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Launched in 2006, the Canadian Best Practices portal is an initiative of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Best Practice Interventions section of the Portal is a searchable list of chronic disease prevention and health promotion interventions which is intended to provide program planners and public health practitioners with easy and immediate access to successful public health programs, interventions and policies that have been evaluated and have the potential to be adapted and used.

The Agency has recently launched a new Maternal and Infant Health Best Practices topic page which is available online here. The new Maternal and Infant Health section features interventions which aim to improve the health of pregnant and post-partum mothers and their babies. Two programs featured on the portal, Sheway and Breaking the Cycle, work specifically with pregnant women and new mothers with substance use concerns.

Work is currently underway to identify maternal and infant health interventions specifically tailored to Aboriginal populations and to new Canadians. Other gap areas that have been identified are father involvement in pregnancy and the postpartum period and parenting of infants with special needs.

To learn more about Sheway, Breaking the Cycle and other similar Canadian programs that work with women with substance use concerns in the perinatal period, see previous posts:

Also, check out this short presentation (15 min) by Dana Clifford at the 5th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder held in Vancouver, BC in February 2013. Dana reflects on her experiences as an addictions counsellor at Sheway for close to 20 years and how the program has evolved over time to meet the needs of pregnant women and new mothers struggling with alcohol and other drugs.