Eastern Health at the Wedding Show?


Colleen Kearley, a nurse working with Eastern Health’s Health Promotion Division at the Devotion Wedding Show in St. John's on March 2, 2014.

Colleen Kearley, a nurse working with Eastern Health’s Health Promotion Division at the Devotion Wedding Show in St. John’s on March 2, 2014.

Eastern Health’s participation at a local wedding show may come as a surprise to some.

For one organizer, the initial surprise became an obvious fit once she read the organization’s tag line, “Is there a baby in your future?… Plan for it, B4UR pregnant.”

“What a great idea!” she said.

Eastern Health hosted a booth at the Devotion Wedding Show in St. John’s on March 2, 2014.  The booth was staffed by Maria Driscoll, social marketing consultant, Margie Coombes, regional nutritionist, and me, a nurse with Eastern Health’s Health Promotion division.

After 20 years in nursing, mostly in public health, I can honestly say this is the first time I have attended a wedding show. What a wonderful response from everyone – organizers and participants!

Having launched the second phase of Eastern Health’s preconception health campaign, B4UR pregnant, the wedding show provided an opportunity for us, as health care professionals, to educate women about good starts to healthy pregnancies. B4UR pregnant is a social marketing campaign aimed at informing women of childbearing age to make healthy choices before they conceive, which will help them have healthier pregnancies.

Participating in the wedding show was just one of the ways we educate women about preparing for a healthy pregnancy.

Women will  also be able to access the B4UR pregnant website to find information about eating healthy, being active and taking folic acid. There is information about preparing for a healthy pregnancy and great links to additional resources. For example, the web site notes the following about the importance of taking folic acid:

“It is very important that women who are sexually active take a multi vitamin daily containing 0.4 mg of folic acid. A baby’s brain and spinal cord are formed before many women even know they are pregnant. Folic acid helps a baby’s spine, brain and skull develop and decreases the chance of a child being born with a neural tube defect, which can cause stillbirth or lifelong physical problems.” (Colleen Kearley BN. RN, Child Health Coordinator)

At the wedding show, I noted the number of young women who, when they learned we were from Eastern Health, identified themselves as employees of Eastern Health. Employees and other participants seemed pleased that we were in the community informing women about the benefits of being healthy before pregnancy.

It was wonderful to talk to young women who were so excited about planning their weddings, some of whom were thinking about starting a family. There were lots of questions about folic acid and preparing in advance of a pregnancy. There were also a number of “mothers of the bride” who couldn’t wait to be grandmothers.

www.easternhealth.ca/b4urpregnant

To learn more about B4UR Pregnant, visit www.easternhealht.ca/b4urpregnant or check out one of the following topics:

This story was written by Colleen Kearley, a nurse working with Eastern Health’s Health Promotion Division in Harbour Grace, NL.

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