Start Smart for Your Baby® Program
We have a program for pregnant and new moms. It is called Start Smart for Your Baby®. It is designed to customize the support and care you need for a healthy pregnancy and baby. It is already part of your benefits and won’t cost you a thing.
We provide the following:
- Information about pregnancy and newborn care.
- Community resources to help you get the things you need during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. This includes food, cribs, housing and clothing.
- Breastfeeding support and resources.
- Professional medical staff who work with you and your doctor and nurses if you have a more difficult pregnancy.
- Resources if you are feeling down during or after your pregnancy.
- Methods to help you quit smoking, alcohol or drugs.
Joining the program is easy. Simply complete the Notification of Pregnancy form on the member portal or call Member Services at 1-833-404-1061 (TTY: 711) to get started.
Schedule a visit with your doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant. Once your doctor confirms that you are pregnant, let Iowa Total Care know about your pregnancy by filling out our Notice of Pregnancy (NOP) form.
Log in to your online member portal account to fill out our form.
You are also eligible for My Health Pays® rewards when you submit your notice of pregnancy form. Learn more here.
This is for pregnant women who need extra support. Iowa Total Care wants to make sure you get the care you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Iowa Total Care Care Managers are registered nurses, therapists, and licensed social workers who will work with you to answer your questions. As your Care Manager, we can help schedule appointments, give transportation assistance and find support that will help you get well and stay well. We can also help with other behavioral and social services.
We can help find services in the community that will help you improve your health. We will work with you to:
- Identify and address your basic needs
- Help you get the services and support you need within your community
- Teach you and your family how to handle your own care and resources
Our professional and diverse team has pre-birth, labor and delivery, postpartum, newborn nursery, and NICU experience. We are here to help you each step of your pregnancy.
To reach your Care Management team directly, call 1-833-404-1061 (TTY: 711). Or e-mail us at care_management@IowaTotalCare.com.
Care Management is never required. You do not have to participate. If you start Care Management and it is not helpful you can stop at any time.
No one likes getting sick. The flu virus changes each year. Getting a yearly flu vaccine helps protect you and those around you. Plus, it is available at no cost to you. Getting your flu vaccine may actually earn you rewards. The flu vaccine is a good idea for just about everyone.
Pregnant Women. Pregnancy can put you at higher risk for getting the flu and put your unborn baby at risk. Getting a flu vaccine can help protect you and your baby.
Children and Families. Young children have a higher risk of health problems from the flu. Newborns are also at a high risk but cannot get the flu vaccine until they are six months old.
All pregnant women should get a Tdap vaccine between 6 to 8 months of the pregnancy. It is recommended that you get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy. The Tdap vaccine is a safe way to protect you and your baby from serious illnesses. As an Iowa Total Care member, there is no cost to you for this vaccine.
The Tdap vaccine stops three illnesses. One is whooping cough. It spreads easily, causes coughing, and troubles with breathing. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, and can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for babies. Iowa Total Care wants to help members who are breastfeeding. The Start Smart for Baby Team can answer breastfeeding questions and help you obtain a breast pump.
You may already know that breast milk is packed with the perfect mix of nutrients your baby needs. Did you know that it is also more than just food? Breast milk has special ingredients only you can provide, like antibodies, which help protect your baby from illness.
An electric breast pump is a covered benefit for all mothers who choose to breastfeed. You can order your breast pump online at no cost to you through Medline.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Breastfeeding
- National Breastfeeding Helpline
- Iowa WIC
- Member Services: 1-833-404-1061 (TTY: 711)
- 24/7 Nurse Advice Line: 1-833-404-1061 (TTY: 711)
- United Way 2-1-1
Check with the hospital where your baby was born. Ask them about classes, support groups and other resources.
If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, keep these things in mind:
- Visit with your doctor before getting pregnant. There are many things to keep in mind when prepping your body for pregnancy.
- If you recently had a baby, allow at least 18 months before your next pregnancy. This gives your body time to heal and protects your next baby from delivering too soon.
- Go before you show! Go to your doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant. Early and routine care will help and protect you and your baby.
- Keep healthy lifestyle habits. This involves exercising, eating healthy meals, and resting for 8-10 hours each night.
- Do not use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs while attempting to become pregnant or during pregnancy.
It is best to stop smoking before you get pregnant. If you are already pregnant, quitting can help protect you and your baby from health problems. It is never too late to stop smoking.
When you stop smoking:
- Your baby gets more oxygen, even after just 1 day.
- Your baby will grow better.
- Your baby is less likely to be born too early.
- You will have more energy and breathe more easily.
- You will be less likely to get heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related diseases.
Folic acid is very important for your baby’s health. Getting enough folic acid can help prevent serious birth defects. Folic acid is a B vitamin. It is found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach. It is also found in enriched grains. Some other foods with folic acid in them include:
- Orange juice
- Green vegetables
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Enriched rice
- Whole wheat bread
It is difficult to get enough folic acid from food alone. Ask your doctor about taking prenatal vitamins. These will have the extra folic acid your baby needs. Your baby needs this right away. This is one reason to see your doctor as soon as you think you could be pregnant.
Putting yourself first makes sense. We offer support for your mind, body, and spirit. Use the myStrength pregnancy and early parenting program for resources to support you through all the joys and challenges that come your way. Get advice on the changes that parenthood brings and how to ask for help. Put yourself in a position to succeed with myStrength.
myStrength can help with:
- Pregnancy and mood
- Parenting tips
- Helping your baby sleep
- Connecting with your baby
- Understanding your baby's temper
- Relaxation skills for new and expecting parents
- When things don't go as planned
- Going back to work
- Stories of hope