During Pregnancy
MomsFirst Services

If you are pregnant and live in the City of Cleveland, MomsFirst can help you have a healthy pregnancy. MomsFirst‘s Community Health Workers are trained in health care and social services. They will meet with you twice a month and provide education, support, and resources to reduce risk factors that may affect the health of your baby or yourself.

Your Community Health Worker will help you:
  • Find a doctor for you and your baby
  • Get to the doctor for your check-ups
  • Get any medical and social services you need
  • Get answers to questions you may have about prenatal care, baby care, birth control and family planning

MomsFirst provides services to teenagers too. Our teen program’s goals are:
  • To help pregnant teens get medical care so they can have a healthy baby
  • To educate teens about pregnancy and other health related issues
  • To get child care and other social services so teens can stay in school and graduate
  • To keep everything about teens in the program very private
For teen services, please contact May Dugan Multi-Services Center at (216) 631-5800.

MomsFirst also works with pregnant women in jail, rehabilitation centers, and shelters. You can get health care, parenting classes, health screenings, and social services to help you and your children live together.

For these services, please contact Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. at (216) 231-7700.

Health Insurance

Receiving prenatal care is an important part of pregnancy. To explore your options for health insurance so that your appointments are covered, Click Here!

Medical Home

Do you have a Doctor that you see regularly for check-ups? If not, consider finding one. Ask friends and families for a recommendation or think of clinics that are close to home. It is easier to access a Doctor that you know and have an established relationship than relying on urgent care or emergency room visits for care.

Fathers Matter

Dads to be are an important part of bringing a healthy baby into the world. There are many supportive services available to help fathers navigate their new role. Find one that is best for you, Click Here!

Perinatal Depression

We have all heard of the “baby blues”, but did you know that depression during pregnancy is very common also?

MomsFirst staff is trained to administer a perinatal depression screening to all program participants, called the Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale, which can determine whether or not a mom is at risk for experiencing depression.

If you or someone you know may be depressed, you should contact a mental health provider. Here is a list of some providers that offer services to pregnant and postpartum women:
  • Bellefaire, JCB – Healthy Moms, Happy Families
    Phone Intake: 1-800-879-2522 Behavioral health services for moms-to-be and new moms experiencing stress and/or depression. In-home or office-based services include assessment, counseling, medication management, case management, and care coordination.
  • Connections
    Phone Intake: 216-831-6466 extension 232 Mental health care and counseling to pregnant and postpartum women with depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
  • Far West Center, Help for Mom
    Phone Intake: 440-835-6212 extension 230 Counseling and other mental health services for pregnant women and new moms experiencing stress and depression. Client must be 18 years old or over.
  • OhioGuidestone
    Phone Intake: 440-260-8300 Maternal depression counseling and mental health services for pregnant and postpartum women and teens. Home based counseling available.
  • Hispanic Behavioral Health- Center for Families and Children
    Phone Intake Only: 216-651-1860 Spanish and English speaking psychiatric and counseling services.
  • Mobile Crisis Team, Mental Health Services, Inc. 24 hour hotline
    Phone 216-623-6888 Crisis intervention and suicide hotline. Information, assessment and referral.
Prenatal Care

It is important to get early and regular prenatal care even if you feel fine. Why? Because most problems, if caught early, can be corrected before they become serious. Going to your doctor or midwife regularly may prevent your baby being born too soon or too small or even dying. Even if this is not your first pregnancy, prenatal care is critical to make sure you and your baby stay healthy.

If you are pregnant and have not started prenatal care, please contact your medical provider as soon as possible to make an appointment.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Even though you are pregnant, it is still important to practice safe sex. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) can affect the health and development of your baby. If you think you have been exposed to an STD, it is important to get tested right away to decrease the impact it may have on your fetus.

Find out where you can get tested for STDs

Smoking and Pregnancy

If you smoke tobacco products or have a partner who smokes, it would be best to quit before getting pregnant. Smoking not only can cause cancer, emphysema, and other health problems for yourself, but it can cause many complications with your pregnancy such as preterm labor, having a low birth weight baby, and respiratory infections. If you smoke, you can quit!

