Veteran Connection: VA offers maternity care options for women veterans

Did you know that women are among the fastest growing veteran demographic? Accounting for more than 30% of the increase in veterans who served between 2014 and 2018, the number of women using VA health services has tripled since 2000.

At the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System, we serve around 3,000 women veterans, and that population continues to grow.

To ensure the health care needs of all our veterans are met, we strive to provide a wide range of programs, including a full range of services to support reproductive goals.

Maternity care options available focus on the needs of those ready to start, expand or even delay pregnancy.

VA covers full maternity care from the time of the first positive pregnancy test through delivery and follow-up appointments with your OB provider. Benefits include:

• Full physical exams and lab tests

• Prenatal education and screenings

• Obstetrical ultrasounds

• Genetic tests and specialty consultations

• Prescription drugs

• First seven days of newborn’s care

• Support for breast feeding

• Support and services in case of miscarriage or stillbirth

• Social work and mental health services

To further support pregnant veterans, every VA offers maternity care coordination. VA Maternity Care coordinators understand your needs and can support you through every stage of your pregnancy. They can help you:

• Navigate health care services both inside and outside of VA

• Access care for your other physical and mental health conditions

• Connect to community resources

• Cope with pregnancy loss

• Connect to needed care after delivery

• Answer questions about billing

Makyla Clark is the maternity care coordinator for EOVAHCS and is looking forward to being involved in future events for women veterans.

“I am excited to be a part of a program that is growing and could eventually change VA,” Clark said. “We follow these women from pregnancy to the birth of their child and then postpartum. In May, we hosted a drive-thru baby shower to show our ladies that we support them and want to make them feel comfortable and important.”

All honorably discharged women veterans are eligible to apply for health care services. You can find out more about the Women’s Health Program by calling (918) 577-4277. For questions specifically related to Maternity Care, call (918) 577-4242.

The Women Veterans Call Center also is available Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. by calling 1-855-829-6636 or chat online at www.womenshealth.va.gov

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