Planned Parenthood health centers offer reproductive care.
Pregnancy centers offer medical care, counseling, support, and access to resources that are helpful for pregnant women.
Heartbeat International offers a worldwide directory of pregnancy centers.
Help Assist Her offers a directory of pregnancy and women’s health centers.
For those with a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, birth centers may be an option for pre-natal care, birthing, and/or post-natal care. Birth centers may not be suitable for those with high-risk pregnancies and/or those unsure of their pregnancy risk.
The American Association of Birth Centers provides a directory of birth centers. Be aware of who provides your care & what their professional credentials are. The American College of Nurse-Midwives explains the differences between midwifery credentials.
Benefits for new mothers
Pregnant women & new mothers may qualify to apply for Medicaid coverage and/or to receive Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service provides a directory of WIC contacts as well as toll-free phone numbers for WIC state agencies who may provide help with enrolling in Medicaid & WIC.
Aunt Bertha offers a directory of local service providers, including those that may assist with enrolling in Medicaid & WIC.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance providers must cover breastfeeding benefits: breastfeeding counseling, support, and equipment, including a breast pump.
Natural family planning (NFP)
Natural family planning, also known as fertility awareness, is safe, costs little to nothing, does not require visiting a healthcare provider, and is quite effective when used consistently & correctly.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a presentation about natural methods of family planning & their efficacy.
- The Institute for National Family Planning at Marquette University explains the Marquette Model (MM) method. They provide a user manual for natural family planning.
- Taking Charge of Your Fertility explains the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) as developed by Toni Weschler, MPH.
- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers natural family planning information & resources for Catholics.
Apps & trackers
- Kindara provides a fertility charting system for those aiming to get pregnant, avoid pregnancy, and/or monitor their health.
- Natural Cycles, a certified contraception app, tracks fertility information with a two-decimal basal thermometer.
There are several available methods of birth control. Research the available options, their benefits & drawbacks, as well as their costs, in order to decide which method(s), if any, are suitable for you.
- Bedsider explains birth control methods, tells where to get birth control, and provides reminders for taking birth control.
- Planned Parenthood explains birth control & evaluates which birth control method(s) may be most suitable.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
Also known as intrauterine conception (IUC), an IUD is a small device, typically made of flexible plastic, inserted into a uterus to prevent pregnancy. It is effective & suitable for long-term use.
- The Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC) explains IUDs.
- New York Magazine has provided a comparison chart explaining five types of IUDs and their side effects.
- Anna Alexis explains the IUD insertion process.
Birth control implant
A birth control implant is a small, thin, matchstick-sized rod, inserted under the skin of the upper arm, that releases hormones into the body to prevent pregnancy. The rod must be replaced every few years for the birth control to remain effective.
Also known as the “morning-after pill”, emergency contraception is used to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex.
- The Emergency Contraception website from Princeton University provides information about emergency contraception.
- A dosage chart explains which oral contraceptives are used as emergency contraception & at what doses they are taken.
- Planned Parenthood explains emergency contraception & evaluates whether it’s appropriate for a particular situation.
- Plan B One-Step can be taken without a prescription.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The HPV vaccine is delivered as a multi-shot vaccine series. It can prevent genital warts & certain cancers associated with HPV.
- The American Cancer Society explains HPV.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information & resources relating to HPV & the HPV vaccine.
- The National Cancer Institute provides fact sheets about HPV.
- Today’s Christian Woman explains the HPV vaccine to parents.
The CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for:
- Young women between the ages of 11 and 26.
- Young men between the ages of 11 and 21.
- Young men who have sex with men (MSM) & young men who have sex with men & women (MSMW) through age 26.
- Young adults who identify as transgender through age 26.
- Young adults with certain health conditions through age 26.
To obtain the HPV vaccine: