Travelling to give birth OK for baby, hard on mom
Study also finds Nunavut has Canada's lowest rate of C-sections
A recent study says though more than 80 per cent of women in Nunavut must travel to give birth, that doesn’t appear to affect the newborns’ health.
The study by the Canadian Institute of Health Information compared the experience of giving birth in a rural versus an urban setting. Nunavut was classified as a rural area as there are no communities with populations over 10,000.
Although travelling to give birth does not appear to affect the physical health of the newborns, Anne McFarlane, a vice-president with the Institute, said it often affects the psychological health of the new mothers.
"It makes a difference for the mom who's away from her family," she said.
"It makes a difference to her other kids. It makes a difference for her husband. It makes a difference to her family because clearly giving birth can be a joyous experience and the other kids want to see the baby and you want your mom to see the baby and when you're far away that doesn't happen."
McFarlane said Nunavut mothers are more likely to have their first child in their teens and more likely to have five or more pregnancies throughout their lifetime.
The territory also has the lowest rate of caesarian sections in the country at just eight per cent. In other jurisdictions the rate can be as high as 30 per cent.