In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

HMAA partners with March of Dimes to promote the importance of prenatal care

Making sure mom and baby are healthy during and after pregnancy

Sponsored by HMAA

Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) is all about providing wellness and benefits for their members – especially moms! HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is with Dr. Angela Pratt, chair of the department of OB/GYN at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and board member of the March of Dimes, to talk about the importance of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

“Prenatal care is very important because it is health care for you and your growing baby to help reduce the risks of preterm delivery and birth complications,” explains Dr. Pratt. “These visits also provide an opportunity for moms to manage existing medical conditions, how it may affect the growing fetus and what they can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy.”

Dr. Pratt says the most common questions expecting moms ask her is, “When can I find out the sex of my baby?” She says most pregnant women find out baby’s gender during their 16-20 week ultrasound. If the fetus is in the right orientation, you can visually see female or male genitalia. Depending on your age and risk factors, blood tests are available to determine whether you are carrying a boy or girl. This noninvasive prenatal testing can determine gender, but can also detect chromosomal abnormalities.

To ensure moms a healthy delivery, Dr. Pratt says it’s important to maintain routine prenatal visits, avoid harmful substances and exposure to others who are ill, and to follow a healthy diet and supplements as recommended by your health care provider. Also very important is controlling existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes to prevent serious complications and improve the health of your baby for years to come.

“Community organizations such as Kapiolani Medical Center and the March of Dimes provides excellent resources to help expectant mothers navigate their pregnancy,” Dr. Pratt says.

For over 80 years, March of Dimes has lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies and is a valuable resource to the community. In Hawaii, 10.3 percent of all live births were born premature, meaning less than 37 weeks gestation.

“By partnering with HMAA’s Baby & Me program, we’re able to provide their members with easy access to trusted and evidence-based information on various pregnancy related topics,” she explains. “All the participants receive a free Healthy Baby Kit filled with all that information when they enroll in the program.”

The March for Babies is a walk held across the country that helps raise critical funds to support our research, advocacy and programs for the health of all moms and babies. Due to precautions for COVID-19, the March for Babies will now be virtual across the country to step up and help moms and babies.

Visit marchforbabies.org for more information on how you can donate and join these walks online.

For more information: marchofdimes.org, marchforbabies.org, or on Facebook.com: @marchofdimeshawaii