NEWS

Leading the way to healthier babies

Campaign helps inner-city women access services that support healthy pregnancies

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This Way to a Healthy Baby website

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Monday, February 11, 2013

Inner-city women will be able to better access services that support healthy pregnancies and healthier babies as part of a new campaign being launched today.

This Way to a Healthy Baby was created by the Winnipeg Health Region, the University of Manitoba, Healthy Child Manitoba and Maternal Child Health of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. 

It is designed to help ensure women in the Downtown, Point Douglas and Inkster communities are aware of the wide range of services and supports available to them right from the start of their pregnancy through to baby's arrival and beyond.

"There are many sites offering free and welcoming health care for pregnant women in Winnipeg," said Lynda Tjaden, Director of Population and Public Health for the Winnipeg Health Region and lead community partner for the Partners in Inner-City Integrated Prenatal Care (PIIPC) project.

"We want every pregnant woman in the area to be aware of these services and know that they would be welcome to attend," she says.

Access to services is important for women, says Dr. Maureen Heaman, University of Manitoba professor with the Faculty of Nursing and lead researcher for the PIIPC project.

"Early and regular prenatal care during a woman's pregnancy can have real benefits to the new baby's long-term health," says Heaman. The University of Manitoba will be performing an evaluation of the campaign's effectiveness.

This Way to a Healthy Babyprovides Winnipeg women and families with information about their options for prenatal care - and shows them just how accessible and important this care is.

"Families have more options for care during their pregnancies now than they have had in the past," says Tjaden. "Care can be provided by a doctor, nurse, midwife or nurse practitioner and can be at a clinic, hospital or in one of the community organizations that host Healthy Baby and Healthy Start programs." 

The campaign also raises awareness of other supports that are in place to help families, especially expectant mothers, during pregnancy.

For example, many pregnant women aren't aware that they may be eligible for some financial assistance through the Healthy Baby Prenatal Benefit to help provide healthy food and supplies through their pregnancy. Some women may also be eligible for support to get them to and from their appointments if transportation is a challenge and some sites also provide child-minding services for expectant mothers who already have children.

For more information on This Way to a Healthy Baby or prenatal care available in your community, visit thiswaytoahealthybaby.com or phone 204-942-BABY (2229) to find out where you can access care in your community.

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