Impact

SmartMom provides access to trustworthy prenatal education for all those who need it. This includes pregnant women without access to prenatal education, those that may not be able to afford it, or those that simply don’t know what they don’t know.

Prenatal classes are not publicly funded and many small communities do not even have private prenatal education options. SmartMom solves this problem by providing free prenatal education using technology that is easily accessible by most women.

Women can receive text messages on any mobile phone: they don’t need a smart phone or data, and will not be charged by their cell phone company for the messages.

We need prenatal education because
the physical and mental health of women and babies in Canada is at risk

We are collaborating with the Northern Health Authority and the Fraser Health Authority in BC to pilot SmartMom. The pilot will include all pregnant women in each Health Authority including Aboriginal women, women in rural and remote areas, women who are new to Canada, and those that cannot afford prenatal classes. After the pilot we will expand to the rest of Canada.

SmartMom provides women with evidence-based information they can trust. Care providers will receive a manual that will inform them which messages women are receiving at what time during pregnancy and give care providers the most current research evidence on these topics. This will enable women to make informed decisions in collaboration with their care providers.

Dr. Patricia Janssen is the Director of Optimal Birth BC, and has been working to improve maternal and fetal health for the last 20 years as a clinician and researcher. She is a professor and leads the Maternal Child Health Theme for the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Her research and projects have included:

  • Chinese Feeding Hotline: Improved breastfeeding rates for Chinese women through a Chinese-language hotline.
  • Midwifery care outcomes in remote, northern communities with primarily Aboriginal populations.
  • The role of maternity care providers in supporting South Asian women who are survivors of family violence.