Women's health

7 February 2023

From Tiny Tot to Toddler: a practical guide for parents from pregnancy to age two (2019)

From Tiny Tot to Toddler is a practical guide that contains scientifically supported information about pregnancy, delivery and the first two years of a child’s life. A free printed guide is given to all new Québec parents at the beginning of pregnancy follow-up. Parents involved in an adoption process can also receive a free guide.

2019 edition: What’s new?

The 2019 update is in continuity with previous edition, so you will find the same section and chapter page numbering as in previous versions of the guide

The document What’s new? will give you an overview of the changes made to the 2019 edition. 

9 February 2021

Current state of knowledge on parents’ social isolation and loneliness from pregnancy to the end of early childhood: definitions, measuring instruments, extent, and associated factors

This review provides a portrait of our current knowledge on parents’ social isolation and loneliness during the perinatal and early childhood period. This document informs public health actors working with parents and their families on various aspects of these two phenomena. A scoping review was carried out to identify: 1) the definitions of social isolation and loneliness, as well as the distinction with certain related concepts; 2) the main instruments used to measure social isolation and loneliness; 3) the extent of social isolation and loneliness in the population of interest; and 4) the main factors associated with social isolation and loneliness.

The current state of knowledge on social isolation and loneliness during the perinatal and early childhood period is limited. However, this scoping review demonstrates that:

  • There is an emerging consensus that social isolation and loneliness are two separate realities. Social isolation is considered an objective p…
4 September 2018

Portrait of Preterm and Small-for-Gestational-Age Birth by Linguistic Community in Québec, 1989 to 2010

This surveillance report examines changes from 1989–1992 to 2008–2010 in preterm and small-for-gestational-age birth rates in Québec for the general population and by mother’s first language. Rates based on selected sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., place of residence, material deprivation, and immigrant status) of mothers in each linguistic community are also presented.

The report’s main finding is that previously observed variations in perinatal health favoring Anglophones were not observed in 2008–2010: preterm and small-for-gestational-age birth rates were similar for Anglophones, Francophones, and Allophones during this period.

Preterm birth rates

  • Preterm birth rates increased for all linguistic communities from 1989–19921 and stabilized beginning in 2002–2004.
  • In 2008–2010 preterm birth rates per 100 live births were comparable for Francophones, Anglophones, and Allo…
14 January 2016

Impact of the Overall Workload on Pregnancy: Summary

  • The overall workload is evaluated by means of the cumulative set of occupational conditions, the level of physical activity and the level of energy expenditure.
  • Exposure to an increased number of occupational conditions is linked to increased preterm deliveries and, to a lesser extent, to increased small-for-gestational-age births.
  • Increases in the incidence of low-birthweight and high blood pressure during pregnancy are suspected in the presence of two or three occupational conditions. 
  • Excessive preterm deliveries and low-birthweights are suspected during exposure to high and moderate levels of physical activity, respectively.
  • Different effects of energy expenditure are suspected, i.e., lower birthweight, an increase in spontaneous abortions and a higher incidence of high blood pressure during pregnancy in the presence of a high level of activity, and increased small-for-gestational-age births in the case of moderate and high levels of…
14 December 2015

Scientific Advisory Report on the Effects of Group Prenatal Classes

The Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) [Québec’s public health institute] was mandated by Québec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) [ministry of health and social services] to produce a report on the effects of group prenatal classes. In Québec, prenatal classes are meant to provide pregnant women and their partners with information and to prepare them for childbirth and their new role as parents.

The purpose of this report is to identify the effects of group prenatal classes based on the recent scientific literature in order to better position their contribution to the service offering in Québec.


