How to Care for You & Your Baby

Now that you’re pregnant, your body is working to support both you and your baby. It is especially important to focus on healthy habits and avoiding environmental dangers. The Department of Health & Human Services created a handout summarizing the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy.

  • See a doctor for prenatal care, ideally at least 13 visits while you’re pregnant.
  • Visit the dentist every six months as tooth decay has been linked with premature delivery.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin daily and eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. This ensures your baby gets the appropriate nutrients and can give you the energy you need while pregnant.
  • Avoid all drugs, alcohol and tobacco. All have negative effects on your baby’s brain, physical, and cognitive development.
  • Avoid environmental hazards like lead, radiation, and work environments that might hurt you or your baby.
  • Care for your emotional health. Exercise, learn relaxation techniques, and build a support network to help you welcome your baby.

If you would like information or have questions regarding the effects of medications, illnesses, recreational drugs, and other environmental agents on pregnancy or breastfeeding, ask MotherToBaby California.  It is free and confidential. Call (866) 626-6847, text (855) 999-3525, or chat live with an expert online.

Get Help

The County of Santa Barbara Public Health Department administers the Maternal Child Adolescent Health (MCAH) program. MCAH provides access to free or low-cost prenatal care by linking pregnant mothers and their families to doctor’s offices or community clinics in their area. Regardless of residency status, any uninsured pregnant woman in Santa Barbara County can call for referral to a clinic where she can start her prenatal care.

  • Carpinteria (805) 560-1050
  • Lompoc (805) 737-6400
  • Santa Barbara (805) 681-5488
  • Santa Barbara East Side (805) 568-2099
  • Santa Maria (805) 346-7230

If you are pregnant, and need help with medical advice now, call a Public Health Nurse. A Public Health Nurse can help you locate bilingual and bicultural resources in your community.

  • Santa Barbara – 681-5466
  • Lompoc – 737-6442
  • Santa Maria – 346-8436

Pregnancy & Working

The State of California has many laws to protect you and your child while you are pregnant and as a new parent. They can be confusing to navigate. The Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center has compiled a list of FAQs to help. Learn about what accommodations you can request now. Additionally, they created a one-page resource summarizing what protections you have as you seek time off to care for your infant and what options you have to pay for your leave.

Pregnancy + My Job

Plan Ahead

Now is a great time to start thinking about how you can prepare for your new arrival. Consider taking a childbirth or parenting class, such as those offered by: