Women and children have unique health needs that require a special focus. Healthy choices before and during pregnancy, and choices that support healthy childhood development are the foundation of lifelong health and well-being of individuals and families.
Women’s overall health status is measured in a number of ways, including how women feel about their physical and mental health, life expectancy, disease and illness, and reproductive health. While the majority of women in B.C. rate their general health as very good to excellent, there are still several areas of improvement for women’s physical, mental, and reproductive health.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to know how to care for yourself before, during and after your pregnancy. Being pregnant is an important time in your life and it is critical in setting the stage for the lifelong health of your child. Having accurate information will help you to make the best choices so that you, your child and family can be as healthy as possible
See Healthy Pregnancies for information on caring for yourself during pregnancy, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), breastfeeding, and depression during pregnancy and following birth (Perinatal Depression ).
The early years set the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. Fundamental changes occur in childhood and adolescence - cognitive, emotional and physical.
A strong foundation helps children and youth to develop the competence and resilience necessary to participate fully in life, develop healthy lifestyle practices, and develop a strong sense of self. It is estimated that every dollar invested in these early years saves three to nine dollars in future spending on the health, criminal justice and social assistance systems.