Family healthcare programs cover a vast range of areas, from conception, all the way through pregnancy and birth, to bringing up your children to be healthy and happy. Health education can help people who are struggling to conceive as well those who were not planning a pregnancy, in addition to ensuring that all mothers (and fathers!) can be prepared for the birth. Family healthcare programs will continue to give support and help after the birth, to make sure the child is growing up healthily.
Fertility and family planning
Some couples find it difficult to conceive, and though IVF treatment isn’t available on many insurance policies in the US, there are many free health education programs that can provide support and education. Couples might be offered counselling or practical help, like fertility tests. Some women and teenage girls find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Again, there are many healthcare programs set up for just these eventualities. Marie Stopes International is one of the largest pro-choice organisations in the world. They can help to talk women through their options and provide counselling once they have made their decision.
There are countless health education programs that a pregnant woman can take part in; probably enough choices to keep her busy all day every day! The most important is that she attends the clinics that will check up on her health and the health of her baby, as well as ante-natal classes, which will educate both parents about what to expect at the birth. Sitcoms regularly make light of these classes, but the health education they offer, particularly for first time mothers, is invaluable.
Once the baby is born, there are many healthcare programs that offer help and support to the new parents. Young, single mothers in particular can get lots of assistance, if they need it. There are hostels and supported living accommodation, where they can move with their baby into their own flat, but with a healthcare professional always on hand if they have any problems or need advice. Health workers may visit the new mother at home, to see how she is coping and also to check how the home is set up for the new arrival. As well as checking on the health of the mother and the baby, the health worker can offer advice and education to the new mother about how best to look after the child.
As the baby grows, there are family health clinics that will continue to develop his or her growth and development, checking sight and hearing, as well as providing all the usual childhood immunisations.