Guide helps pregnant homeless women

Pregnancy can be a scary time for anyone, but if you’re living on thestreets with a crack addiction, your first thought might be “Oh sh–t,I’m pregnant.”

Pregnancy can be a scary time for anyone, but if you’re living on the streets with a crack addiction, your first thought might be “Oh sh–t, I’m pregnant.”

That’s the title of a new guidebook written by pregnancy support workers at Street Works, a downtown agency dedicated to helping Edmonton’s homeless, and women who’ve struggled through pregnancy on the city streets. The book launched yesterday at Boyle Street Community Services.

Marliss Taylor, program manager at Street Works, said at the launch that a guide like this is long overdue for Edmonton.

“Edmonton doesn’t have the services that other cities do,” she said. “We’re the new kids on the block.”

The book gives advice for accessing pre-natal care, handling addictions and dealing with less-than-friendly hospital staff —something Buffy Moore could have used when she went into labour on a street corner at 3 a.m.

Moore said she was “very high” at the time, but managed to get to a hospital. She said she felt mistreated by the staff because she was homeless.

“I felt judged by everyone — even myself,” she said.

As a nursing student, Jolene Glombick sat in on a few meetings to hear the women talk about their experiences.

“It (was) such a neat place for women to open up,” she said.

Now she’s a nurse in the maternity ward at the Grey Nuns Hospital, and says she can use what she’s learned from the guide at work.

 
 
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