You may choose to continue with the pregnancy and become a parent. When deciding to become a parent, you have to consider what is best for both you and for the child. Having a baby and becoming a parent can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also increase financial stress and put added pressure on relationships. Having a network of family and friends to rely on for support is often a great help.

In making the decision to become a parent, it can be useful to have access to as much information as possible on the many different aspects of parenting such as prenatal testing, support groups, birthing options, financial assistance, and healthy pregnancies. The services offered to parents vary enormously between provinces, and between cities. The Children's Aid Society (Ontario) is one of the many organizations that has information about prenatal care, delivery, and parenting. You may also find information about Young or Single Parent Support programs, parent resource centers, and Community Health Centres.

While it can be a rewarding experience if you are ready to become a parent, there are some myths about pregnancy and parenting. For example, many young women think that having a baby of their own will somehow give them the love they didn’t get from their own parent(s). Some believe that having a baby will help them stay together with their boyfriend, or make other problems go away. These are all unrealistic expectations.

If you keep your child, you are obliged to provide care for him or her until the child is at least 16 years old. There are resources in the community that can help you with housing, education, training and some of the other challenges of parenting. If you have no other means of support, you may be entitled to assistance from welfare. You are also entitled to some financial support from the child’s father, even if he has no contact with the child. The child’s father may request access to the child regardless of whether or not he is giving you financial support.

You also have options you may not be familiar with regarding the care you receive during your pregnancy and during and after childbirth. The links listed below under midwifery and doulas offer some information about these woman-centred methods of primary and secondary care, which can be used in a hospital or a home birth.

If you are unsure about your decision and want to discuss your options with someone, contact one of the unbiased counseling centres listed on our counseling page: http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/counseling.html



If you have made the decision to parent and are looking for resources, here are some local and national resources.

Alberta
Alberta Children’s Services
http://www.child.gov.ab.ca/

Parenting Help Line
Toll-free: 1-866-714-KIDS (5437)
Edmonton and area: 644-1366

(Edmonton area)
http://www.thesupportnetwork.com/PDFs/res%20list%20-%20new%20or%20expecting%20parents.pdf
Very detailed list of pregnancy-related resources, including pregnancy tests, abortion and adoption referral numbers, birth, childcare, and more.

British Columbia

BC Ministry of Children and Family Development
http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/

Manitoba

Manitoba Family Services – Children and Families
http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/index.html

New Brunswick

Department of Family and Community Services – Excellence in Parenting
http://www.gnb.ca/0017/EIP/excellence-e.asp

Newfoundland

Child and Youth Family Services
http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/divisions/pgmpolicy/default.htm#cyfs

Northwest Territories
Health and Social Services Programs and Services
http://www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/Features/Programs_and_Services/index/programs_and_services_c.asp
Find the information listed under “Child and Youth.”

Nova Scotia
Department of Community Services – Children, Youth and Families
http://www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/index.html

Nunavut
Department of Health and Social Services
http://www.gov.nu.ca/health/

Ontario

Ontario Children’s Aid Societies
http://www.oacas.org/resources/members.htm

Ontario Works – LEAP program
http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/social/contacts/ow_contact.htm
Click this link to find an office in your area to inquire about the LEAP program: assistance available to 16- to 21-year-old parents who have not completed high school and who are eligible for Ontario Works funding (social assistance).

Birth Care Inc.
http://www.birthcare.ca/
Provides counselling, products, classes
Ottawa-based, but the website has a lot of useful information for women everywhere under the resources section: http://www.birthcare.ca/s.nl/sc.5/.f

Prince Edward Island
Family, Parenting and Support
http://www.gov.pe.ca/infopei/index.php3?number=3276&lang=E
Includes links to many local services.

Québec
Centre Jeunesse du Québec (bilingual website)
http://www.centrejeunessedequebec.qc.ca/Afficher.aspx

Saskatchewan
Teen and Young Parent Program
http://www.cr.gov.sk.ca/teen-young-parent/

Yukon
Health and Social Services – Family and Children’s Services
http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/programs/family_children/

National

Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/programs-mes/cpnp_main_e.html
Main information site.
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/programs-mes/contact-bureaux_e.html
A listing of local contacts for the program for each region in Canada.

Canadian Health Network
http://www.canadian-health-network.ca/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=CHN-RCS/Page/ShellCHNResourcePageTemplate&c=Page&cid=1110272542505&lang=En

Motherisk
http://www.motherisk.org/index.jsp
Provides good information about possible high-risk activities during pregnancy

SOS Morning Sickness
http://www.sosmorningsickness.com/
“Everything you ever wanted to know about Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP).”

Human Resources Development Canada
http://www1.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/ei/faq/faq_special.shtml
http://www1.servicecanada.gc.ca/en/ei/types/special.shtml#Maternity3
employment insurance information for pregnancy and parental leave, including in cases of pregnancy termination

National Parenting Center
http://www.tnpc.com/index.asp
American website with articles by experts, product recalls, book reviews, child’s personality tests, etc.

Canadian Parents
http://www.canadianparents.com/CPO/
information from pregnancy to every age group of child; includes parenting advice, message boards

Child and Family Canada – Parenting articles
http://www.cfc-efc.ca/menu/parenting_en.htm
professional articles on a variety of parenting issues

Midwifery and Doulas

Midwives Across Canada
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/forums/
discussion group dedicated to midwifery and childbirth

What Is Midwifery?
http://tvm.on.ca/whatis.html

Find a Doula
http://www.dona.org/mothers/find_a_doula.php