Ontario Public Health Standards

Reproductive Health

Goal

  • To enable individuals and families to achieve optimal preconception health, experience a healthy pregnancy, have the healthiest newborn(s) possible, and be prepared for parenthood.

Societal Outcomes

  • An increased proportion of community partners provide safe and supportive environments to promote healthy pregnancies, healthy birth outcomes, and preparation for parenthood.
  • An increased proportion of individuals in their reproductive years are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared for conception.
  • An increased proportion of pregnant women and their families adopt practices to support a healthy pregnancy.
  • An increased proportion of expectant parents are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to become parents.
  • An increased proportion of full-term newborns are born within a healthy birth weight range.
  • Individuals in their reproductive years, including pregnant women and their families, live, work, play, and learn in safe and supportive environments.

Board of Health Outcomes

  • The board of health is aware of and uses epidemiology to influence the development of healthy public policy and its programs and services for the promotion of reproductive health.
  • The public is aware of the importance of creating safe and supportive environments that promote healthy pregnancies, healthy birth outcomes, and preparation for parenthood.
  • Community partners are aware of the importance of creating safe and supportive environments that promote healthy pregnancies, healthy birth outcomes, and preparation for parenthood.
  • Policy-makers have the information required to enable them to amend current policies or develop new policies that would have an impact on the promotion of reproductive health.
  • Individuals in their reproductive years, including pregnant women and their families, have the information, skills, and supports necessary to adopt health-promoting practices.
  • Expectant parents are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, the mechanics of breastfeeding, and where to obtain assistance with breastfeeding.
  • Priority populations are linked to reproductive health information, programs, and services.
  • Pregnant women and their families at risk of poor birth outcomes are supported and referred to services in the prenatal period.

Assessment and Surveillance

Requirement

  1. The board of health shall conduct epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring of trends over time, emerging trends, and priority populations, in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current) [PDF] in the areas of:
    • Preconception health;
    • Healthy pregnancies;
    • Reproductive health outcomes; and
    • Preparation for parenting.

Health Promotion and Policy Development

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall work with community partners, using a comprehensive health promotion approach, to influence the development and implementation of healthy policies and the creation or enhancement of supportive environments to address:
    • Preconception health;
    • Healthy pregnancies; and
    • Preparation for parenting.
    These efforts shall include :
    1. Conducting a situational assessment in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current); [PDF] and
    2. Reviewing, adapting, and/or providing behaviour change support resources and programs.18
  2. The board of health shall increase public awareness of preconception health, healthy pregnancies, and preparation for parenting by:
    1. Adapting and/or supplementing national and provincial health communications strategies; and/or
    2. Developing and implementing regional/local communications strategies.
  3. The board of health shall provide, in collaboration with community partners, prenatal programs, services, and supports, which include:
    1. Consultation, assessment, and referral; and
    2. Group sessions.
  4. The board of health shall provide advice and information to link people to community programs and services on the following topics:
    • Preconception health;
    • Healthy pregnancies; and
    • Preparation for parenting.
  5. The board of health shall provide, in collaboration with community partners, outreach to priority populations to link them to information, programs, and services.

Disease Prevention

Requirement

  1. The board of health shall provide all the components of the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program in accordance with the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Protocol, 2008 (or as current) [PDF] (Ministry of Children and Youth Services).19

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18 This could include, but is not limited to, curriculum support resources (in preschools, schools, etc.), workplace support resources, and education and skill-building opportunities, etc.
19 While the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program does contain Health Promotion and Policy Development components, it has been included in the Disease Prevention section due to its focus on screening, assessment, referrals, and support services.

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