Prenatal Nutrition Program

What is the Prenatal Nutrition Program?

The goal of the Prenatal Nutrition Program is to improve the health of mothers and infants by supporting community members to:

• Eat well, so babies have the best chance to be healthy at birth and throughout their lives
• Breastfeed babies for up to two years and beyond
• Introduce healthy solid foods at 6 months of age, while continuing breastfeeding

The Prenatal Nutrition Program was formerly known as the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP). It was administered through Health Canada as a First Nations and Inuit on-reserve program. The Prenatal Nutrition Program for BC First Nations is now administered through the First Nations Health Authority.

There are also CPNP programs administered through the Public Health Agency of Canada that are offered to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. These programs are often accessed through BC Aboriginal Friendship Centres and BC Pregnancy Outreach Programs.

Why is this important?

Traditionally, we know that everything a pregnant mother surrounds herself with will have an impact on the baby. Healthy food is one important way that a new life can be nurtured to its fullest potential. Extensive research tells us that healthy, nutritious eating supports the long-term health of both mother and baby - and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. 

Prenatal Nutrition Program clients include:

• Pregnant First Nations
• Mothers of infants
• Infants up to 12 months of age who live on reserve 
• First Nations women of childbearing age on reserve (note: some communities choose to extend this program to infants up to 24 months old)

Making Prenatal Nutrition Yours

Most BC First Nations receive funds to offer the Prenatal Nutrition Program – and communities are encouraged to use these funds to meet their community goals. Depending on total health funding and community needs, this could mean many things - a youth cooking program, a traditional foods harvest program, a community garden or a range of services that promote maternal and child health.

Most often services are offered for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Depending on community resources, this can include support for women who are breastfeeding a child up to two years of age, which is recommended by leading health organizations. If your community does not have any pregnant women or nursing mothers, then programs that support pregnancy planning, sexual health for youth, or cooking and health eating skills for women who could become pregnant are great ways to promote the health of our future generations.

What to Expect in the Future

The FNHA Healthy Eating Team is working to provide links and develop more resources to support the promotion of healthy eating in all community health programs.

Resources

http://cpnp-pcnp.phac-aspc.gc.ca/provincial-provinciale-eng.php?province=3

Childhood Health and Wellness Resource Booklets

Family Connections

Growing Up

Parents as First Teachers

Fatherhood is Forever

For more information or to find out more about the Prenatal Nutrition Program contact:

The FNHA Healthy Eating Team at nutrition@fnha.ca