Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) Evaluation

The community-based Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) has helped communities to promote public health and provide support to improve the well being of pregnant women, new moms and their babies since 1994.

The program is jointly managed with the provinces and territories which allows each region to develop programs that focus on their specific needs. Two of the main objectives of the program are to increase the rate of breastfeeding initiation and decrease the rate of unhealthy birth weights.

The CPNP program is evaluated at the national, regional and local level. The evaluations provide information on the development of program sites and on their impact on the children and families participating in CPNP.

CPNP measures of success

There are currently 330 CPNP sites funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada serving close to 2,000 communities across Canada. The program serves about 50,000 prenatal and recently postnatal women annually.

The 2009 Summative Evaluation Report results indicate that CPNP funded sites are successfully reaching those pregnant women most at risk for poor birth outcomes and who are often least likely to participate in traditional prenatal programming.

A 2007 participant profile of CPNP participants illustrated that

  • 51 percent reported an annual household income of under $15,000;
  • 17 percent were under 19 years of age;
  • 69 percent had achieved a high school diploma or less;
  • 22 percent were Aboriginal; and
  • 31 percent reported smoking during their pregnancy.

CPNP sites have developed partnerships with a number of different organizations and have demonstrated success in reaching women, children and families who need help the most. Many projects are recognized as local centres of expertise. Ninety-eight percent of sites partner with health professionals and over 80 percent partner with not-for-profit community organizations or individuals.

CPNP sites have demonstrated an ability to attract local support. Community sources are strengthening CPNP sites through in-kind contributions, additional funding, and discounts on goods and services. Many sites also report that participants (current or former) frequently give back time and energy to the sites as volunteers or paid staff. Nearly 50 percent of participants are involved in roles such as participating on advisory committees, while 40 percent are peer teachers and 20 percent provide peer outreach.

The most recent funding data from 2005-2006 indicates that CPNP received more than $8.6 million in additional funding from sources outside the Public Health Agency of Canada. Nearly 50 percent of total staff hours were in-kind contributions from partnering organizations that are valued at over $9.3 million. Ninety-seven percent of CPNP sites reported receiving in-kind resources.

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