Feb. 8, 2002
Volume XXXV, No. 6


Of Note


Texas celebrates Newborn Babies Week

Texas has the ninth highest adolescent birth rate in the United States. It ranks second in the number of women who do not receive prenatal care in the first trimester.

But more women are learning how to take care of their bodies and their babies, thanks to "Texas Newborn Babies Week."

The weeklong educational effort kicked off Feb. 4 and runs through Feb. 10. It is designed to promote healthy living and encourage more mothers to seek prenatal care early in their pregnancy.

"Our first goal is to increase attendance for prenatal care in the first and second trimester of pregnancy," said Dr. Rajam Ramamurthy, professor of pediatrics. "We hope to increase the number of women getting prenatal care to 75 percent, although we know it will take a few years to reach that goal."

Texas is the first state to declare a newborn babies week. Dr. Ramamurthy spearheaded the effort through the Maternal-Perinatal Health Committee of the Texas Medical Association (TMA).

For more information about prenatal care, visit the TMA Web site at www.texmed.org.

Tips for a having a healthy baby:

  • Think about the best time in your life to have a baby
  • Both parents — talk to a doctor about your health
  • Mothers should take folic acid
  • If you know or think you are pregnant, go to a prenatal clinic
  • Enroll in Medicaid or another type of insurance
  • Stop smoking
  • Don't drink alcohol
  • Do not take aspirin or other medications without a doctor's permission
  • Do not take street drugs of any kind
  • Keep all your prenatal appointments
  • When you are in labor, arrive at the hospital early
  • Enjoy the pregnancy and think about your healthy baby often

These tips are featured on posters placed throughout physician's offices during Texas Newborn Babies Week.