Press Releases

Monday, February 11, 2013

Leading the way to healthier babies in Winnipeg's inner-city

The Winnipeg Health Region and the University of Manitoba have teamed up with Healthy Child Manitoba and Maternal Child Health of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to develop the This Way to a Healthy Baby campaign which guides families in the Downtown, Point Douglas and Inkster communities to services that support healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

The campaign focuses on making sure that women in the inner-city 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. We want every pregnant woman in the area to be aware of these services and know that they would be welcome to attend," said Lynda Tjaden, Director of Population and Public Health for the WRHA and lead community partner for the Partners in Inner-City Integrated Prenatal Care (PIIPC) project.

"Early and regular prenatal care during a woman's pregnancy can have real benefits to the new baby's long term health," said Dr. Maureen Heaman, University of Manitoba professor with the Faculty of Nursing and lead researcher for the PIIPC project. The University of Manitoba will be performing an evaluation of the campaign's effectiveness.

This Way to a Healthy Baby provides Winnipeg women and families in these communities 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," said 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 these communities, visit or phone 204-942-BABY (2229) to find out where you can access care in your community.

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