Reproductive, Family, and Child Health

Pregnancy & Maternal Health Data

For additional information on pregnancy and pregnancy resources in Ottawa, please refer to Parenting in Ottawa's website

 Births and Fertility Rates

In Ottawa:

  • A total of 9,558 babies were born in 2017, down from 9,978 live births in 2013 (Figure 1).
  • The fertility rate (number of live births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 49 years) declined from 42.2 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 49 years in 2013 to 38.9 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 49 years in 2017 (Figure 1). Fertility rates were lower in Ottawa than the Ontario average between 2013 and 2016. [1]
  • Fertility rates were highest among women aged 30 to 34 years (100.3 births per 1,000 females), followed by women aged 35 to 39 years (64.2 births per 1,000 females) and women aged 25 to 29 years (53.4 births per 1,000 females) (Figure 2).
  • The number and rate of live births among teenagers dropped from 158 births (5.5 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 years) in 2013 to 105 births (3.8 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 years) in 2017, [2] and was lower compared to Ontario (5.7 births per 1,000 women 15 to 19 years). [3]
  • The majority (95.3%) of women delivered at a hospital and 2.2% delivered at home in 2017. [4] The proportion of women delivering at a birth centre increased from 1.2% in 2014 to 2.4% in 2017. [2]

 Figure 1. Number of live births and fertility rates in Ottawa from 2013 to 2017

A graph showing the number of live births and the fertility rate for 15 to 49 year olds in Ottawa declining between 2013 and 2017.

 Data Source and Notes for Figure 1
Ottawa Public Health. Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario 2013-2017. Extracted: July 6, 2018.
 Data Table for Figure 1
Table 1. Number of live births and fertility rates in Ottawa from 2013 to 2017
YearNumber of live birthsFertility rate (births per 1,000 population women aged 15 to 49 years)
 2013 9,978 42.2
 2014 9,815 41.5
 2015 9,653 40.8
 2016 9,649 40.2
 2017 9,543 38.9

 

Figure 2. Age-specific fertility rates in Ottawa from 2013 to 2017

 A line graph showing the rate of live births by maternal age groups in Ottawa between 2013 and 2017.

Data Source and Notes
Ottawa Public Health. Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario 2013-2017. Extracted: July 6, 2018.
Data Table for Figure 2
Table 2. Age-specific fertility rates in Ottawa from 2013 to 2017
Age (years)Rate per 1,000 population in 2013Rate per 1,000 population in 2014Rate per 1,000 population in 2015Rate per 1,000 population in 2016Rate per 1,000 population in 2017
15-19 5.5 5.3 5 4.1 3.8
20-24 21 20.6 20.9 19.3 18.5
25-29 69 65.8 62.8 57.2 53.4
30-34 117.8 112.6 106.4 106.5 100.3
35-39 66.5 65.5 65.9 65.5 64.2
40-44 12.9 14 13.3 14.6 14.4
45-49 0.6 0.9 1.1 1.1 1.3

Prenatal Class Attendance and Prenatal Care

In Ottawa:

  • Nearly three out of ten (28.9%) women attended a prenatal class during their last pregnancy in 2017. This was higher than the Ontario-less-Ottawa average of 22.3%. [4]
  • During their first trimester of pregnancy, in 2017, 93.7% of women visited a health care provider, slightly more than Ontario-less-Ottawa (91.8%). [4]

Mental Health Concerns During Pregnancy

In Ottawa:

  • In 2017, 16.8% of postpartum mothers self-reported a mental health concern during pregnancy to their health care provider, similar to Ontario-less-Ottawa. Mental health concerns included anxiety (11.6%) and depression (6.3%). Among postpartum mothers who had previously given birth, 4.4% reported a history of postpartum depression. [4]
  • In 2017, 18% of families screened through the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program reported that the mother or parenting partner has a history of depression, anxiety or other mental illness. [5]

Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use During Pregnancy

In Ottawa:

  • Nearly one out of twenty (4.8%, 443 women) women who gave birth in 2017 reported smoking close to the time of their child’s birth, lower compared to Ontario-less-Ottawa (7.0%). [4]
  • Nearly one out of twenty (4.6%, 430 women) women who gave birth in 2017 reported drinking alcohol during their pregnancy, higher than Ontario-less-Ottawa (2.2%). [4]
  • Approximately three in 200 (1.6%, 149 women) women who gave birth in 2017 reported one or more other drug/substance use during pregnancy. The reported substances included marijuana (1.3%), opioids (0.1%), cocaine (<0.1%) and other substances (0.1%). [4]

Pregnancy (Gestational) Weight Gain

In Ottawa:

