Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health

MCAH provides women in Sierra County with assistance in accessing prenatal care, education to assure healthy pregnancies and babies, and referrals to county resources. Also provides referrals to a variety of services that protect and improve the health of pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents.


California Department of Public Health
SIDS Information for Parents & Caregivers
Every Woman California
Healthy Mom, healthy Baby Video
Marijuana Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

What is preconception health?

Preconception health refers to a woman's health before pregnancy. The goal of preconception health is to prevent or treat conditions and behaviors that could pose a risk to a woman or her baby.

Why is the time BEFORE pregnancy important?

In the United States, 85% of all women will have a baby at some point in their lives. The most important time in a baby's growth occurs before many women know they are pregnant. Making sure that women of reproductive age are healthy before and between pregnancies increases their chances of having healthy pregnancies and remaining healthy throughout their lives.

What about MEN?

While a baby's health is most strongly linked to the mother's health before pregnancy, preconception health is not only important for women. The health of a man also affects his ability to have healthy children.

Reducing the SIDS Risk

In the United States, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the major cause of death in infants from one month to one year of age. SIDS happens to families of all social, ethnic and economic groups. Most SIDS deaths occur when babies are between two and four months of age. Although a great deal of research is underway, the cause(s) of SIDS remains unknown. We know that SIDS is not suffocation, contagious or hereditary; it is not caused by cribs, immunizations, vomiting or choking.

Currently there is no known way to prevent SIDS. But after many years of research, we do know that babies sleep safer when placed on their back on a firm surface. Since the early 1990's when the United States initiated the Back to Sleep Campaign the number of SIDS deaths has dropped by over 50 percent. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is a term used to describe any sudden and unexpected death, whether explained or unexplained that happens during the first twelve months of life. Based on recent research studies, we know that many of the risk factors for SIDS are similar to those for other sudden unexpected infant deaths. The 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations have been expanded to focus on safe sleep environments that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths, including SIDS. Infant care practices outlined in the expanded recommendations include placing infants to sleep on their back on a firm sleep surface, breastfeeding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, routinely immunizing infants, using a pacifier and avoiding tobacco smoke and overheating.