Every Day Should Be Mother’s Day! Four Steps to a Better and Healthier You.

As a mother, your job is never done. You always put the needs of your family and friends above your own. But, as Mother’s Day approaches, it’s important to remember your health matters too! Take a few moments to focus on your own health, and commit to at least one of these suggested steps this month:

1. Schedule your annual physical and other health appointments.

Regular check-ups and your yearly well-woman exam are important to keep yourself healthy. During your appointments, you can update your vaccines to protect you from diseases and infections and get screenings that can catch any health issues early on when they’re easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about any screenings or exams you may need, such as:

    • Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer
    • Breast exams and/or mammograms to screen for breast cancer
    • Blood pressure screenings
    • Depression screening
    • Blood tests, including blood glucose level

To learn about what to expect during an annual physical exam:

    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Get Your Well-Woman Visit Every Year English | Spanish
    • HHS: Healthy Living by Age English | Spanish

For tips to on how to take control of your health and make the most of every healthcare visit:

To learn more about low-cost breast and cervical cancer screenings via the Every Women Counts Program:

    • California Department of Health Care Services: Every Woman Counts English | Spanish

2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Your food choices impact your and your family’s health. By choosing healthier food options, you can prevent or manage health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and encourage your family to develop healthy food habits.

To learn more about healthy eating:

To learn more about nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding:

    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services: Healthy Eating for Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding  English | Spanish

3. Stay active and maintain a healthy weight.

Staying active is important to stay healthy and prevent future health problems. Adults are recommended to exercise with moderate intensity at least 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, but it can be broken up into shorter time intervals throughout the week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. Make physical activity more enjoyable by picking activities you enjoy and can stick with, such as going on a walk or dancing.

Talk with your doctor about what physical activity plan works for you if you have a chronic health condition.

To learn more about how to stay active:

4. Practice self-care and develop stress management skills for your overall      health.

Women tend to balance multiples roles which can cause chronic stress and mental health problems. Chronic stress can lead to many health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and increased risk of heart disease. Self-care and stress management are important to take care of your overall health and to model healthy behaviors for your family.

Some self-care tips include:

    • Stick to a good sleep routine, including getting at least 8 hours of sleep.
    • Spend quality time with others, such as friends, family, or people in your faith community.
    • Set aside some time for yourself- meditate, do your favorite activities, or simply relax.
    • Talk to a mental health professional if needed.

To learn more about how to cope with stress:

    • National Institute of Mental Health: I’m So Stressed Out! English | Spanish

If you are pregnant or parenting:

For assistance with getting access to health services and community resources, call the Orange County Health Referral Line at 1-800-564-8448.

Additional Resources:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: National Women’s Health Week English | Spanish
  • USDA WIC Works Resource System: National Women’s Health Week English
  • California Department of Public Health: Healthy Mind English |Spanish