  • Just over half (53%) of women who gave birth in 2017 had a ‘normal weight’ Body Mass Index (BMI, 18.5 – 24.9) before their pregnancy, 25% began their pregnancy with an ‘overweight’ BMI (25.0 – 29.9), 18% began their pregnancy with an ‘obese’ BMI (≥ 30.0), and 4% with an ‘underweight’ BMI (< 18.5). [4]
  • Nine out of twenty (44.7%) women who gave birth in 2017 gained more than the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancies, as per the Canadian gestational weight gain recommendations, 31.2% gained within the recommended amount of weight, and 24.0% gained below the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. [4]
  • Three out of five women who began their pregnancies as overweight (59.9%) or obese (59.3%) gained more than the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancies in 2017 (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Gestational weight gain per Canadian recommendations by pre-pregnancy body mass index, Ottawa women who gave birth in 2017

A bar graph showing gestational weight gain as per Canadian recommendation by women’s pre-pregnancy body mass index for Ottawa women who gave birth in 2017.

 

 Data Source and Notes for Figure 3

Ottawa Public Health. Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario 2017. Extracted: July 6, 2018

  • >5% of data were missing and were excluded from the calculations. 
 Data Table for Figure 3
Table 3. Gestational weight gain per Canadian recommendations by pre-pregnancy body mass index, Ottawa women who gave birth in 2017
Amount of gestational weight gain by Canadian recommendationsUnderweight BMI pre-pregnancyNormal weight BMI pre-pregnancyOverweight BMI pre-pregnancyObese BMI pre-pregnancy
Below 35.5% 30.6% 14.4% 14.7%
Within 40.4% 34.8% 25.7% 25.9%
Above 24.0% 34.5% 59.9% 59.3%

 

Birth Outcomes
  • In 2017, the majority of births in Ottawa were [4]:
    • singleton (96.5% vs. 3.5% multiple);
    • born full-term (91.8%, vs. 8.2% preterm); and
    • born with an appropriate weight for their gestational age (81.5%).
  • Compared to Ontario-less-Ottawa in 2017, Ottawa had a lower proportion of small for gestational age babies born (Ottawa: 7.7% vs. Ontario-less-Ottawa: 9.8%) and a slightly higher proportion of large for gestational age babies born (Ottawa: 10.8% vs. Ontario-less-Ottawa: 9.4%). [4]
  • In 2017, 27.7% of Ottawa women delivered via Cesarean section, of which, 41.1% were repeat Cesarean sections. [4]
 Notes on Gestational Age Weights
  • Appropriate gestational age weight includes singleton live births between the 10th and 90th percentile based on Canadian standards.
  • Small for gestational age weight includes singleton live births below the 10th percentile based on Canadian standards.
  • Large for gestational age weight includes singletone live births above the 90th percentile based on Canadian standards.

Parenting Data

The first six years of life set the foundation for life-long learning and development. [6] Parenting plays an important and significant role in influencing children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. [7] Thus, efforts to improve and expand interventions that support parents and caregivers in developing the skills, knowledge, qualities, and confidence to support healthy child and youth development have become a public health commitment worldwide. [8]

For additional information on parenting and parenting resources in Ottawa, please refer to Parenting in Ottawa's website

Awareness and Use of Ottawa Public Health Parenting Services/Programs

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) offers a variety of services to parents with children 0 to 6 years of age, including Parenting in Ottawa (PiO) (e.g., website, Facebook page, and drop-ins), Ottawa Breastfeeding Buddies, the OPH telephone line, and prenatal education.

In Ottawa:

  • 85% of parents with children 0 to 6 years of age in 2016 and 2017 had heard of at least one of these services or programs and 56% had made use of at least one of them. [9]
  • The most known OPH parenting resources were the OPH telephone line (63%) and OPH prenatal education (55%) (Figure 4). The most used services, by parents with children 0 to 6 who were aware these services existed, were the OPH telephone line (46%), the PiO website (46%), and OPH’s prenatal education service (44%) (Figure 4).
  • Parents of children 0 to 6 years of age most often identified “websites/ internet” (65%), “Ottawa Public Health” (13%), and “Ontario Early Year Centres” (now known as EarlyON Child and Family Centres) (7%) as their primary source of parenting information. “Magazines, newsletters, or other written material”, “telephone information lines”, and “schools” were very infrequently selected as the primary source of parenting information. [9]

Figure 4. Awareness and use of select Ottawa Public Health (OPH) parenting programs by Ottawa residents (18+ years of age) with children 0 to 6 years of age, 2016 to 2017

A horizontal bar graph showing the proportion of Ottawa parents with children 0 to 6 years of age who were aware and used OPH parenting programs from 2016 to 2017.

