Merck for Mothers in Alberta has
provided funding for one more year. The
team is now evaluating the program’s
“Pregnancy Pathways has been a true
collaboration between AHS, Merck for
Mothers in Alberta, researchers and the
community,” Oster says.
The long-term plan is to continue
the work and expand the project in
Edmonton, where up to 100 pregnant
women are homeless each year.
FIND OUT MORE
If you want to know more about
Pregnancy Pathways, go to bmhc.
Helping women to make healthy choices
for themselves and their children, and
giving hope. These are what Pregnancy
Pathways 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 supporting
moms in the ways they need to be
supported,” says Oster, who holds a PhD
in experimental medicine and is also a
University of Alberta research associate.
Pregnancy Pathways helps
participants develop parenting skills and
navigate the child welfare system. It also
helps them access strategies to reduce the
harm 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, Pregnancy
Pathways has welcomed 10 women
through its doors and the birth of eight
healthy babies. (Two more are on the
Providing hope during pregnancy
WRITTEN BY JACQUELINE LOUIE