Program helps immigrant mothers settle in
The LOV program also provides participants with vitamins and coupons that can be exchanged for milk and eggs
Moving to a new country during pregnancy or as a new mother can be a stressful and sometimes isolating. The Park Extension CLSC has been trying to ease this transition through their LOV (lait, oeuf, vitamins) program.
During free group sessions, women share their personal experiences with pregnancy and motherhood. Though several nurses and social workers are present, they let the women lead the discussions. “The program helps empower moms and lets them create friendships,” said assistant head nurse Cristiana Anghelescu. “Our goal is to create a support system for women who might otherwise not have one.”
The meetings cover a broad range of topics including breastfeeding, childbirth, contraception, dealing with postpartum depression, domestic violence and security, and the cultural differences between motherhood in Canada and abroad. A big part of these sessions, said Anghelescu, is to create a sense of community by promoting multiculturalism.
Anghelescu said they encourage fathers to attend and share their experiences or provide moral support to their spouses. The sessions are held both in English and in French, and a nurse who speaks Arabic is also present to help with translation. At the end of the sessions, vitamins and coupons that can be exchanged for milk and eggs are handed out.
The sessions take place every other Thursday at 7085 Hutchison St. For more information and to register for a session, call 514-273-9591 ext. 6354.