Issue #24 May/ June 2013
Mother's Day ... Every Day

Happenings Newsletter

Mother's Day ... Every Day

Mother's Day is an excellent opportunity to thank the moms in our communities for caring for our most precious resource – babies. Being a mom starts early. It is critical for a woman a to take care of her own health, even before she becomes pregnant to help make sure that her baby has the best chance of having a healthy birth and a healthy start in life. After birth, there is a lot for moms to know and do to keep their babies on the path to a safe and healthy life. We, at the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation, want to observe Mother's Day by reminding everyone how important the job of motherhood is. Read more for what you can do to support mothers.

In This Issue:

Foundation News: Learning from Young Mothers

Women's Health: Celebrating Women's Health

Pregnancy and Parenting: Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Infant Safety: Travel Safety

Foundation News:

Learning from Young Mothers

Young Moms Connect logoIt's that time of year when we honor the significant people in our lives who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no paycheck – our mothers in May and our fathers in June. It's also the time of year when many students finish another school year. Summer brings a break from the routine of school for many, however, new moms or new dads may be just getting used to a whole new schedule. This can be especially complicated for families where both parents work. For young moms and dads who are juggling child care, school and work, this can be even harder.

For almost three years, the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation has been a vital part of the Young Moms Connect (YMC) Project. The purpose of this federal grant, awarded to the NC Division of Public Health (DPH), is to support pregnant and parenting teens and young women in five counties: Bladen, Rockingham, Onslow, Wayne and Nash. Our activities have supported local YMC activities by providing healthy lifestyle messages and engaging young moms in these counties through traditional media, social media, texting and the Internet.

This project has given us the opportunity to talk with many young moms and learn about their lives and the challenges they face. It has also given us the opportunity to see how these young women face each day and handle life's challenges. These women have opened their doors to us and we have videotaped and interviewed many of them so we can share their experiences with others.

Their stories of their struggles, hopes and strength are powerful. While there are differences among the young women, there are also many similarities. Some haven't finished high school and others are in community college. Some are in caring, supportive relationships or have great family support and others do not. Several have children born with serious health problems.

What these young moms have in common is that each one wants to be the best mother she can be. They are highly motivated to do their best, to push themselves and set a good example for their child or children. They appreciate what others have done for them. And they understand the tremendous responsibility they took on a a young age.

Learn more about these young moms:

The YMC program ends in late August although the NC DPH has applied for funding to continue this much needed work. The young women in NC deserve the help and support this program provides.

Women's Health:

Celebrate Women's Health

National Women's Health Week announcementWomen often serve as the primary caregivers for their families putting the needs of their spouses, partners, children and parents before their own. As a result, women's health and well-being often becomes secondary to that of their families. As a community, we have a responsibility to support women and help them take steps towards living longer, healthier and happier lives.

May is a great time to start. National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013 and is celebrated until May 18th. National Women's Checkup Day is on Monday, May 13th.

These national awareness days are important opportunities to support the women we know in making their health a priority, and in encouraging them to take steps to improve their mental and physical health. This, in turn, is likely to lower their risk for certain diseases. Here are some ideas for women:

  • Find a buddy for support and help with your baby so you can take time for yourself
  • Set personal goals and celebrate when you reach important milestones
  • Take the Checkup Day Pledge and encourage others to as well
  • Contact your healthcare provider(s) to schedule checkups or get necessary screenings on National Women's Checkup Day (May 13th)
  • Take a friend or relative to her checkup(s) such as an eye exam, dental appointment, physical exam, etc
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about the screenings and tests you should have, and when and how often you should have them
  • Be more active and eat healthy
  • Review the list of 22 free preventive services for women covered under the Affordable Care Act

Wherever you live or work, spread the word about National Women's Health Week and the importance of women taking care of themselves! Contact the media, organize local fitness events or health fairs, issue proclamations, reach women on-line or host a mother's day health event in your community.

Pregnancy and Parenting:

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Promote Health and Wellness among Young MomsBouquet of flowers

This Mother's Day families will shower their mothers with gifts and lots of love. How can you celebrate the new moms and moms-to-be that you serve? With a little imagination, you can create a gift that both honors the moms that you serve and teaches them ways to be healthier. In turn, these moms will be better prepared to raise their babies to be as healthy and safe as possible.

