Saturday, May 16, 2009

Preventive Health Publications for Latinas Available On-line

The story is not a new one: Because of financial situations or self-sacrificing cultural traditions, many Latinas are less likely to participate in preventive health services than other women of non-Latino heritage. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are the leading causes of death for Latinas in this country. Fortunately, Latinas can reduce their risk of contracting one of these diseases with simple lifestyle changes and taking advantage of preventive health services.

Two major events affecting Latinas are pregnancy and childbirth. Oftentimes, these stages provide women with an opportunity to make changes in diet and exercise for the health and safety of their babies. But Latinas should also know that this is an excellent opportunity to monitor their own health information and make positive changes in their daily habits. Latinas all over the country can take advantage of the North Carolina Healthy Start web site, which offers the opportunity to order free copies of their publications for women. Two in particular should be of interest to Latinas: My Personal Journal/Mi Diario de Salud and Mujer Total. The first is a wonderful way for women to keep track of their basic medical information that they receive during their prenatal and postnatal doctor visits. For example, women can record medical test results, vaccinations and even blood type. The journal may be downloaded in English here, or a copy of the Spanish issue may be ordered on-line.

Mujer Total is a Spanish magazine, approximately 20 pages long, that gives tips and other information about nutrition, diet, immunizations, breastfeeding, smoking, family planning, etc. It includes toll-free numbers and links to Spanish web sites where Latinas can get more information. The magazine can also be downloaded for free here.

For more information about preventive health and self-care among Latinas, check out the January/February issue of Maternidad Latina.

NC Healthy Start also has a Spanish web site created especially for Latina moms. Mamá is a great resource for first time moms (and even second and third timers!)It answers questions on pre- and post-natal care, as well as how to care for baby. Check them out here.

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