Health tips for expectant and new moms

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There are many services available to you during your pregnancy and after giving birth. Newcomer programs think of your needs like language translation and cultural or religious concerns.

For example, the Manitoba Prenatal Benefit offers help for families earning less than $32,000 a year. It provides money to spend on healthy food during pregnancy.

Having a baby in Manitoba

This video from Entry Program will show you the steps from confirming your pregnancy to delivery. It will give you a good idea of how doctor’s appointments are done, where you can give birth, what public programs you should avail, how to make the most of doctor’s or nurse’s visits, and other tips:

While pregnant, make sure that you:

  1. have regular check-ups with your doctor (or midwife). They can also give advice on healthy eating and taking vitamins or supplements.
  2. stay away from caffeine, alcohol, smoking (and second-hand smoke). Do not take any medicine without asking your doctor or midwife.
  3. get enough exercise and reduce stress.
  4. get enough sleep.
  5. wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

You can attend classes and seminars to learn about nutrition, parenting and other topics.

Do you need a midwife or a doula?

You can choose to have a doctor or a midwife during your pregnancy. You can also hire a doula. A doula is a trained person who will support you during pregnancy and childbirth. Go to Manitoba Association for Childbirth and Family Education to get one.

If you prefer a midwife, ask your health care provider (Public Health Nurse or your doctor) to refer you. You can also use this online service from The College of Midwives of Manitoba. There are midwifery services at Access Centres, Women’s Health Clinic and Mt. Carmel. Having a midwife is free for eligible families. You can give birth at home or at the Birth Centre if you have a midwife. Midwives also support you during pregnancy and up to six weeks after the baby is born.

What is postpartum depression?

It is normal for new mothers to worry or have mood swings after giving birth. But women with postpartum depression have stronger feelings of sadness or emptiness. This lasts for more than several weeks. Signs include feeling sad, useless or anxious a lot of the time (Canadian Mental Health Association).

A Canadian study showed that immigrants, refugees and women seeking asylum in Canada are four to five times more likely to suffer from this than women born in Canada (Stewart, 2008, as cited from Giving birth in a new land, Best Start, Ontario). If you need help, go to Winnipeg Health Region.ca to read about symptoms and find out where to get help. You can also read information at the Postpartum Depression Association of Manitoba site.

Article updated February 14, 2019.

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Community Resources

To know more about program supports and services for newcomer moms and expectant moms in Manitoba, read the article Supports for newcomer moms (or expectant moms).

Pregnancy Winnipeg has information on where to get maternity and baby supplies and on services such as prenatal classes and maternity photographers.

The Aurora Family Therapy Centre provides services for family, relationship and individual therapy.

The Adolescent Parent Interagency Network connects pregnant or parenting teens to high quality services.

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Health tips for expectant and new moms

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