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Health Topics & Information

Women’s Health and Maternity

It’s important for women to get a checkup from an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) at least once a year. You do not need a referral from your PCP to see a MetroPlusHealth Participating OB/GYN.


Family Planning Methods

Most women can get pregnant from when they are teenagers until they are in their late 40s. Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Family Planning helps you control when and how many children you have.

There are many birth control methods. No method, except abstinence, or not having sex, is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy, but some methods are more effective than others. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. To obtain some of these methods, you will need to see your doctor; but other methods are over-the-counter (OTC), which you can buy by yourself.

You need to see your doctor to get:

  • Birth control bill
  • Injection
  • Vaginal Ring
  • Skin Patch
  • Intrauterine Device

You can also buy Plan B (emergency contraception) by yourself. There are many places you can get emergency contraception (EC). If you are 16 or younger, you can get it free at some health centers, or get a prescription. If you are 17 or older, you can still get a prescription, or buy it at the pharmacy. EC is available at no cost at the NYC STD clinics.


Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is the medical care you receive when you are pregnant. All pregnant women need prenatal care, because it helps your doctor to see if you have any health problems that may affect your pregnancy or your baby. Prenatal care helps you to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Knowing and treating any problem right away is the best way to have a healthy baby.

Prenatal care starts in the first trimester, with monthly visits to your doctor. Visits will be more often when you get closer to the due date of your baby. Prenatal care includes a health history and physical exam, weight and blood pressure check, and lab tests (blood & urine). Prenatal Care check-ups are very important in keeping you and your baby healthy.


Postpartum Care

After giving birth, you are focused on taking care of your new baby. But new mothers must take care of their bodies and emotional health too. Please pay special attention to the following:

Getting enough rest:

  • Try to limit visitors and get as much rest as possible
  • Do not expect to keep your house perfect
  • Try to lie down or nap while the baby naps
  • Allow others to help you and do not be afraid to ask for help with house shores


Physical Changes

  • Keep your feet elevated when possible to prevent your legs and feet to get swollen
  • Try to drink plenty water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent Postconstipation
  • Make sure to go to your postpartum visit. Your doctor will have the opportunity to evaluate and monitor your recovery


Regaining a Healthy Weight and Shape​

  • A healthy eating plan along with regular physical fitness might be all you need to return to a healthy weight


Feeling Blue

  • If the feeling of sadness lasts more than two weeks, go to see your doctor right away. You might have a condition called postpartum depression.
  • Call 911 or your doctor if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
  • Fill out the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) and take it with you to your next OB/GYN visit to start a discussion about your emotional health. You can download the PHQ9 below in the Helpful Resources section.

Postpartum Visits

  • Remember to schedule a postpartum visit with your doctor between 7 and 84 days after our delivery.


The NYC Standards for Respectful Care at Birth

These standards were created to inform, educate and support people giving birth –  people like you. These standards encourage you to know your human rights and be active  decision-makers in your birthing experience. These standards are also helpful for providers, and can help them respect and be aware of their patients’ human rights during pregnancy, labor and childbirth. Click below for more information.

Helpful Resources:

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9)
What You Need to Know About Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Services

The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, developmental, and specialty services.

Respectful Care at Birth
Prenatal & Postpartum Care
Family Planning- What's Best for You?
Screening Tests for Women
Community Resource Guide
NYC Nurse-Family Partnership
Birth Spacing Health Action Sheet
Progesterone-17P Health Action Sheet
last updated: April 26, 2022

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