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Frequently Asked Questions for Pregnant Women?

What services are available to help me during my pregnancy and after delivery?

Oakland County Health Division has many programs available to help you:
  • Home Visits by a Public Health Nurse and Nutritionist to help with preparations for baby and to discuss plans for infant care, nutrition, safety and parenting.  Public health Nurses can also provide referrals to other community resources.
  • Nurse-Family Partnership Program provides home visits to high risk, low-income, first-time pregnant women living n Pontiac.
  • WIC (Women, Infants & Children Supplemental Food Program)
  • Dental services for eligible clients
  • Well child screening for eligible clients
  • Child and adult immunizations
For information call (248) 858-1406 or toll free 1-800-848-5533 Ext. 85533.

I want to stop smoking. Is there help available for me?

Quitting smoking is a great gift to give to your baby.  Smoking can cause problems for both mother and baby including miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, and infant death.
 
Available Resources
  • "I Can Quit" Helpline (free quit smoking, coaching hotline) 1-800-480-QUIT (7848).  Provides a personal health coach for up to seven sessions, free Quit Kit and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
  • Michigan Expectant Mother's Quit Kit (free).  To obtain a kit call (248) 424-7128.

People smoke in my home. Is it really that bad for my baby?

Yes.
  • Secondhand smoke is the smoke breathed out by the smoker.
  • Secondhand smoke has many harmful chemicals which are known to cause cancer.  The chemicals may affect you and your unborn baby.
  • Secondhand smoke can irritate your lungs and may stop oxygen from reaching your placenta, which then reduces baby's oxygen supply.
  • Secondhand smoke can also be harmful to your baby after delivery.  Secondhand smoke puts infants at risk for premature birth, death, allergies, asthma, ear infections, and other illnesses.
If people in your home are unable to quit, ask them to go outside while they smoke.

I am not sure if I installed my baby's car seat right. how do I know if it is safe?

The Child Passenger Safety Program at the Oakland County Health Division provides free, car seat safety checks by appointment.  For information, contact The Child Passenger Safety Program at (248) 424-7132.
 
Many local police and fire departments also offer free car seat checks - contact your local department for information.

I don't have health insurance and I know prenatal care is important. How can I see a doctor during my pregnancy?

The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has health care programs that provide medical health coverage to pregnant women.  There is an income limit for these programs.  You may obtain and complete an application so that DHS can determine your eligibility.  Click this link to apply online or apply at one of the following DHS offices:
 
30755 Montpelier
Madison Heights, MI  480871
248-583-8700
 
195 Ladd Road
Walled Lake, MI  48390
248-669-7600
 
235 North Saginaw Street
Pontiac, MI  48342
248-975-5200
 
If you don't qualify for Medicaid or other programs through DHS, you may contact Oakland County Nurse-On-Call at 248-858-1406 or call toll free at 1-800-848-5533 ext 85533 to get a list of providers in your area who give medical care at a reduced cost.

I don't eat regular meals because I don't have money for food. Are there resources to help me with food?

Eating right during pregnancy is important for a healthy baby.  If you need help to eat right, you can:
 
  • Apply for WIC (Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Food Program) at 248-858-1272 or 1-888-350-0900 ext. 81272. 
  • Apply for the food assistance program at the Department of Human Services (DHS).
30755 Montpelier
Madison Heights, MI  480871
248-583-8700
 
195 Ladd Road
Walled Lake, MI  48390
248-669-7600
 
235 North Saginaw Street
Pontiac, MI  48342
248-975-5200
  • Call Focus Hope 313-494-4600 for locations in Oakland County. 
  • Call the Expanded Food & Nutrition Program to learn how to cook and stretch your food dollars at 248-858-0897. 
  • If you have no food, call the Oakland County Health Division Nurse-On-Call for a referral to a food pantry. 

My friend said she had WIC when she was pregnant. What is WIC?

WIC is a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children up to age 5.  WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no charge.

My boyfriend sometimes hits me. Is that dangerous for the baby?

Physical abuse tends to increase and become worse during pregnancy.  Physical abuse may lead to miscarriage, low birth weight and early labor.  There is help available to help you. 
 

Shelter

HAVEN 248-334-1274 or 1-877-922-1274

Crisis Intervention/Counseling

Common Ground/24 hour hotline  1-800-231-1121 or 248-456-0909
HAVEN 24 hour hotline   1-877-922-1274 or 248-334-1274

Legal Assistance

Women's Survival Center     248-335-1520
Personal Protection Orders  248-975-9511

All Police Emergencies   911

Is it safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy?

Flu vaccine is considered safe during pregnancy.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend pregnant women get a flu shot, especially those who will be in their second or third trimester during flu season.
Influenza (flu) during pregnancy can lead to pneumonia and other heart and lung conditions that can result in hospitalization.
 
You may be able to get a flu shot from your doctor or at Oakland County Health Division.  For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine call 248-858-1406 or toll free at 1-800-848-5533. 

Are there any signs and symptoms during pregnancy that I should be concerned about?

There are certain signs and symptoms that may occur during pregnancy that could indicate a problem.  It is important to call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
  • Blood or fluid from vagina
  • Cramps that continue
  • Pain in the lower belly or thigh
  • Ache or pain in the lower back
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Bad headache
  • Swelling of hands or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Seeing spots
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Don't feel the baby moving

What is premature labor?

Premature labor is labor three or more weeks before your due date.  It is important to contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
  • Low, dull backache
  • Pain in the lower belly or thigh
  • Cramps that feel like your period
  • Cramps with or without diarrhea
  • Contractions or tightening with or without diarrhea
  • Feeling that baby is pushing down
  • Clear, pink or brownish fluid from the vagina
  • Change in the vaginal discharge

I'm buying things for my baby's nursery. Is there anything I need to know to help ensure safe sleep for my baby?

Ensuring safe sleep for your baby.
Select:
  • Firm mattress that fits snugly to edges of crib
  • Tight, fitted sheets
Remember:
  • Babies should sleep on their backs
  • Babies should sleep alone in their cribs (not with other children, adults or pets).
  • Soft items such as bumper pads, comforters, pillows, and stuffed animals shouldn't be used in baby's sleep area due to risk of suffocation.  Bumper pads can be tied outside the crib, comforters can be used as wall hangings and pillows and stuffed animals can be used as decorations on a chair.
  • Crib slats should be spaced no more than 2-3/8 inches apart.
  • Adult beds are not safe for babies.
  • It is not safe for your baby to sleep on a soft surface like a waterbed, sofa, or pillow.
  • Make sure baby's face is uncovered.
  • Be sure not to overheat or overdress your baby.

I'm pregnant and I think I have a problem with using drugs and alcohol. Where can I get help?

Drugs and alcohol can harm a baby before and after birth.  It is never too late to stop using a drug.  A mother who stops using alcohol or drugs at any time increases the chances that her baby will be born healthy.  Contact the Oakland County Health Division PACE Unit for help at 248-858-5200 or toll-free 1-888-350-0900 ext. 85200 (appointments are required).

I'm 12 weeks pregnant. Should I go to the dentist?

Yes.  It is recommended that pregnant women take special care of their teeth and gums during pregnancy and have their teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist at least once when pregnant.  Tell the dentist you are pregnant.  Your dentist and medical doctor can determine if any special procedures, other than routine cleaning, should be postponed until after pregnancy.