29: World Psoriasis
30:  Checklist Day
30:  Create A Great Funeral Day
30:  Devil’s Night
30:  Haunted Refrigerator Night
30:  National Candy Corn Day
31: Beggars’ Night
31:  Books For Treats Day
31: Girl Scout Founder’s Day
31:  Halloween All Hallows Eve
31:  National Caramel Apple Day
31:  National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
31:  National Magic Day
31:  National UNICEF Day
31:  Samhain
November
Monthly
Adopt a Senior Pet Month
American and National Diabetes Month
American Indian Heritage Month
Aviation History Month
Banana Pudding Lovers Month
Diabetic Eye Disease Month
Epilepsy Awareness Month
Family Stories Month
Gluten-Free Diet awareness Month
Green and Plantains Month
Historic Bridge Awareness Month
International Drum Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
MADD’s Tie One on for Safety Holiday Campaign (11/16-12/31)
Military Family Appreciation Month
National Adoptions Month
National AIDS Awareness Month
National Alzheimer’s Disease
National Family Caregivers
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Home Care & Hospice Month
National Impotency Month
National Inspirational Role Models
National Life Writing Month
National Long-Term Care Awareness Month
National Marrow Awareness
National Medical Science Liaison Awareness & Appreciation Month
National Native American Heritage Month
National Novel Writing Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
National Pomegranate Month
National Roasting Month
National Scholarship Month
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Plum and Pomegranate Month
Prematurity Awareness Month
PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month
Spinach and Squash Month
Sweet Potato Awareness Month
NoSHAVEember or Movember
Vegan Month
Weekly
National Fig Week: 1-7
National Patient Accessibility Week: 1-7
World Communication Week: 1-7
Sherlock Holmes Weekend: 2-4
Health Information and Technology Week: 4-10
International Fraud Awareness Week: 4-10
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week: 4-10
National Nurse Practioner’s Week: 4-10
National Rad Tech Week: 4-10
Give Wildlife a Break Week: 5-9
Dear Santa Letter Week: 7-13
Pursuit of Happiness Week: 7-13
American Education Week: 11-17
Geography Awareness Week: 11-17
National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week: 11-17
National Global Entrepreneurship Week: 11-17
World Kindness Week: 12-18
National Young Reader’s Week: 12-16
National Farm-City Week: 16-22
National Bible Week: 18-22
National Family Week: 18-24
National Game and Puzzle Week: 18-24
Better Conversation Week: 19-25
National Deal Week: 21-28
Church/Sate Separation Week: 22-26
Daily
1: All Saints Day
1: Give Up Your Shoulds Day
1: National Authors Day
1: National Family Literacy Day
1: National Go Cook For Your Pets Day
1: National Men Make Dinner Day
1: Prime Meridian Day
2: All Souls Day
2: Cookie Monster Day
2: National Medical Science Liaison Awareness Day
2:  Plan Your Epitaph Day
2-4: Pumpkin Chunkin Days
2: National Traffic Directors Day
3: Cliché Day
3: Sadie Hawkins Day
3: Sandwich Day
4: Daylight Savings End
4: National Chicken Lady Day
4: Use Your Common Sense Day
4: Zero Tasking Day
5: Job Action Day
6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation
of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
6: Election Day
6: Saxophone Day
7: National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
8: Abet and Aid Punsters Day
8: Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day
8: National Parents as Teachers Day
8: X-ray Day
9: Domino Day
9-10: Kristallnacht
9-11: National Donor Sabbath Days
10: Area Code Day
10: Marine Corp Birthday
10: National Day of Play
10: National Gaming Day
10: Sesame Street Day
10: Windows Day
11: Death/Duty Day
11: International Tongue Twister Day
11: Origami Day
11: Veterans  Day
11: World Kindness Day
12: Baha’’llah Day
12: Veterans  Day (Observed)
12: World Orphan Day
13: Diwali
13: National Young Reader’s Day
14: Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day
14: National American Teddy Bear Day
14: National Educational Support Professionals Day
14: International Girls Day
14: Spirit of NSA (National Speakers Association) Day
14: Universal Children’s Day
14: World Diabetes Day
15: America Recycles Day
15: Great American Smokeout
15: Guinness World Record Day
15: I Love to Write Day
15: National Bundt (Pan) Day
15: Use Less Stuff Day
16: International Day for Tolerance
17: Homemade Bread Day
17: National Unfriend Day
17: Family Volunteer Day
17: National Adoption Day
17: National Day of Play
17: National Survivors of Suicide Day
17: World Prematurity Awareness Day
18: Married to a Scorpio Support Day
18: Mickey Mouse Day
18: Push-button Phone Day
18: Transgender Day of Remembrance
19: Equal Opportunity Day
19: Have a Bad Day Day
19: Rocky and Bullwinkle Day
19: World Toilet Day
20: African Industrialization Day
20: Children’s Day
20: Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day (GOHARD)
20: Name Your PC Day
20: World Day of remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
21: Alascattalo Day
21: GIS Day (Geographic Information System)
21: Tie One on Day
21: World Hello Day
21: World Television Day
22: Humane Society Anniversary Day
22: Thanksgiving Day
22: Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Day
23: Black Friday
24: Brownielocks Day
23-24 Buy Nothing Day
23: Dr. Who Day
23: Fibonacci Day
23: Flossing Day
23: Maize Day
23: National Day of Listing
23: Sinkie Day
23: National Native American Heritage Day
24: Ashura
24; Small Business Saturday
24: Celebrate your Unique Talent Day
24: D.B. Cooper Day
24: International Aura Awareness Day
25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day
25: Shopping Reminder Day
25: You’re Welcome Giving Day
26: Cyber Monday
27: National Day of Listening
29: Electronic Greeting Day
29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
30: Computer Security Day
30: National Meth Awareness Day
30: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day
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