Health Plus: Iowa Child Care - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Iowa Child Care

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

In a national survey measuring the trends among children's well-being, the state of Iowa rank's as number one for health.

The 2014 Kids Count Data Book released earlier this month lists Iowa as the top state, and also reflects Iowa's move to third place in the nation for overall children's well-being.

Angie Weidemann of Hawkeye is mom to newborn Nathan, who was born July 27 at a little more than seven pounds. Nathan is Angie's third child, and she's chosen natural child birth each time.

"I was able to just get up and walk great after the birth, after I had some orange juice I was ready to go!" Weidemann said.

Doctors at Covenant Medical Center hope to make all new moms just as confident as Angie. Neonatologist Andrew Barden said the first step in that process is prenatal care.

"One of the highest risk factors for having problems long term, medical or developmental, is to be born prematurely. So, anything we can do to prevent prematurity is a critical issue," Dr. Barden said.

Doctors perform routine newborn screenings once babies are born, checking the functioning of processes such as the cardiovascular system, hearing and also a baby's metabolism.

During postnatal care, doctors say breastfeeding plays a significant role in the health of a child.

"Breast milk is a tissue, it's not a fluid; and there's things in it that can't be replaced," Dr. Barden said.

Weidemann chose to breastfeed Nathan; she said it was part of her and her husband's natural plan."

"It's free food for the baby, and us! I also know the skin-to-skin contact with mommy and baby is very beneficial."

Covenant Medical Center is expanding its prenatal care to Oelwein, beginning at the end of August. Covenant health specialists hope the extension creates more access to healthcare for Iowa mothers.

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