Ontario nurses aren't happy about proposed cuts to the Ontario postnatal program, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, and neither should you be.
The program, launched in 1998, offered new moms a phone call and home visit in the week following birth. As of next January, that program will face the axe, leaving many mothers high and dry at a time when they are most vulnerable and in need of support. Many will give up breastfeeding prematurely, while others suffering from postpartum depression will go untreated.
"It is very contradictory that the province states it supports breastfeeding... but the government plans to eliminate the most comprehensive source of support for mothers in those first days who are attempting to breastfeed," said Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of the Ontario Nurses' Association.
Another public health nurse in the GTA claimed mothers normally considered low risk would go on, in the absence of such post-birth screening, to become high risk. Public health nurses provide an invaluable service to new moms, from providing education and referrals to community services to picking up on issues like domestic violence and postpartum depression that would otherwise go undetected.
Was this postnatal service helpful to you? If so, please voice your concerns to Premier Dalton McGuinty. It's the only way to guarantee all new moms get the same level of support.
Image Credit: Healthy Ottawa Public Health