Merck for Mothers in Alberta hasprovided funding for one more year. Theteam is now evaluating the program’sbenefits.
“Pregnancy Pathways has been a truecollaboration between AHS, Merck forMothers in Alberta, researchers and thecommunity,” Oster says.
The long-term plan is to continuethe work and expand the project inEdmonton, where up to 100 pregnantwomen are homeless each year.
FIND OUT MORE
If you want to know more aboutPregnancy Pathways, go to bmhc.net/ pregnancy-pathways.html.
Helping women to make healthy choicesfor themselves and their children, andgiving hope. These are what PregnancyPathways is all about.
“Pregnancy is such a hugely important
time,” Richard Oster says. He is a senior
project manager with Alberta Health
Services’ Maternal Newborn Child and
Youth Strategic Clinical Network. “Our
health trajectories begin in the womb.
Safe and healthy pregnancies can lower
the risk of chronic diseases later in life.”
With that in mind, Pregnancy
Pathways provides safe housing for
pregnant women living on the street
during and after their pregnancy. The
first program of its kind in Edmonton,
it operates through the city’s Boyle
McCauley Health Centre. Women in the
program live in an apartment building
donated by Edmonton architect Gene
“Pregnancy Pathways is supportingmoms in the ways they need to besupported,” says Oster, who holds a PhDin experimental medicine and is also aUniversity of Alberta research associate.
Pregnancy Pathways helpsparticipants develop parenting skills andnavigate the child welfare system. It alsohelps them access strategies to reduce theharm of substance abuse and addiction.
The program also connects women
to other services, so that when they
move out on their own, they are well
supported. And it includes Indigenous
cultural and healing practices.
Pregnancy Pathways received funding
from Merck for Mothers, a program
focused on healthy pregnancy and
childbirth outcomes. The goal is to
improve infant and maternal health
among Indigenous people in Maskwacis,
Little Red River and downtown
Since December 2017, PregnancyPathways has welcomed 10 womenthrough its doors and the birth of eighthealthy babies. (Two more are on theway.)
Providing hope during pregnancy
WRITTEN BY JACQUELINE LOUIE