Show Your Love Campaign Highlights Importance of Healthy Habits

Show Your Love is a new national campaign developed by the Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative (PHHCI) in partnership with the March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign (NCPHC), to help women prepare for healthy pregnancies. Launched on Valentine’s Day, the campaign’s message is that if a woman chooses to have a child, she can show love to her future child by first loving herself and by adopting healthy habits well before becoming pregnant.

“Living a healthy lifestyle is a way to show love to yourself and your future baby, long before a baby is in the plans. By taking a few simple steps toward becoming as healthy as possible before pregnancy, a woman can experience long-lasting benefits for herself and her future children,” said Amy Mullenix, Statewide Coordinator of the NCPHC.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preconception health is the health of women during their reproductive years. Preconception health focuses on women taking important steps now to protect their health and the health of the family they may want to have sometime in the future. These steps include working with their doctors to control and treat medical conditions (e.g. diabetes and high blood pressure), quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, becoming physically active, and making healthy food choices.

“While most women know that improving their health once they become pregnant is important, many women don’t know that improving their health before pregnancy – even long before it’s a consideration – is also important,” said Sarah Verbiest, Executive Director at the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health, senior advisory consultant to PCHHCI and member of the NCPHC’s executive committee.

The Show Your Love campaign focuses on women during their childbearing years, between the ages of 18 and 44. The campaign is designed to speak both to women who are currently planning to become pregnant, as well as those for whom pregnancy may not be in their immediate plans.

As part of the Show Your Love campaign, the Initiative has developed a series of educational materials for women including video and radio public service announcements, posters, a checklist of healthy habits, as well as online ads and a kit for organizations interested in supporting the campaign and helping to spread the word about the importance of preconception health.

March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign is working with the PHHCI to spread the campaign’s message and materials to women in North Carolina. The NCPHC is distributing DVDs featuring the PHHCI’s preconception health educational video in English to anyone in North Carolina; providing preconception health trainings throughout the state to health care providers and the general public; providing preconception health education via its website, everywomannc.com; and spreading preconception health messages throughout its social media networks.

The PHHCI is focused on promoting healthy habits among women of childbearing age. Members represent national, state and local organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March of Dimes Foundation, National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, the National Healthy Start Association, state health departments, and local affiliates of national organizations.

For more information on the Show Your Love campaign visit the website at www.cdc.gov/showyourlove. For more information about how to get involved with the campaign on the local level, please contact Megan Fazekas-King, at 919-424-2151 or mfazekas-king@marchofdimes.com.

The March of Dimes North Carolina Preconception Health Campaign is a statewide initiative aimed at improving birth outcomes in North Carolina by reaching out to women with important health messages before they become pregnant. The Campaign uses a multi-faceted health education campaign to reduce infant mortality, birth defects, premature birth, and chronic health conditions in women, while also aiming to increase the proportion of intended pregnancies in North Carolina. For more information, visit everywomannc.com.

To download a PDF of the news release, click here.

About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Revised: February 14, 2013

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