Lots of help available for moms and babies

Gord Fortin
Lakeside Leader

Expecting mothers and mothers of young babies have a chance to get help and support through the Healthy Choices for Moms and Babes program.
Christabel Encinas, who runs the program, updated the Slave Lake Interagency on some of the programs and services currently offered through Healthy Choices. Some of the services offered by Healthy Choices are to do home inspections as well as working with other agencies to help pregnant women.
“We make sure they feel they have someone to give them support,” Encinas said.
Mothers who qualify for the program will receive help up until their baby turns a year old.
Encinas said Healthy Choices is currently focusing on promoting healthy lifestyles. She said not everyone is aware of how important proper nutrition and exercise are during a pregnancy. She encourages women to go out and walk and not to stay sedentary.
Some may fear that if they go out they may get sick but she encourages women to go out and move around anyway.
“It’s actually really really good for them,” she said.
On the nutritional front, Healthy Choices tries to bring information to homes. There are also opportunities to get vouchers for eggs if you qualify for the services. The nutrition focus is not limited to just eggs either. The Food Box Program gives pregnant women access to $50 worth of fruits and vegetables. The food in the box is provided through donations.
Encinas said that not everyone has the means to purchase healthy food and this is one way of helping them. Food box recipient also receive cooking tips. She said it is good to cook your own meals at home.
Help for expecting mothers includes procuring diapers and other such items. These items all come from donations. When Healthy Choices gives out items, they are always customized to the person’s needs.
Encinas accepts donations of new or old baby clothes and blankets. She will take the donations as long as they are clean. She is also taking new clients.
If you want more information or you want to register for the program you can call 780-516-9847.
This presentation took place during the Nov. 28 Interagency meeting.

Christabel Encinas of the Healthy Choices for Moms and Babes program made a presentation about the program to the Slave Lake Interagency during the Nov. 28 meeting.

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