The motherhood issue

Harper lectures the G8, but what about northern Manitoba?


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Having a baby is hard enough.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/02/2010 (4853 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Having a baby is hard enough.

Having a baby when you’re from a remote reserve in Northern Manitoba borders on cruel.

Prenatal classes are rare and check-ups sporadic, meaning women often go into labour almost totally unprepared.

Winnipeg Free Press photo illustration

Most mothers-to-be must fly hundreds of miles into Winnipeg to deliver, leaving behind their husbands and kids for weeks on end. They stay in boarding homes waiting to go into labour, often with no immediate family by their side.

Getting home can mean an eight-hour bus ride with a newborn, making breastfeeding tricky and embarrassing.

Back home, new mothers might get one visit by an overworked nurse or social worker; often it’s just a phone call.

If Winnipeg had Northern Manitoba’s remarkably high rates of infant mortality, premature births and teen pregnancies, there would be a riot at the Legislature.

For the full story, see today’s newspaper or our fpNews electronic edition.

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