MOMS program assists expectant mothers

SCHROON LAKE Patricia McGowan of Schroon Lake is a strong advocate for the MOMS program. She used it while pregnant with both of her sons, Christopher and Brian French. The best thing about it was the reassurance. It eased a lot of fears I had when I was pregnant, said McGowan. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. The Maternal Child Health Services MOMS Program, operated by Essex County Public Health Department, is a prenatal program that seeks to provide health services to pregnant women. I remember when I was first pregnant with Brian I signed up for WIC and they referred me to MOMS. They came to my home and gave me an abundance of information, said McGowan. As an older mother, she had concerns about her pregnancy and found the support from public health nurse Brooke Castine invaluable. Most of her family doesnt live locally and having a connection who could answer questions was important. I appreciated Brooke you do feel the support network, said McGowan. Over the course of her pregnancy, McGowan had seven visits from the visiting health nurse. Hartson explained that the program also included an postpartum visit. While visiting, the nurse checks on weigh, blood pressure and pulse while offering prenatal information. The program covered everything from A to Z, McGowan said. Since giving birth, McGowan has continued to use the resources at Essex County Public Health. She said the employees always work to help find answers to her questions. Maternal Child Health Nurse Rosemarie Koop-Angelicola said the home-based program was intended to have good outcomes to pregnancy. By improving maternal health, healthier babies are born. To qualify for the program, people need to be income-eligible. Koop-Angelicola said people should call the department to see if they qualified, since a variety of factors are figured in. The Essex County Public Health Department is currently recognizing National Public Health Week, April 2-8. Essex County Director of Public Health Kathy Abernethy said the programs are a true investment in the communitys well-being. Today, public health focuses on prevention, which has long-term financial benefits. Public health offers immunization clinics, education, injury prevention programs, maternal and child health programs and rabies clinics. For more information on the MOMS program or any other public health, contact the Essex County Public Health Department at 873-3500.

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