Everyone can play a role in ensuring healthy babies in our community.

What’s said in the shop stays in the shop. So why not talk about being healthy and having a healthy baby?

Use the below talking points as you talk with women and men in your shop about how to be healthy today for the family they may have someday.

Know Your Talking Points

African Americans are more affected by infant mortality, prematurity, low birth weight and maternal death during and after pregnancy than any other community. Some research shows that African Americans experience more severe levels of chronic stress and are less able to return to a manageable level of stress than other groups. Over time this takes a toll on the body, particularly on women’s reproductive health. It’s vital for women to take opportunities to pro-actively manage the stressors in their lives – through talking, exercise or changes in their environment or social lives.

Encourage your clients to eat healthy, be active, see a doctor regularly, and manage stress with the below:

  • Proper nutrition habits are the key to more energy, brain & heart health, disease prevention, and weight control. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products are healthy choices. Include protein foods such as poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and lean meats. Make sure to choose foods that are low in saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Adults need at least 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week. It might sound like a lot of time but you don’t have to do it all at once. Spread your activity throughout the week and even during the day. Just make sure you’re doing activity at a moderate to vigorous effort at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • A medical home starts with finding a primary care provider like a doctor, nurse practitioner or other healthcare provider that you trust. You should be able to share your medical history and work together as partners to address all areas of your health. Your medical home should be easy to get to, affordable and comfortable.
  • Stress is hard on your physical health. It can cause high blood pressure, weight gain and having a premature baby (a baby born too early). Manage your stress by confronting the issue, breathing, getting plenty of rest, talking with a friend, or getting some exercise.

These tips will ensure the healthiest them!

Why Dads Are So Important

Sometimes it can feel like it’s all about the mom and baby. But dads are a very important part of the family, too. Encourage dads by sharing with them:

  • If you stay involved, your little boy or girl has a better chance of being healthy, strong and smart. Early on, your attention and support can help your partner have a healthier pregnancy. Around four months in, your baby can hear and feel you from inside the womb. Gently rub your partner’s belly to build a connection with your baby. And after birth, he or she will love to watch, listen, touch and even smell you.
  • Research shows that sons who have involved fathers are less likely to enter the criminal justice system. Daughters of involved fathers are more likely to delay their first sexual experience, which decreases their lifelong risk of infection, and are less likely to enter into abusive relationships.
  • Women without involved partners have more complications during delivery, are less likely to get adequate prenatal care and are more likely to smoke. You are vital to your family’s long-term health and success

Have Your Tools Handy

Help women and men in your community prepare for pregnancy by completing the Life Planning Tool. This guide can help develop a vision for their reproductive years so they can make the most of that time and reach their own goals. Management of obesity, hypertension and other chronic conditions like mental illness and diabetes is key.

Encourage them to sign up for text4baby – Simply text “BABY” or “BEBE” to 511411 or download the app on your smartphone. Then follow the instructions. When asked, have them identify themselves as a mother, father, grandparent, etc. They’ll be asked questions about their due date, ZIP code and language preference. After that, they’ll start getting 2-3 free messages a week. Each message is timed to the due date or the baby’s birthday. Learn more at the text4baby site.

Help dads get involved with Maps for Dads, a guide to taking care of your new baby. It’ll provide information, tips and other helpful ideas.