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October 2, 2012

Pregnant women receive support from Health Department

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Health Department continues to offer a helping hand to expectant moms who may have questions or concerns about the pregnancy process from conception to delivery, and beyond.

Historically, the Health Department offered a program through the New York State Department of Health called the Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services (MOMS) program.

However, when that program moved to a managed-care format in 2011, Clinton County chose to take on the responsibility for providing services for pregnant moms and created the Improved Pregnancy Outcome program to replace MOMS.

“It resembles the MOMS program, but it is entirely free with no link to insurance whatsoever,” said Suzanne LaBorde, a public health nurse for the Health Department who oversees the Improved Pregnancy Outcome program.

“This (program) is open to everyone in the county,” LaBorde said.

The concept has been used over the last several months to support extremely high-risk women with extreme needs, women with no health insurance or women who have psycho-social issues, she added.

But the Health Department is now seeking to expand its support to all first-time moms, particularly those who are 19 and younger or 40 and older, along with moms who are underweight or overweight or have gestational diabetes.

“One of our main emphases is to make sure pregnant moms receive early prenatal care to help reduce risks and to catch potential problems early,” LaBorde said.

“The state objective is to increase the percentage of women receiving early prenatal care during the first trimester to 90 percent,” she added, noting that Clinton County had nearly reached that mark at 89.7 percent in 2009, up from 86.3 percent in 2000.

The state average over the past decade has been in the mid-70 percent range.

A nurse from the Health Department will work closely with the pregnant mom to ensure the best possible pregnancy outcome. Nurses will meet at a time and place convenient for the expectant mom and will work closely with the client and health-care provider.

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