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Press release

DATE: August 2, 2007
Vivian Muzyk
(919) 828-1819

New Magazines Promote Women's Health Before Pregnancy

Effort to improve birth outcomes and reduce NC's high infant death rate

(Raleigh, NC) – The North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation announces the launch of Choices and Mujer Total (Total Woman), two publications that encourage women to live a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their babies should they become pregnant. The Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to reducing infant mortality and morbidity across the state, created these easy-to-read educational magazines as a way to reduce the state's high infant mortality rate of 8.8 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. The publications are available for free in bulk to agencies and other groups in North Carolina that serve women and families.

The launch comes on the heels of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's new KIDS COUNT Data Book, ranking North Carolina 46th in the country for infant mortality based on 2004 data. In 2005, 1,077 infants died before reaching their first birthday. Thousands more are born each year with health problems stemming from prematurity and low birthweight.

"A woman’s health and lifestyle before she becomes pregnant can greatly affects the health of her baby," says Janice Freedman, Executive Director of the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation. "By promoting positive health behaviors such as avoiding tobacco and secondhand smoke, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking folic acid, we can help improve the health of women across the state as well as their babies should they become pregnant."

Choices is a 16-page magazine that addresses some of the tough choices women make that affect their health. This "self-help" publication motivates women through supportive messages and tips for making positive decisions. Topics include how to quit smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, relationships, dealing with stress and more.

Mujer Total (Total Women), a 20-page Spanish-language magazine, provides practical tips and helpful information on topics ranging from mental health, nutrition and exercise to family planning, reproductive health, and breastfeeding. Created by Latinas for Latinas, Mujer Total also links readers to North Carolina resources such as Spanish-language telephone numbers and websites.

The Foundation also continues to distribute Taking Care of Me, a nationally recognized self-help guide that gives postpartum women practical information and tips on emotional health, stress, nutrition, family planning and physical activity.

All three magazines can be ordered for free in bulk on the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation’s website at (Note: Choices will be available beginning September 1, 2007). Individuals can request free magazines and other publications from the NC Family Health Resource Line at 1-800-FOR-BABY/1-800-367-2229.


The N.C. Healthy Start Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1990, conducts ongoing public education campaigns, advises state and local policy makers, and provides technical assistance and professional training focused on reducing infant death and illness and improving the health of women and young children in N.C.

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Last updated: August 2007




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