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Reproductive Health

Background

The promotion of reproductive health contributes to the health of women and men and can positively impact the health of future pregnancies. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the reproductive years helps to prevent infant death, premature birth, low birth weight, and many birth defects. Over fifty percent of pregnancies in Canada are “unplanned”. A fetus can be subjected to a number of risk factors in the crucial two to eight weeks after conception, which is often before a woman realizes that she is pregnant.

Why should we promote reproductive health in high schools?
All youth are potential parents. By promoting reproductive health messages early and often, students can have improved health through their life span, fewer infant deaths, decreased incidence of premature births, low birth weight and birth defects, and decreased health care costs.

Breastfeeding offers many benefits for babies, mothers, families, and our environment. Current research indicates that women decide on the method of feeding during their childhood and long before they conceive. Ensuring students have access to current, evidence-based information, linked to their curriculum will assist them in making informed decisions in the future.

Lesson Plans

Curriculum Supports

  • Reproductive Health (PDF) –Multiple student activities have been developed to provide flexibility for activities that will best meet the needs of both the students and teacher. This free resource, created in 2009, is available to secondary schools in Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka.
  • Breastfeeding Information and Activity Kit for Secondary School Teachers – This resource provides an in-depth breastfeeding foundation with information and a variety of practical activities designed to support educating secondary school students (Ontario Public Health Association). Available in English and French.

SMDHU Programs

The health unit also offers a variety of programs and services for secondary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.

Additional Resources

Visit the pregnancy and before section of the health unit’s website for more information and resources related to health before pregnancy, healthy pregnancy, parenting, prenatal classes and other health unit and community supports.

Are you concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports? Find out where to get help.

Staff at the health unit are currently reviewing recommended lesson plans and curriculum supports for educators to align with Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Please use your discretion in determining which lesson plans and curriculum supports to use in your classroom. Updated and new resources will be posted online as available. 


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