Based on nutritional recommendations adapted to meeting the needs of pregnant women living in difficult circumstances and aimed at reducing poverty, the social nutrition approach takes into account a number of health determinants (social, economic, and cultural status; access to health care; etc.) in order to provide interdisciplinary interventions enabling women to give birth to healthy babies, to nurture their babies’ optimal development, and to flourish as parents and community citizens.
The Dispensary’s social nutrition program is based on the Higgins© nutritional intervention method, a scientifically proven method that focuses on the pregnancy period. Social nutrition also covers the first few months of the newborn’s life and is characterized by:
- A warm welcome, free of judgment
- An analysis of the needs of each pregnant woman living in precarious conditions
- The implementation of a personalized, interdisciplinary action plan that includes counselling, support, and nutritional rehabilitation (consultations with a dietician/nutritionist and distribution of nutritional supplements and vitamins)
- Active breastfeeding support
- Group activities (preparing for childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting skills, healthy eating on a limited budget, child nutrition, etc.) and access to drop-in daycare
- Inclusion of family members in the intervention plan and the provision of psychosocial and community support (peer support, access to a network of organizations providing support and assistance)
Social nutrition relies on the involvement of other members of the pregnant women’s social entourage and of her family.