Four health tips to help make the most of Mother’s Day

Posted 5/8/24

As we celebrate the women in our lives and the important role they play in our families...

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Four health tips to help make the most of Mother’s Day


It’s fitting Mother’s Day occurs each spring, a time often associated with renewal and rebirth.

As we celebrate the women in our lives and the important role they play in our families and our communities, Mother’s Day also provides an opportunity to think about ways to help encourage women of all ages to prioritize their health. Women may face unique and varied health care needs based on age, race, culture and other factors, so a holistic approach to well-being is important.

Often the caretakers and CEOs of their families’ health care needs, some women prioritize the well-being of their partners, parents and children while neglecting their own. In fact, a survey of American women found that nearly half of respondents had in the previous year skipped a preventive health care visit, such as an annual checkup, vaccine or recommended screening.

At the state level, Florida ranks No. 27 for the overall health of women (ages 18 to 44) based on more than 40 measures of health and well-being, according to the United Health Foundation America’s Health Rankings® 2023 Health of Women and Children Report.

To recognize Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), consider these four tips to help support the health of women:

Work in a Well-Woman Visit: Nationally, more than two-thirds (70.5%) of women (ages 18 to 44) receive an annual well-visit, slightly below the 72.6% in Florida. These annual visits can include important screenings, guidance and immunizations based on age and risk factors. They can also provide an opportunity to discuss with your health professional how to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Mammograms Matter: One in eight American women will get a breast cancer diagnosis at some point in her lifetime, and most cases are detected by a mammogram before symptoms appear. Given rising cancer rates for younger women and data showing screenings can save lives, new federal guidance recommends women get a mammogram every other year starting at age 40, compared to prior recommendations that these tests start no later than age 50.

Take Charge of Your Health: This can mean eating well, staying active, getting sufficient sleep, and limiting stress as much as possible. For support, your health plan may offer programs and online resources at no additional cost that can help you adopt a healthier lifestyle or improve the management of chronic conditions (if needed), which is important for expectant women.

Encourage Healthy, Full-Term Deliveries: For women thinking about starting or expanding their families, it’s important to access quality pre-conception, prenatal and postnatal care. It may also be helpful to identify people who can provide support before, during and after delivery. One option is a doula. These non-clinical professionals can provide emotional, informational, and physical support for women and families. Doulas have been found to improve clinical outcomes, especially for people of color.

Our nation has celebrated Mother’s Day for more than 100 years. By considering this information, we can continue supporting the health of women and honor them for their important contributions to our communities.

Dr. Donna O’Shea is the OB/GYN and Chief Medical Officer of Population Health, UnitedHealthcare.

mother's day, health care