Introduction

Pregnancy brings many changes to your life. It can be a time of joy and happiness. Some say that they feel strongest when they are pregnant. It can also be a time when you might need information and support.

Think about people who can give you support during this time. It is important to have someone to talk to and share feelings with. A partner, family, and friends can give much needed support, especially if you are trying to make changes during pregnancy. You may want to speak to someone who can give you spiritual guidance. Knowledge keepers and/or Elders can provide cultural teachings related to pregnancy and parenthood. A counsellor can help you address past negative experiences, for example, how you were parented and what it was like growing up. Pregnancy is an emotional time and counseling can help. Health care providers like nurses, midwives, and doctors are there to help you have a healthy pregnancy. See a health care provider before becoming pregnant, or as soon as you think you are pregnant. They can help you to learn how to stay healthy. It is okay to take a friend with you if you do not know the person you are meeting with, whether that is an Elder, counsellor, or care provider, if that means greater comfort and safety for you.

Remember that not everyone is able to give you the kind of support you may need (see page 40). Connect with people you trust and who make you feel good about yourself.

Male Partners

In some indigenous cultures male partners were also considered pregnant. Those men could not go hunting just as the women were not to go hunting – not to take a life, while connected to a new-life-to-come.

Fathers, Partners and Family

If your partner or a family member is pregnant, there is a lot you can do during the pregnancy:

  • Ask how you can help.
  • Go to the health care provider appointments.
  • Join in on the prenatal classes.
  • Learn about pregnancy and birth.
  • Talk about parenting.
  • Talk about breast feeding. Breast milk is the healthiest food for babies.
  • Help your loved one quit smoking. The baby will be healthier if you quit too.
  • Help your loved one to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol is very dangerous to the baby. Don’t drink around pregnant people.
  • Encourage an active pregnancy. Go for a walk with your loved one.
  • Understand that pregnant people feel moody at times. Learning to cope with this helps to be ready for the rapidly changing moods of the newborn.
  • Help your loved one rest when tired.
  • Change the cat litter box (see page 38).
  • Carry things that are too heavy.
  • Understand that interest in sex may change during pregnancy. Talk about and explore other ways to feel close.
  • Learn how to take care of a new baby.
  • Think about the things the baby will need.
  • Help to get the home ready for the baby.

Support from Elders

Elder’s knowledge is important and very much real. I’ve had wonderful Elders help us with loss, joy, and celebration of culture.

Sometimes, support is difficult to find

My family is still figuring out what we need in terms of support as a queer/lesbian Aboriginal family…

For information and support:

Dad Central
Online information for fathers
www.dadcentral.ca and www.newdadmanual.ca/manual.php?SectionID=9&Article=25

LGBTQ2S Parenting – Rainbow Health
Promotes the rights and well-being of lesbian, two-spirited, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people and can help to recommend LGBTQ2S supportive care providers.
1-416-324-4100 (press 9) or email
info@rainbowhealthontario.ca
www.rainbowhealthontario.ca

With Dad: Strengthening the Circle of Care
Online multi-media information about Aboriginal fatherhood.
https://www.nccah-ccnsa.ca/495/With_Dad__Strengthening_the_Circle_of_Care_.nccah?id=43