BILL NO. 16
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Health Care for New and Expectant Mothers Act
First Reading: October 14, 2021
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Health Care for New and Expectant Mothers Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is to support the health of new and expectant mothers by
(a) lowering the rates new and expectant mothers experience
(i) postpartum depression,
(ii) urinary incontinence,
(iii) pelvic organ prolapse,
(iv) painful intercourse, and
(v) generalized pelvic, hip and back pain;
(b) increasing the breastfeeding rates for women who choose to breastfeed; and
(c) enhancing healthy infant care and outcomes.
3 In this Act,
(a) "health authority" has the same meaning as in the Health Authorities Act;
(b) "licensed practical nurse" has the same meaning as in the Nursing Act;
(c) "registered nurse" has the same meaning as in the Nursing Act.
4 Subject to Section 7, a health authority shall ensure the following are available to all new and expectant mothers:
(a) a minimum of six prenatal classes provided by a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse;
(b) a minimum of two breastfeeding classes provided by a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse who is certified as a lactation consultant; and
(c) an in-home visit provided by a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse within 48 hours of the mother being discharged from the hospital.
5 Every hospital that provides obstetrics shall set a goal to meet the World Health Organization's Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative by 2025, including
(a) ensuring a minimum of 50% of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who work in an obstetrics unit are certified as lactation consultants;
(b) ensuring all registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who work in an obstetrics unit are certified to provide pelvic floor physiotherapy; and
(c) offering a minimum of 10 sessions of pelvic-floor physiotherapy to each new mother before she is discharged.
6 Subject to Section 7, the Government shall
(a) initiate a public education program for new and expectant mothers on
(i) the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome,
(ii) the prevention of postpartum depression,
(iii) breastfeeding, and
(iv) pelvic floor therapy;
(b) create a support line to help new mothers with postpartum depression; and
(c) develop breast milk banks across the Province to assist new mothers with breastfeeding.
7 The money required for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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