Bibliographic research was conducted with a focus on publications dated between 2004 and 2015 in the Ovid SP, Medline and EBSCOhost databases using keywords related to health promotion, obstetrical procedures, pregnancy outcomes, breastfeeding, health and adaptation. The model of health status and i…

11 February 2010

Effects of workplace noise exposure during pregnancy: Systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression - Abstract

To summarize the available scientific information on the effects of workplace noise exposure during pregnancy. The studied effects on pregnancy are: spontaneous abortion (SA), stillbirth (SB), congenital anomalies (CA), preterm delivery (PTD), low birth weight (LBW), small-forgestational- age (SGA) infant, pre-eclampsia (PE) and gestational hypertension (GHT). The effect of workplace noise during pregnancy on the child's hearing is also addressed.

First, two bibliographic searches, one in Medline and the other in Embase, were performed to identify the original epidemiological studies that evaluated the effects of workplace noise on pregnancy. Studies published in French or in English between 1970 and August 2008 were selected. The bibliographies of the articles and the personal files of the author completed the list of the articles for consultation. There was no systematic search for unpublished material. The pr…

1 May 2009

Recommendations on optimizing cervical cancer screening in Québec

In 2007, the Comité sur l'immunisation du Québec (CIQ) recommended the establishment of a human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization program with the main objective of reducing the incidence of cervical cancer. In its recommendation paper, the CIQ pointed out the importance of measuring the impact of such a program and the necessary complementarity that should exist between the immunization program and cancer screening activities. However, it was not within the organization's mandate to issue specific recommendations regarding screening.

The present recommendation paper is an extension of the CIQ's recommendations. Its objectives are to clarify the relevance of cervical cancer screening now that vaccination is on its way, to document the current weaknesses in screening, and most of all, to identify the conditions, strategies and means to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of cervical cancer screening in Québec.

The analysis of current screening weaknesses was bas…

9 January 2008

Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004 : Women's Health and Preventive Sexual Behaviour Among Men and Women

This paper describes the state of health of Nunavik Inuit women and the sexual health profile of men and women as reported during the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004. The results focus on the preventive attitude among women such as screening techniques of cervical and breast cancer and also on women’s behaviour during pregnancy and their bone health status. It also concentrates on preventive sexual behaviours among men and women such as the number of sexual partners in the preceding year and the use of contraceptives.

More than four out of five Inuit adult women had a Pap test in the two years before the survey (82%), and 60% of them had one in the previous 12 months. The use of the Pap test is less frequent among adult women with lower levels of education. Among those who had never had a Pap test or had one two or more years before the survey, 41% of them claimed that this examination was not offered to them by their doctor. In terms of breast cancer examination, 43% of wo…

9 January 2008

Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004 : Prevalence and Nature of Sexual Violence in Nunavik

Many Inuit community members have expressed their concern about the rates of sexual abuse in Nunavik. The objective of the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004 was, among other things, to gather information regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse and the characteristics of the victims in Nunavik. A total of 856 adults completed the sexual abuse section of the confidential questionnaire from which the current data are drawn.

Results reveal that one in three adults has experienced sexual abuse during childhood and one in five during adulthood. About one in two women reported having been forced or having faced attempts made to force them to perform a sexual act while a minor. One out of four stated that they faced the same problem in adulthood. The prevalence of sexual abuse in men during childhood and adulthood is also significant: one man out of five reported sexual abuse during childhood and one in eight reported having been forced or having faced attempts made to force them to…

9 January 2008

Nunavik Inuit Health Survey 2004 : Iron Deficiency and Anemia among Women in Nunavik

Anemia is often due to iron deficiency which is caused by insufficient dietary intake or poor absorption of iron to replace losses. Iron deficiency anemia has a negative impact on physical work capacity, cognitive performance and resistance to infection. The World Health Organization recognizes anemia as a widespread public health problem having major consequences on health as well as on social and economical development. The prevalence of anemia in Aboriginal children in Canada is eight times higher than among similar non-aboriginal populations in Canada and is especially high among Inuit children. Until now, the prevalence of anemia in Nunavik women was unknown, however it was suspected that similar results existed. In recent decades, important changes in lifestyle habits and dietary patterns occurred among the population of Nunavik, contributing to decreased consumption of traditional foods which are a good source of iron. This summary presents the prevalence of iron deficiency,…