If you would like help, here are some resources:
  • Ohio Tobacco Quit 1-800-Quit-Now or
  • Tobacco Quit Line 1-866-Quit-Yes
  • American Cancer Society Fresh Start Program (216) 241-1177
  • City of Cleveland Freedom from Smoking (employees only) (216) 664-4310
  • Cleveland Clinic Health System Smoking Cessation Program (216) 444-5812
  • Metro Health Medical Center Freedom from Smoking (216) 778-1221 or (216) 778-7503 (Spanish)
  • NEON Health Services Smoking Cessation Program (216) 231-7700 ext 11058
  • Recovery Resources Freedom from Smoking (216) 932-4021
  • Moms Quit for Two, Desiree Hill, 216-431-7656 (receive a year supply of $25 diaper vouchers for remaining tobacco free)
Baby Basics

  • In 2008, Baby Basics was introduced to MomsFirst via local foundation dollars through the Sisters of Charity Foundation. Pregnancy is often the first time that mom is entering the healthcare system. Helping pregnant women access and understand the need for early and consistent care and helping them make pregnancy lifestyle changes empowers them to engage and act upon health information while learning to care for themselves and their babies.
  • The materials consist of culturally sensitive curriculum which include a book, a planner, and a series of MomsClubs that support:
    • Patient-doctor communication
    • Adherence to medical appointments
    • Health-care system utilization
    • Medical record keeping
    • Healthy choices
    • Health Literacy
  • All participants receive a copy of both the book and planner upon their enrollment in the MomsFirst program and 99% report that the books and planners were helpful during pregnancy.
Elective Deliveries Before 39 Weeks

Assuming there are no health issues, allow your baby to develop as much as possible inside the womb. Hospitals are beginning to discourage moms from choosing to have their babies before 39 weeks of pregnancy have been completed. Read more here.

Dental Hygiene

It is important to see a dentist at least once during your pregnancy.

Your teeth and gums are affected by pregnancy. Many pregnant women notice that their gums bleed when they brush or floss their teeth. Food particles that get caught between the tooth and gum attract bacteria, which can lead to inflammation. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. This can happen to anyone, but the hormones of pregnancy often aggravate it by causing tissues to swell. If this condition worsens, a more advanced condition called periodontal disease may affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and pre-term, low birthweight babies.

These conditions can be prevented by brushing and flossing at least twice a day and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups. If you need help locating a dentist please call 1-800-336-8478 or visit

Dental OPTIONS is a program to help people with low income and no dental insurance get discounted dental care.
  • Children 19 years and younger should apply for Healthy Start & Healthy Families first
  • Dental OPTIONS does not help with dental emergencies
  • There is a wait list to begin treatment
  • Dental OPTIONS is a state-wide program
Services provided in the following counties: Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne.

For more information on the Dental Options program visit:

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead poisoning is a serious problem in the City of Cleveland. Lead poisoning prevention applies to all family members, not just children. Exposure to lead during your pregnancy can affect your baby-to-be. Lead enters the body through ingestion or inhalation. It is important to know that lead can be passed from mother to fetus. The lead levels of mother and fetus are almost the same.

Ways to be exposed to lead include:
  • Unsafe home renovations such as sanding or burning paint pre-1970; demolishing ceilings or wall cavities
  • Cleaning or entering areas containing lead
  • Work clothes or shoes covered in lead dust
  • Dry sweeping and dusting
Ways to minimize lead risk include:
  • Move out during home renovation
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing hands before eating or preparing food
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Wash hands after playing outside or touching animals
  • Wet wipe surfaces before preparing food or drinks
  • Wet mop rather than sweep
  • Wet wipe windowsills, ledges, and flat surfaces at least weekly after vacuuming
  • Use a door mat to trap lead dust
  • Leave shoes outside of door
  • Maintain a healthy diet