Health care, family planning and STD services
- Find a health center for well-child checkups and exams.
- Understand family planning service options, and get more information on the types of birth control available and their effectiveness at preventing pregnancy at the Office of Population Affairs and the Office of Women’s health’s Web sites on contraception.
- Find family planning services. Federally funded Title X family planning clinics offer low-cost contraceptive services and pregnancy testing for qualifying patients. Adolescents and others can find a Title X -funded clinic near their homes.
- Find HIV or STD testing. Locate a clinic that offers low-cost testing and prevention counseling for HIV testing, STD testing, and vaccines to prevent sexually transmitted infections, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis at http://www.hivtest.org or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Resources for pregnant and parenting teens and their partners:
- Sign up for Text 4 Baby. A woman can get support throughout pregnancy and her baby’s first year with text messages on topics such as prenatal care, baby health, parenting, and more. Different texts go out to pregnant females, parenting mothers, partners, friends or relatives of an expecting or new mother, and health care providers or other stakeholders. Messages are also available in Spanish. Visit text4baby.org to sign up for this free service today.
- Find Title V health care services for pregnant women and their babies. The federally funded Title V program seeks to improve the health of all mothers and children (including children with special health care needs), by assessing needs, setting priorities, and providing programs and services. Visit the Title V Information System to learn more about Title V programs in your state or region, or the Title V site also has the local phone number to learn more about Title V services in your state.
- Access prenatal and pediatric health resources. Baby’s first test is a Web site that explains newborn screenings and describes and provides support for babies diagnosed with medical problems. Also, the Bright Futures Education Center partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to develop a series of one- to two-minute videos for parents covering a wide range of topics (from child development and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome [SIDS] to discipline and behavior) that may arise any time between the newborn visit and the four-year visit. Search their site using the age of an infant or toddler. Bright Futures for Families has more materials for households with children and adolescents. The National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships provides tools and resources for families of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities.
- Find a Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Home visiting programs provide health, child protection, early education, and social services based on the needs of a family. Nurses, social workers, and other professionals meet with at-risk families in their homes, evaluate the families’ circumstances, and connect families to the services that they need in areas such as health care, child development, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition education or assistance.
- Learn more about the Office of Minority Health’s A Healthy Baby Begins with You campaign. The goal of this national campaign is to raise awareness about infant mortality with an emphasis on the African-American community, because infant mortality rates among black babies are twice as high as babies of the general population. The program focuses on health and health care prior to conception, and works closely with college students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
- Investigate what resources are available for runaway and homeless youth who are pregnant and parenting. The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth provides information that can assist these particularly vulnerable young people.
It is important for a pregnant or parenting teen and her partner to continue their education. It is also critical for their children to develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills necessary for kindergarten. Taking these steps can help improve the outlook for both generations:
- Explore programs for pregnant and parenting teens such as the GRADS program. The GRADS program (Graduation, Reality, and Dual-Role Skills curriculum) is an in-school instructional program for pregnant and parenting teens in grades 7-12, with the mission to promote personal growth, educational competence, and economic self-sufficiency. Learn more about this program and others funded by the Office of Adolescent Health’s Pregnancy Assistance Fund program.
- Enroll your child in Head Start or Early Head Start. Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children through age five who come from low-income families by enhancing these preschoolers cognitive, social, and emotional development. The Early Head Start Program, with a special focus on low-income pregnant women and their infants and toddlers, is also a valuable resource. To find a Head Start program near you, click here. Additionally, the Early Head Start National Resource Center has valuable tip sheets, professional development tools, research news, and other training and technical assistance opportunities for Early Head Start professionals or those looking to learn more about the program.