I am new to Canada – what do I need to know about having a baby here?

couple holding paper chain of a family.

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and stressful. Prenatal care, birth practices and laws around the birth of a baby differ from country to country. Health care in Canada may be different compared to the country you are from.

What do I need to know about having a baby in Canada?

  1. Choose a health care provider. A health care provider (HCP) can be an obstetrician, family doctor, nurse practitioner or midwife. Choose a health care provider that best suits your needs and someone who you feel comfortable asking questions relating to your health. Canada has many health care providers who speak different languages and it may help to choose a professional who speaks the same language as you.
  1. To assist with planning for pregnancy, speak with your HCP about vaccines, use of folic acid, regular exercise, nutrition and mental health.

Asking questions and talking with your health care provider before your pregnancy can help you have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

  1. Depending on how long you have been in Canada and what health care services you need, you might need to pay fees. Each province has its own health insurance In addition, connect with your local public health unit, settlement services and community health centre for services to support you.
  1. It is also helpful to speak to people who have lived in Canada for a long time and who may be aware about local resources and practices. Participating in your community can help you meet new people and adjust to your new environment. If you need an interpreter, many health services can arrange for interpretation services or you may bring a trusted family member or friend to help you communicate with your HCP.

It is important to speak with your health care provider about your health and to take actions to support healthy lifestyle before planning for a pregnancy.

If you have any questions, speak with a Public Health Nurse via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

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