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PerinatalNB releases fourth perinatal health profile report highlighting the past 5 years

A six-week-old baby girl drinks from a baby bottle that apparently contains the compound bisphenol A in North Vancouver Friday, April 18, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward) A six-week-old baby girl drinks from a baby bottle that apparently contains the compound bisphenol A in North Vancouver Friday, April 18, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
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The New Brunswick Perinatal Health Program has released its report on maternal and newborn health across the province from the past five years.

PerinatalNB’s administrative director Gaetane LeBlanc-Cormier says the data plays a pivotal role in getting optimal health for pregnant individuals, babies, and families.

“We are delighted to present our Perinatal Health Profile, highlighting trends, progress, and areas for improvement in helping stakeholders and decision-makers understand the diverse landscape of maternal and neonatal care throughout the province,” said LeBlanc-Cormier.

The report states the number of births each year stabilized around the 6,100-to-6,200 range, which shows a change from the previously observed decline.

There was also a change in what ages were giving birth, with a decrease in births for people under the age of 30, and an increase to those over 30 years old.

In the past five years there has also been a rise in the rate of pre-existing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, leveling off at 1.3 per cent. Gestational diabetes has seen a steady increase, reaching 10 per cent in 2022-2023.

The rate of pre-existing high blood pressure has almost doubled for pregnant people, going from just 1.2 per cent in 2018-2019 to 2.2 per cent in 2022-2023.

More than half of pregnant people in New Brunswick are considered overweight or obese, according to the report.

It also shows a rise in cannabis use during pregnancy since legalization, and says there is research being done across Canada to determine the effects cannabis use has on a fetus, and the long-term effects for the child.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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