Data Source and Notes for Figure 4

Ottawa Public Health. Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016 & 2017.

  • The Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) is an ongoing random-digit dialed telephone (landline and cell) population health survey of Ottawa adults aged 18 years and older. 
  • Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals
  • *Interpret with caution – high sampling variability.
  • OPH=Ottawa Public Health
  • PiO=Parenting in Ottawa
Data Table for Figure 4
Table 4. Awareness and use of select Ottawa Public Health (OPH) parenting services and programs by Ottawa residents (18+ years of age) with children 0 to 6 years of age, 2016 to 2017
Type of Ottawa Public Health (OPH) parenting service/programPercent aware of servicePercent used service (of those who were aware)
OPH Information Line 63.0% 46.3%
OPH Prenatal Education 55.5% 44.3%
Ottawa Breastfeeding Buddies 43.4% 16.4%
Parenting in Ottawa (PiO) Drop-Ins 41.6% 34.6%
PiO Website 24.5% 46.2%
PiO Facebook Page 16.6% 32.7%*

Early Childhood (0 to 6 Years) Data

For additional information on breastfeeding and early childhood resources in Ottawa, please refer to Parenting in Ottawa's website

Breastfeeding 

In Ottawa:

  • Nearly all (96%) mothers who gave birth in 2017 intended to feed breast milk to their infant and 86% intended to exclusively feed breast milk to their infant, slightly higher than in the rest of Ontario (81%) (Table 5).
  • Nine out of ten (91%) mothers who gave birth in 2017 fed breast milk on discharge from hospital or three days after giving birth with a midwife. [2] In 2016, seven out of ten (70%) mothers were feeding breast milk at six months. [10]
  • There was a large drop in exclusive breastfeeding from a 61% at few days after birth (at hospital discharge or three days after giving birth with a midwife) to 38% at two weeks of age, among those who gave birth in 2016. [210] Nine percent of mothers reported only or exclusively feeding breast milk for six months. [10]
Table 5. Breastfeeding intent and breastfeeding (any or exclusive) at discharge, 2 weeks, and 6 months in Ottawa and Ontario-less-Ottawa from 2016 to 2017
IndicatorOttawaOntario-less-OttawaData Source
Intention to breastfeed 96.1% 93.7% BORN 2017
Intention to exclusively breastfeed 86.2% 81.3% BORN 2017
Any breastfeeding on discharge from hospital or 3 days postpartum for home births 90.9% 92.3% BORN 2017
Exclusive breastfeeding on discharge from hospital or 3 days postpartum for home births 60.5% 61.9% BORN 2017
Any breastfeeding at 2 weeks 93.0% NA OPH IFSS 2016
Exclusive breastfeeding at 2 weeks 37.8% NA OPH IFSS 2016
Any breastfeeding at 6 months 70.3% NA OPH IFSS 2016
Exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months 8.9% NA OPH IFSS 2016
Data Sources and Notes for Table 5

Ottawa Public Health. Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario 2017. Extracted: July 6, 2018.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) Infant Feeding Surveillance System (IFSS) 2016. 

  • The term "breastfeeding" includes providing breast milk at the breast or expressed breast milk by alternate method (i.e., bottle, cup, spoon, supplemental nursing system).
  • "Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as giving no other food or drink - not even water - to an infant, except breast milk. It does, however, allow the infant to receive oral rehydration salts, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals, and medicines).
  • <5% of data were missing and were excluded from the calculations. 
  • NA=Not available

Early Child Development 

From birth to six years there exist critical periods during which particular physical, emotional, social, language and communication skills are developed. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a population-based measures of children’s developmental health across five domains, which in turn are divided into 16 sub-domains. Five EDI cycles have been completed in Ottawa, starting in 2005/06. For more information on the EDI and Ottawa results, please refer to the Our Kids, Their Story...Snapshot of Developmental Health at School Entry in Ottawa 2005-2015 report published by the Parent Resource Centre.

In Ottawa:

