Maternal Care Center

If you are pregnant and an AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia Enrollee, sign up for Bright Start® by calling 1-877-759-6883. Watch this video to learn about the Bright Start program or visit our health programs page.

Before Pregnancy

Tasha and her partner are ready to have a baby. Tasha tells her provider that she is going to try to become pregnant soon, so her doctor provides some recommendations for maintaining her health before pregnancy.

Talk to your primary care provider (PCP)

It’s a good idea to tell your PCP when you are planning to become pregnant. That way, you can discuss health conditions that may affect your pregnancy, whether your medications are safe to take while pregnant, and any necessary vaccines or screenings. Your PCP may also recommend that you begin taking a prenatal vitamin; prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than standard multivitamins, which support babies’ growth and development.

Drugs and alcohol

It’s important to stop smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs before becoming pregnant, as they can cause serious harm to your baby. Ask your PCP about programs and providers that can help you quit, or contact Bright Start.

During Pregnancy                   

Tasha finds out she is pregnant! She is very excited, and also overwhelmed with everything she needs to do to prepare for the baby and take care of her health. Tasha signs up for Bright Start right away.

Sign up for Bright Start

If you are an AmeriHealth Caritas DC enrollee and are pregnant, sign up for our Bright Start program by calling 1-877-759-6883. Bright Start can help you access support and resources you need throughout your pregnancy, such as finding a doctor or midwife, making appointments, and getting supplies you need to prepare for your baby. Don’t forget that as an AmeriHealth Caritas DC enrollee, you can receive transportation to and from your medical appointments at no cost.

Prenatal visits

Schedule your first prenatal care visit as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Bright Start can help you find a prenatal care provider if you don’t have one. After your first appointment, the schedule below is generally recommended for prenatal visits.

Recommended prenatal visit schedule
0 to 28 weeks One visit every month
28 to 36 weeks One visit every two weeks
36 weeks to birth One visit every week

Diet and exercise

A healthy diet can help you have a healthy pregnancy, so AmeriHealth Caritas DC offers home-delivered meals at no cost to enrollees who are pregnant and up until eight weeks after giving birth. Call Bright Start to sign up for this program. 

Note: Benefits and services may be subject to change, coverage limitations, enrollee eligibility, and/or a determination of medical necessity.

In addition, exercise is important during pregnancy, so try to stay active. Before engaging in physical activity, however, talk to your provider about what types of exercise are safe while you are pregnant. Some options may include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and prenatal yoga.

After Pregnancy

Tasha is doing well at home with her new baby and adjusting to life as a new mom. She realizes she could use some help getting additional baby supplies and establishing a breastfeeding routine, so she calls Bright Start.


If you plan to breastfeed your baby, find out if your provider’s office has a breastfeeding coach (also known as a lactation consultant) you can meet with. In addition, you can always call Bright Start to get connected with breastfeeding and other postpartum resources, such as breast pumps, car seats, and diapers.

Postpartum visits

Your prenatal care provider will want to have an appointment with you about four to six weeks after you give birth. This appointment is important to help make sure you have a healthy recovery.

Keys to Your Care® 

You can participate in the Keys to Your Care program during pregnancy, after you give birth, or both! You will receive appointment reminders, a gift card for going to a prenatal appointment during your first trimester, and a small gift for taking your baby to each of their recommended well-child visits. You will also have access to a text program with important growth and development information, and you get support until your baby is 15 months old.

Note: Certain limitations and restrictions may apply. Standard messaging and data fees may apply.

Postpartum depression is a common condition that affects about one in nine women after giving birth, according to the Office on Women’s Health. Symptoms of postpartum depression can include feeling sad or angry, crying more often than usual, feeling distant from your loved ones, and feeling disconnected from your baby. Tell your provider if you are experiencing symptoms so they can offer a treatment plan.

Family planning

Family planning services help you plan how many pregnancies you have and when those pregnancies occur. In addition, family planning services help you stay healthy between pregnancies. For more information about family planning (PDF), refer to the Bright Start welcome booklet (PDF).

Watch this video to learn about the Bright Start program or visit our health programs page.

Other resources