Maternal Health Project

Indigenous women living in the Canadian Arctic have high rates of infant and maternal mortality, as well as rising rates of chronic disease and obesity. Maternal health and nutrition both have major impacts on fetal development and future health of the infant. Childhood obesity is often pre-determined by maternal diet and increases the likelihood of obesity and chronic disease later in life. Indigenous women living in the Canadian Arctic face a number of obstacles to optimal maternal nutrition due to recent cultural and nutrition transitions, a lack of culturally appropriate and accessible health care, smoking and alcohol consumption as well as a general lack of pre- and post-natal care knowledge among both women and men in the communities. For these reasons, it is important to study the factors that affect maternal health among Indigenous women living in the Canadian Arctic. The current study will gather information from members of communities and healthcare professionals in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and Arviat, Nunavut. In-depth interviews will be conducted with Indigenous women of childbearing age (15-49) to understand the barriers to health and the opportunities for improving maternal and newborn health. Information on prevalence of dietary, environmental and social factors affecting health will also be collected. The information will be used to create culturally appropriate and targeted interventions for improved maternal and fetal health outcomes.


Maternal Health Project Work Product

Posters and pamphlets created by the community of Arviat, NU