Family Planning

1. What health care can women receive during pregnancy and childbirth?
There are many Prenatal Education Programs in Canada that can be used by woman during pregnancy. Visit your nearest Community Health Centre and ask about such programs. Most of them are free. For example, Toronto Mount Sinai Hospital offers the following prenatal classes, which are taught by experienced health-care professionals:
•Preparing for Childbirth Series
•Preparing for Childbirth and Parenting Series
•Preparing for Multiples Class Series
•Labour and Birth Refresher Course
•Comfort Measures Class
•Infant/Child CPR
•Meet the Anaesthesiologist
•Prenatal Hospital Tour
•Feeding Your Baby - 6 Months and Beyond
•Infant Massage

2. How can I care for a newborn?
A good guide to newborn care is provided on the website ”You and Your Baby” The following subsystems are described there
•While you are in the hospital.
•Care of yourself.
•Care for the newborn.
•Ensuring your child's safety.
•First feeding.
•How do I know if my baby is hungry?
•Do I need to use a pacifier?
•Signs that breastfeeding is going well.
•When and where can I get help?
And much more.

3. May I return to my job after childbirth?
According to the Employment Standards Act, an organization in which you work full or part-time must provide you with unpaid maternity leave for up to 17 weeks before child birth and up to 35 weeks after giving birth with the right to return to your job. However, to obtain such a leave, you have to have worked in this organization for at least 13 weeks. You may decide to take a shorter leave if you wish. However, once you have started pregnancy leave, you must take it all at once. Inform your employer that you intend to go on maternity leave two weeks prior to departure, so that he can find another employee to perform your duties. If you decide to return to work sooner, notify the employer four weeks in advance, so that preparations can be made for your return to the workplace. In most cases, you are entitled to the same job you had before the leave began or a comparable job, if your old job no longer exists. If you are offered a comparable job you must be paid at least as much as you were earning before the leave.

4. How does the government pay maternity leave?
Terms of payment of maternity leave are specified in the Employment Insurance Act. Payments are made from social security funds, but you must have SIN (Social Insurance Number), which all Canadian citizens and persons who have received the legal status of immigrants have. With this card you have to apply to the local branch of Service Canada for benefits as soon as possible, no later than four weeks after you've gone on leave. The amount of benefits depends on your salary and on the length of time you have worked. In 2015, the maximum amount of maternity leave was $524 per week. If you want to know more about maternity leave, call the "Service Canada's Employment Insurance Automated Telephone Information Service” toll-free number 1-800-206-7218.

5. How can I use birth control?
Birth control is used everywhere in Canada, and it is a personal choice. Some common types of birth control include:
•Condoms (male and female)
•Contraceptive sponge, foam, and jelly
•Intrauterine device (IUD)
•Birth control pill ("the pill")
•Contraceptive injections (Depo-Provera)
•Emergency contraceptive pill
•Natural family planning

(To be continued)