Preconception and Pregnancy | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Preconception and Pregnancy


Mocktails for Moms Campaign

September 9 is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness day.  This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.

To help increase awareness of this preventable lifelong disorder, HPEPH has partnered up with local licensed establishments across Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to offer free “mocktails” (alcohol-free cocktails) to expectant moms on Saturday September 9.  Click here for a list of participating establishments.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in restricted growth, facial abnormalities, and permanent brain damage for the baby.  The impact of alcohol exposure in pregnancy affects each person in different ways and can range in severity.  It’s important to note however, that the effects of FASD are not always visible at birth as many people with FASD do not have physical symptoms.  Behaviour and learning problems such as speech and language delays, difficulty with attention and learning disabilities often don’t appear until children get older.  FASD leaves many children, teens and adults struggling with depression and anxiety, experiencing difficulties with social interactions and relationships, as well as other aspects of their lives.

If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, the safest choice is not to drink any alcohol.

If you drank alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, talk to your health care provider or call Motherisk at 1-877-327-4346 or visit


For more information, check out the links below.


Reproductive Life Planning

You decide if and when you want to have children. About 50 percent of pregnancies are not planned. When pregnancies are planned, you have time to make sure you are healthy and prepared before you have a baby. Having a reproductive life plan can help. A reproductive life plan helps you to set goals and understand how children may fit into your goals. For example, what are your plans for school, work, and travel? How do children fit into these plans?

Reproductive life planning often includes thinking about:

  • Your general medical health
  • Your mental health and support systems
  • Your family health history
  • Your reproductive health

Create your reproductive life plan with support from your health care provider. Online tools like the My Reproductive Life Plan booklet for adults or the My Life, My Plan booklet for youth can help you get started. For more information, check out the links below.


Hastings Prince Edward Public Health provides a number of programs and services that support families throughout pregnancy.

Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a great time to think about your lifestyle and to make positive, healthy choices. Making healthy changes to your lifestyle and habits during pregnancy will improve your health, the health of your baby, and will benefit you and your family in the future. For more information, call our Reproductive Health Infoline at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 675.

Pregnancy Testing

We provide free pregnancy testing at our Sexual Health Clinics. If you think you may be pregnant, we will provide a urine test to confirm. We will also supply information about pregnancy, options, and birth control choices.

Prenatal Education

Expectant parents and support persons are encouraged to start prenatal education as soon as possible in their pregnancy. Visit our Prenatal Education page for more information.

Food for You:Food for Two

Food for You:Food for Two is a free, weekly, drop-in program for pregnant women and teens who may require extra support during pregnancy. You will learn about healthy eating, healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding, and caring for a newborn from our Dietitians and Nurses. Groceries, milk, and child care are provided, and transportation is available. Partners and/or support persons are welcome.
For more information, call our Reproductive Health Infoline at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 675.