Resources for You and Your Baby
To help you find all the information you might need, we’ve compiled a handy list of links and resources.
Some of our resources make use of the words “mother” and “women.” The Start Smart for Your Baby program recognizes the limitations of this language. We are dedicated to making our content as inclusive as possible and the use of these terms does not exclude any gender identity group from accessing these resources.
What are you looking for?
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 Notification 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 NOP form. Learn more on our My Health Pays website page.
Our Resource Guide (coming soon) is here to guide you on your journey.
- Are you feeling sad, irritable, hopeless, or worried? Call the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Find a local provider of affordable mental health services.
- If your relationship is causing you to question your safety or the safety of the baby, call 1-800-799-7233. If it is not safe for you to call, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has a live chat service to provide real-time support.
- Look into parent groups like International MOMS Club and Baby Center.
- Find organizations dedicated to making period products accessible.
- Safe exercise during pregnancy
- Managing stress during pregnancy
- Tips on healthy eating
- Krames Online offers free information on over 4,000 topics – including pregnancy and childbirth.
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
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.
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.
Pregnancy can put you at higher risk for getting the flu and put your unborn baby at risk. Getting a yearly flu vaccine can help protect you and your baby. Plus, it is available at no cost to you. Learn more on our Flu Shots website page.
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.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for babies. Iowa Total Care wants to help members who are breastfeeding. The Start Smart for Your 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.
- Check with the hospital where your baby was born. Ask them about classes, support groups, and other resources.
- You may have a lactation consultant available to you! The International Lactation Consultant Association can also help you find a specialist.
- Pumping and storing milk
- Breastfeeding discreetly in public
- Breastfeeding an older baby
- Learn federal rules and requirements for employers about breastfeeding and lactation at work:
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's 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Care management is never required. You do not have to participate. If you start the care management program and it is not helpful, you can stop at any time.
- Caring for Your Baby
- Learn about lead testing.
- Tips for helping your baby sleep through the night.
- Get information on safe sleep.
- Give your baby a bath.
- Take care of your baby’s teeth.
- Take your baby’s temperature.
- Learn about car seat safety.
- Baby-proof your home.
- Have a NICU baby? Miracle Babies may be able to help you.
- Find assistance getting enough diapers for your baby.
- Learn proper swaddling techniques.
- Looking for more services and support for you and your child (aged prenatal through 5 years)?
- We may be able to help you get a ride to your doctor’s appointments. Just call us at the number on the back of your ID card.
- Do you have other children? Plan childcare for when you deliver, when you need time to yourself, or when you go back to work after delivery. If you need help, call Child Care Aware at 1-800-424-2246.
- WIC can provide you with free and healthy food, nutrition education, screenings, and referrals to other services. They also provide formula, breast pumps and other breastfeeding resources. You can call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-800-548-6479, or talk to your doctor, local health department, or health plan to find out more about WIC. Visit Feeding America to find a food pantry near you.
- Farmers markets offer affordable, healthy food. Some even accept SNAP benefits! Find a market in your area.
- Staying in control of your body and sexual health is more than just choosing when or if you get pregnant again. Find free, fast, and confidential testing near you.
- Concerned about losing access to affordable birth control options after losing health coverage? Visit the Title X Family Planning Clinic Locator to find clinics and services near you.
- Bedsider is an online support network and offers low-cost (or free) birth control.
- Concerned with how your medications can affect pregnancy and breastfeeding? Talk to your doctor or call MotherToBaby at 1-866-626-6487.
- If you are trying to quit smoking, ask for help. Call the Quit Smoking Hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Or text MOM to 222888 for help.
- Trying to decrease or stop alcohol or substance use? Call the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at 1-800-622-2255 or the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Referral Routing Service at 1-800-662-4357.
Stay Smoke-Free for a Healthy Child
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 one 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.
- Quitline Iowa
- Smokefree Text Messaging Programs
- Pregnant? Don't Smoke!
- Myths: Smoking and Pregnancy
- 4 Tips to Quit Smoking
Contact us to sign up for weekly emails and/or texts about your pregnancy and caring for your newborn baby.