  • In 2015/16, 26% of senior kindergarten (SK) children were vulnerable in at least one of five Early Development Instrument (EDI) domains. This percent has not changed over time and Ottawa children have fared slightly better than the provincial average. [11]
  • The percent of SK children “not on track” was higher than the provincial average in only one domain, Emotional Maturity (26% Ottawa vs. 25% Ontario). [11]
  • Of concern, the percent of SK children vulnerable in the Physical Health and Well-Being, Social Competence and Emotional Maturity domains has increased over time. On the other hand, there were improvements with a lower percentage of SK children vulnerable in the Language and Cognitive Development and the Communication Skills and General Knowledge domains (Table 6).
  • The most common five sub-domains where children were "not on track" include [11]: 
    • Prosocial and Helping Behaviour (34%), 
    • Communication Skills and General Knowledge (24%), 
    • Gross and Fine Motor Skills (18%), 
    • Interest in Literacy/Numeracy (13%), 
    • Advanced Literacy (12%), and 
    • Hyperactive and Inattentive Behaviour (12%). 
  • The percentage of children vulnerable in at least one EDI domains ranged from 7% to 48% across Ottawa neighbourhoods. The percentage of children vulnerable in at least one EDI domain generally increased with decreasing socioeconomic status. [11]
  • Neighbourhoods with a high proportion of children vulnerable in at least one EDI domain include Sandy Hill (48%), Overbrook (46%), Carleton Heights (46%), Pinecrest/Queensway (43%), Hunt Club West (40%), Lower Town (40%), and Riverview/Hawthorne (39%). [11]
Table 6. Early Development Instrument (EDI) domains and sub-domains with significant changes to the percent of vulnerable children over the past 4 cycles in Ottawa, 2005 to 2015
EDI Domain (% vulnerable in 2015-16, direction of change over past 4 cycles)EDI Sub-domain (direction of change over past 4 cycles)
Physical Health and Well Being (13%, increase) Gross and Fine Motor Skills (decrease)
Physical Independence (increase)
Physical Readiness for School Day (increase)
Emotional Maturity (9%, increase) Hyperactive and Inattentiveness (increase)
Prosocial and Helping Behaviour (increase)
Social Competence (12%, increase) Overall Social Competence (increase)
Responsibility and Respect (increase)
Language and Cognitive Development (7%, increase) Interest in Literacy/Numeracy and Memory (decrease)
Basic Literacy (decrease)
Basic Numeracy (decrease)
Communication Skills and General Knowledge (10%, decrease) Communication and General Knowledge (decrease)
 Data Source and Notes for Table 6

Parent Resource Centre. Early Development Instrument results for Ottawa, 2015-16.

  • Categories of developmental health: 
    • At risk children are those who score between the 10th and 25th lowest percentile in a domain.
    • Vulnerable children are those who score below the lowest 10th percentile in a domain.
    • “Not on track” includes children who score below the lowest 25th percentile (at risk + vulnerable) in a domain.
  • The 50 Best Start Neighbourhoods were used and an area-based socio economic status (SES) composite indicator was calculated (1=most advantaged, 5=least advantaged). Data were pulled from the 2011 Census and the indicators used to populate the index were:
    • percentage of children 0 to 6 years living in low-income households (LIM-AT),
    • percentage of individual 15 years and over with no high school diploma or certificate,
    • percentage of households where the languages spoken most often at home were neither French nor English,
    • percentage of non-migrant movers in the last year,
    • percentage of families separated or divorced,
    • unemployment rate,
    • percentage of lone parent families, and
    • percentage of immigrants. 

Reproductive, Family, and Child Health Reports

 Infant Feeding in Ottawa 2012 to 2014

This infant feeding report is the first to present statistics on selected infant feeding indicators for Ottawa mothers from Ottawa Public Health's Infant Feeding Surveillance System (IFSS), the Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario and Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

References

References 

  1. Public Health Ontario. Reproductive Health Snapshot (2016). https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Reproductive-health.aspx. Accessed November 1, 2018.
  2. Ottawa Public Health. Ottawa births, Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario 2013-2017. Extracted July 6, 2018.
  3. Statistics Canada. Table 12-10-0418-01 Crude birth rate, age-specific fertility rates and total fertility rate (live births). 2013 to 2017. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1310041801. Accessed November 1, 2018.
  4. Ottawa Public Health. Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario Information System 2017. Extracted July 6, 2018.
  5. Ottawa Public Health. Integrated Services for Children Information System (ISCIS) 2017. Extracted July 2018. 
  6. McCain MN, Mustard, J.F., Shanker, D.S. Early years study 2 - Putting science into action. 2007.
  7. Crill Russell C. Parenting in the beginning years: priorities for investment. Toronto, Canada: Invest in Kids; 2003. 
  8. Patterson J, Mockford, C., Barlow, J., Pyper, C., Stewart-Brown, S. Need and demand for parenting programmes in general practice. Archives of Diseases in Childhood. 2002;9:468-71.
  9. Ottawa Public Health. Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016-2017.
  10. Ottawa Public Health. Infant Feeding Surveillance System 2016. 
  11. Millar C, Lafrenière A, Lebreton J, de Quimper C. Our Kids, Their Story...Snapshot of Developmental Health at School Entry in Ottawa 2005-2015. Data Analysis Coordinators PRC, editor. Ottawa, ON; 2016.

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