Here are some ideas for gifts that celebrate motherhood and helps promote health and wellness:

  • Healthy cooking demonstrations and taste testing at your agency
  • Sampler gift basket filled with local produce
  • Health magazine subscription
  • Gift certificate for local fitness center
  • Health related incentives such as water bottles, pedometers, portion plates

For more ideas visit the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation's Meaningful Gifts for New and Expectant Moms.

May is also National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and National Women's Health Week (May 12-18) – a perfect opportunity to reach out to young women about their health and about making healthy life choices. Since almost 15 percent of women in the U.S. ages 18 and over are in fair or poor health, these young women should be educated about becoming more physically active, eating well, keeping a healthy weight, being tobacco free, getting recommended vaccinations and taking a multivitamin that contains folic acid.

Use the month of May to not only celebrate the mothers you know and serve, but also to promote health and wellness for all women of childbearing age! They might be mothers in the future.

Infant Safety:

Travel Safety

As we inch towards warmer weather, it is becoming the time of year when many families are thinking about taking their little ones on the road to visit friends, relatives or just to get away for a few days. A summer road trip is a great opportunity to make sure that babies are always riding in the car as safely as possible.

Morgan in his car seatMost parents are aware that all babies through age two should ride rear facing in a child safety seat. As babies grow, parents must periodically check to make sure their baby continues to ride safely. It may be time to check the shoulder straps to see if they need to be moved to a higher position or the car seat base may need to be re-tightened. Parents should also be aware of the weight and height requirements for their seat so their baby is never riding in an inappropriate seat. Reviewing the car seat owner's manuals is a great way to make sure a growing baby is safe for every ride.

Another important tip, especially as the weather starts to heat up, is to remind parents to never leave a baby alone in a car, not even for a moment. It may be tempting for busy parents to run into a store and leave a sleeping baby behind for just a few minutes. But a car sitting in the sun can warm up very fast and young children are not able to keep their temperature under control the way an adult can.

When arriving home or to the final destination many parents may want to let their sleeping child stay in the car seat until he/ she wakes up. But car seats are not designed to be used when not in a moving vehicle. Leaving a young child in a car seat can be especially unsafe since they may not yet have strong neck control. An uninstalled car seat can put an infant at an unsafe angle and interfere with safe breathing. Car seats are made for travel, and should be used for this purpose alone.

Click here for guidance on how to properly install an infant safety seat.

We wish everyone a safe and fun summer.

Printer-friendly page

flower garland

Honor the mothers you know

Make a gift this Mother's Day to the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation to help us support women, mothers and mothers-to-be. For the Mom who has everything, this gift could be the best one ever.

The Baby's Easy Safe Sleep Training (BESST) is now available online

BESST is a free, online "Train the Trainer" opportunity designed to increase SIDS risk reduction awareness and promote infant safe sleep practices. Click here to access the training.

Model of Excellence

We are pleased to announce that Carolinas Medical Center - University in Charlotte, N.C. has been recognized as an Infant Safe Sleep Hospital Model of Excellence. CMC - University is the 12th NC hospital to be recognized for its leadership in implementing an infant safe sleep policy, staff training and practices, patient education and modeling behavior within their hospital and community.

Facebook - We want more friends! So, we are going to award prizes to three NEW FRIENDS (randomly selected) when we reach 500 likes on our pages after April 22nd.

Like Us on Facebook

OUR CURRENT FRIENDS CAN WIN TOO! If a winner gives us your name and says you were the person who told them about our Facebook page, you will get a prize too!

Do Good ... Without Spending More!

Do You:

  • Search on the Internet?
  • Shop on-line?
  • Eat out?

Your daily activities can raise funds to support the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation's initiatives.
Sign up on Goodsearch, select us as your charity and feel great knowing that you are helping to improve the health of women and young children in North Carolina.

2 photos of small children

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences   N.C. Healthy Start Foundation | 3725 National Drive, Suite 105| Raleigh, NC 27612 | 919-828-1819