Healthy Living in the North

The SmartMom program: Prenatal support in your pocket

Did you know that only one-third of Canadian women go to prenatal education classes? To help support more pregnant women, the free SmartMom program was launched in 2017.

SmartMom texts you information to guide you through each week of your pregnancy, so you get the right information and resources at the right time.

A screenshot of the SmartMom website depicting a pregnant belly, a lady holding a newborn, someone kissing a newborn, and a family of three walking at a distance.

All the information is from health sources you can trust, and texts are tailored to your due date. You’ll get messages three times a week (you can choose the times and days that work best for you).

Topics include:

  • How your baby is growing
  • Important choices you’ll face
  • How to manage your labour

For more info, the texts also include links to helpful websites, phone numbers, and videos.

With SmartMom in your pocket, you’ll have an information guide, a prenatal cheerleader, and a record of topics you might want to discuss with your care provider!

Enroll in the program or stay in the conversation!

To sign up for SmartMom Text “Northern” to 12323 or visit smartmomcanada.ca.

‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ us on Facebook and Instagram through @smartmomcanada, and through Twitter (@SmartMom_Canada).

Questions?

Texts you might get from SmartMom:

  • You are your baby’s DJ! The sound of your voice soothes the baby, so talk & sing to them often. See the video here.
  • Staying active actually boosts your energy, improves your sleep, & reduces aches & pains! Win-win-win! Check out this video, here.
  • Once contractions are regular, 1st labours last ~10-14 hours. There are 4 stages: What to expect @ each stage. Watch the video.
Kathryn Germuth

About Kathryn Germuth

Kathryn born in northern B.C., has worked as a Public Health Nurse in the communities of Terrace and Kitimat starting in 2009. Most recently, she worked as a Primary Care Nurse in Kitimat. Currently Kathryn is filling in as the Regional Nursing Lead for Maternal, Infant, and Child. Her close connection for health promotion and advocacy for mothers and families developed through her work as a nurse, and her own experiences being a mother. Kathryn loves living in the north experiencing all it has to offer with her family.

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Are you a SmartMom?

Becoming a “mama” was the best thing to ever happen to me! As a nurse working in public health, I thought I had all of the knowledge, tools, and skills I needed to be a “smart” mom. I honestly thought it was going to be easy! During my pregnancy, I chose not to attend traditional prenatal classes due to transportation issues. Instead, I sought pregnancy, breastfeeding, labour, and delivery information from a variety of other credible sources including books, videos, websites, and our birth doula. Although I felt prepared, I was lacking a stronger support system that I did not even realize I needed.

pregnant women holding cell phone

SmartMom is a free text-based service that guides soon-to-be mothers through every week of pregnancy. Texts are tailored to their due dates and information is from trusted health sources.

When I returned to work after my maternity leave, I learned about a new prenatal education program that was coming to the north: SmartMom. SmartMom is a prenatal education program that texts evidence-based pregnancy information to women via phone or computer. It is the first program of its kind in Canada! As soon as I learned about SmartMom, I realized that this program would have been so helpful for me and my spouse during my pregnancy!

As my own experience suggests, nowadays, women are choosing to get their prenatal information in a variety of unique ways above and beyond traditional prenatal classes. The texts from SmartMom are meant to complement the prenatal education women are already accessing in their communities through group prenatal classes, one-on-one sessions with a health care provider, or their own research of credible sources. The beautiful thing about SmartMom is that it delivers text messages tailored to a woman’s stage in pregnancy.

How it works

sample of text messages

SmartMom will text you information tailored to your due date via cell phone or computer. To enroll, text “SmartMom” to 12323 or visit www.smartmomcanada.ca

Women sign up to receive text messages with information that can be helpful when discussing concerns with their health care providers, as well as supporting them in making choices about their health. In addition to receiving supportive prenatal information, women also have the option of subscribing to supplemental messages, including topics of specific interest to them: alcohol use in pregnancy, nutrition and exercise, substance and tobacco use, exposure to violence, being an older mom, and information about labouring after a caesarean section. These supplemental streams of messaging can assist women in making choices specific to their health and their pregnancy. The ultimate goal of SmartMom is to have healthier mommies, babies, and families!

SmartMom is available now! There are three ways to sign up:
• Contact a health care provider for information
• Text “SmartMom” to 12323
• Visit www.smartmomcanada.ca

As I came to realize, becoming a”smart” mom is a learning process; it takes time to learn how to be the healthiest version of yourself for your children and your family. A program like SmartMom can really help a new mom increase her knowledge and prepare for the wonderful journey that lies ahead!

Randi Parsons

About Randi Parsons

Randi has lived in northern BC since 2010 after graduating from the University of Alberta with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Since her graduation, Randi has held different nursing positions with a focus in maternal-child health. Her career as a nurse started on Pediatrics in Prince George before transitioning into Public Health Nursing in the Omineca area. For 5 years, Randi worked as a generalist Public Health Nurse, finding her passion in perinatal wellness, early child development and community collaboration. With her husband, daughter and two Chihuahuas, Randi lives in Fraser Lake, currently working as the Regional Nursing Lead for Maternal, Infant, Child, Youth with Public Health Practice. When she is not nursing, Randi enjoys crafting, practicing yoga, learning to garden and being a mom! She is passionate about raising awareness for mental health and advocating for women, children and families.

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