“Prenatal Care Pathway” Practice Support Tool Available Online


Pregnant woman - Office Images

The Population and Public Health Prenatal Care Pathway, developed by Perinatal Services BC and the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Development and Women’s Health Branch, in collaboration with Regional Health Authorities, focuses on the provincial public health priority areas for the prenatal period, which include:

  1. Health Care/Physical Well-Being
    • Access to Primary health Care Provider (PHCP)
    • Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
    • Oral Health
    • Communicable Diseases and Immunization
    • Medication Use: Prescription, Over-the-Counter, Herbal
  2. Nutrition in Pregnancy
    • Adequate Maternal Nutrition (including the use of supplements)
    • Healthy Weight Gain
    • Food Security
    • Food Safety
    • Infant Feeding Plans
  3. Psychosocial Health
    • Emotional Health and Adjustment to Pregnancy
    • Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
    • Other Mental Health Concerns
    • Early Pregnancy Loss and Grief
  4. Healthy Lifestyles
    • Exercise and Rest
    • Tobacco Use
    • Alcohol Use in Pregnancy
    • Substance Use
  5. Healthy Relationships
    • Support Systems
    • Violence Against Women in Relationships
    • Sexuality in Pregnancy
  6. Resources
    • Housing
    • Adequate Finances
    • Community Resources
  7. Injury Prevention
    • Safety in Pregnancy
  8. Preparation for Birth
    • Prenatal Knowledge
    • Labour and Delivery Plan
  9. Preparation for Parenthood
    • Bringing Baby Home

The sections are broken down into:

  • Norm/Normal Variation
  • Client Education/Anticipatory Guidance
  • Variance
  • Intervention: Screening & Referral (SR); Health Education (HE); Capacity Building (CB); Care Coordination (CC)
  • Resources and Tools for Women and Families
  • Resources for Practitioners

While the Pathway was developed with public health nurses as the primary audience, it may also be a helpful tool for other maternity care providers working across the perinatal service delivery continuum to enhance comprehensive care, particularly for vulnerable populations.

The Prenatal Care Pathway has been informed by evidence and practice, and framed in the public health principles of population health, health promotion and health equity. The Prenatal Care Pathway approach incorporates the concepts of women-centred care, family-centred care, trauma and violence informed care, and culturally competent care.