FA R M L A B O R I N F O R M AT I O N B U L L E T I N
Voice of the Fields California
Volume 23, Number 5
Checklist for Mothers and Fathers-to-be for a Healthy Pregnancy
hen a woman finds out she is pregnant, she may be unsure about what steps she should take and changes she should make to have a healthy pregnancy. The first step she should take is contacting a medical professional for healthcare. This medical care is called prenatal care, and it is an essential part of ensuring a safe pregnancy, and a healthy baby. Another important factor to a healthy mom and baby is a healthy diet. Here is a checklist of things a women should do to give her baby a healthy start: 4 The doctor will ask lots of questions Find a doctor This is the most important step women can take for herself and baby. As soon as she finds out she is pregnant, a woman should find a doctor and make an appointment. This appointment will be the first of many prenatal care visits. At this appointment, the doctor will tell a woman how far along she is, and provide her with an expected due-date for her baby. Also at this appointment, the Department of Health and Human Services says a woman may experience the following: 4 Blood pressure test 4 Blood test 4 Check the baby’s heart rate 4 Pelvic exam to check the health of
her reproductive parts
about lifestyle, relationships, and health habits. It’s important that mothers be honest with the doctor.
4 Scheduling of upcoming prenatal
Go to the scheduled prenatal visits
These appointments are essential to having a healthy pregnancy. According to WomensHealth.gov, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than babies born to mothers who do seek care. These appointments are done to detect and treat risk factors and early complications that may arise during the course of the pregnancy.
The Department of Health and Human Services says a doctor should be seen once each month for weeks four through 28, twice a month for weeks 28 through 36, and weekly for weeks 36 to birth. However, women with high-risk pregnancies need to see their doctors more often. High-risk pregnancies have a greater chance of complications. These can include women at a very young age or older than 35, women who are overweight or underweight, women who have had problems in previous pregnancies, or women who have preexisting health conditions.
What a woman eats will affect her, and the baby inside of her. She should make sure to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods like milk or leafy greens, and foods low in saturated fat. These foods will provide essential building blocks like protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid that will help the fetus grow. She should also remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Doctors will help determine a specific diet that is best for each patient as well as track a healthy weight in the prenatal exams.
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Checklist for Mothers and Fathers-to-be for a Healthy Pregnancy Continued from previous page
According to the National Center for Farmworker Health, most doctors will recommend a woman to take a special multi-vitamin called a prenatal vitamin. Women should start taking these before she gets pregnant, while she is pregnant and even after she has the baby. Women should not take any vitamins until they talk to their doctor.
Dads should help too
Pregnant women have a responsibility to take care of themselves and their babies by getting prenatal care, but they are not the only ones. Father’s should also take an active role in the care of their unborn infants. Aside from driving mom to prenatal appointments and being supportive of her in the home, dads can help support the wellbeing of their child-to-be by helping mom take care of things like finances, budget, and making adjustments to their living space in order to prepare for the new baby. According to SteadyHealth.com, men can help create a safe environment for their babies by
doing simple acts like laying their hands on their mother’s belly and talking to their babies. This adds a personal and important bond which some think may help strengthen the child’s future behavior, attitude and personality.
Do Not Smoke Tobacco or Drink Alcohol
members in quitting the use of drugs or alcohol during prenatal visits.
Get help finding a doctor
The American Cancer Society strongly states that it is very important that all family members involved in the pregnancy do not smoke cigarettes, because the baby can be harmed by smoke from the mother-to-be or second hand smoke from others near her. Expecting mothers should also not drink alcohol, caffeine or use drugs, as these can cause long-term health defects or even death. There is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, alcohol can cause life-long physical and behavioral problems in children, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Doctors can assist mothers and family
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health says that according to Kaiser Medicine, only 42% of migrant seasonal farm worker women reported accessing prenatal care services during early pregnancy. This number is very low, and there is help for women in this group. It is important to stress that all women, even those without medical insurance or a regular doctor know that there are options to help them receive sufficient and adequate prenatal care. To make an appointment with a doctor for a free prenatal care at a Migrant Health Center by calling the National Center for Farmworker Health to locate the nearest center at 1-800-377-9968. The office is staffed by bilingual Information Specialists Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time, and accessible 24 hours a day through an answering service and/or voice messaging. They can also be found online at www.ncfh.org.
Agricultural Jobs available to U.S. workers under H-2A contract You may apply for these jobs by phone or in person at your nearest Employment Development Department (EDD) field office Active
City of Job
Employer’s County (for ECMS)
EDD Workforce Service Site Office
Farm Workers, Pumpkins and Christmas Trees
Santa Rosa WS (707)565-6463
Farm Workers, Tomato
Oceanside (760) 471-3582
Farm Worker, Tomato
Oceanside (760) 471-3582
Farm Worker, Sheepherder
California and California and A Selected EDD Western States Western States WSB Offices The H-2A temporary agricultural program allows agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. The H-2A employers must demonstrate that qualified U.S. workers are not available for the job and the employment of temporary foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed. Preference in hiring will be given to qualified U.S. workers before employers are allowed to bring in foreign workers under the program.
The Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC)
he Women, Infant and Children program (WIC) is a federally funded nutrition program, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, assisting lowincome families by off-setting the cost of nutritious food with supplemental food vouchers. Families may struggle from financial stress, busy work schedules, overcrowded housing, emotional trauma and more. WIC helps ease struggles by providing families from all cultures financial help for food, and educational support to lowincome mothers and children. Without the help of WIC, struggling families would have difficulty affording the nutritious food items they and their growing children need. According to the organization’s website, WIC helped over 1,466,564 California families in 2012. Below are some important question and answers about the WIC program designed to provide more information. month, families receive vouchers Who can qualify for WIC? In California, the following individuals may qualify for WIC: n Women: Pregnant women, breastfeeding women up to the infant’s first birthday, and women up to six months after giving birth if not breastfeeding. n Infants up to the infant’s first birthday. n Children up to the child’s fifth birthday.
How do participants receive the funding, where can families use it, and what can it buy?
WIC funding arrives to participants in the form of nutrition, breastfeeding support and food vouchers. Each
which can be redeemed for age and life-stage appropriate foods such as; fruits and vegetables, milk, beans, cheese, peanut butter, infant fruits, vegetables and meats, whole grains such as 100% whole wheat bread, tortillas, brown rice and more. These checks can be used at authorized local grocers. Contact your local WIC agency to find a WIC authorized store near you. In addition to grocery stores, some California WIC offices also offer families the opportunity to shop for local fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets. According to the WIC program’s website, each family may be eligible to receive $20 in vouchers to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs at WIC-approved Certified
Farmers’ Markets in California from May through November. California operates the largest WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program in the nation. In 2010, 149,200 WIC families, 1,100 certified farmers and 430 certified farmers’ markets participated in the program. Families can obtain more information about grocery stores and farmer’s markets who participate in the program near them at their first WIC appointment.
What other support does WIC offer to families?
Raising a family in an age where health and nutrition recommendations are always changing can be an added challenge to parents. WIC provides up to date information by following guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. WIC staff use these guidelines to assist families in making healthful feeding decisions that are appropriate and realistic for their lifestyles. Common childhood feeding hurdles can be addressed such as picky eaters and a lack of vegetable intake. Families have access to vital post- and prenatal health and nutrition information to ensure both mom and baby are receiving all of the nutrients needed to have a healthy Continued on next page
WIC program Continued from prevvious page
life. Common topics include essential nutrition and healthful habits during the pregnancy, breastfeeding preparation and understanding baby behavior. The WIC Program promotes breastfeeding as the primary method of feeding babies due to the essential vitamins and minerals that cannot be replicated by infant formula. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. At 6 months, when solid foods are introduced, breastfeeding should be continued thru the first birthday, with continued breastfeeding after 1 year as long as mutually desired between mom and baby. WIC clinics have International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, Peer Counselors and Certified Lactation Educators who provide breastfeeding education and support for families. WIC also offers an electric breast pump loan program for moms to continue breastfeeding when they go back to work, as well as a 24 hour breastfeeding helpline and a breastfeeding peer counselor program.
How do families participate in the WIC program?
To become a WIC program participant in California, eligibility must be verified at an appointment in a WIC clinic. Applicants are seen by a health professional in the WIC. They will determine whether the individual is income qualified, lives
within the Local Agency’s service area and has a nutritional risk. At this appointment, the health professional will check your height and weight as well as request a blood, or iron test, to check for conditions such as anemia. Basic nutrition and breastfeeding information will also be provided at this first appointment. In addition to the health screening, applicants can also participate in one-on-one education from nutrition experts, participate in group nutrition and breastfeeding classes and access other resources for the family, even members not eligible for WIC. The California State Department website notes that any women, infants or children who will be taking part in WIC need to be present at the first appointment. Other items to bring include: a valid identification card, proof of residency (can be in the form of a utility bill, a cable bill or any mail addressed to the applicant), and proof of income to show that the applicant meets the standard low-income guidelines. Income requirements can also be automatically met if the applicants can show proof of MediCal health insurance.
Where can someone get more information about the program?
To make a WIC appointment or receive more information about the program, such as income or residency guidelines, grocery stores and farmer’s markets who participate,
or for any questions you may have, contact the California WIC hotline at 1-888-942-9675—options in English and Spanish—or by visiting: www. wicworks.ca.gov. Those interested in participating in the WIC program can also contact their nearest Migrant Health Center. These centers work with WIC to provide families with information and support. Locate the nearest center by calling the National Center for Farmworker Health at 1-800-3779968. The office is staffed by bilingual Information Specialists Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time, and accessible 24 hours a day through answering service and/ or voice messaging. They can also be found online at www.ncfh.org.
Voice of the Fields California Circulation: 50,000 copies www.LaCooperativa.org Published monthly by: La Cooperativa Campesina de California 1107 9th Street, Suite 420, Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone 916.388.2220 Fax 916.388.2425 Produced with the support of the Employment Development Department Voice of the Fields may be reproduced