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  • Writer's pictureDiana Meneses

Becoming a Mom in Canada as an Immigrant: 6 Biggest Takeaways and Tips

Updated: Feb 25

Becoming a mom is arguably one of the biggest life-altering moments in a person's life. It's a time filled with big emotions, sleepless nights, and endless diaper changes. Now imagine that and multiply it by 100.


Becoming a Mom in Canada as an Immigrant, Baby and toddler enjoying the lake water, feet in the water, rocky lake


Becoming a mom as an immigrant in a completely new country with little support from extended family was quite a journey, to say the least. Thankfully, Canada is a country that has embraced me with open arms with its universal healthcare, free recreational programs, and multiple resources. After a steep learning curve, two babies, and four years later, I can look back and see what my biggest lessons and tips would be for someone going through a similar experience.


Becoming a Mom in Canada as an Immigrant


During your pregnancy journey:


1. Do your research.


This one may seem obvious at first; however, it is important to note that Canada is a country of choices. So it's no surprise that you, as a mom, will face a myriad of choices during your pregnancy journey. Some examples of these choices would be what type of care you wish to have (e.g., midwife or obstetrician) if you wish to have a home birth or hospital birth, and if you would like any extra support systems or services during that time (such as a doula or even a photographer). Here’s an incredibly helpful link outlining all your options in Canada.


2. Be prepared.


Once you have a rough idea of what you want, it is important to prepare for that specific situation. Whether that is packing a hospital bag, prepping your space for an in-home birth, or contacting your desired support system, making sure you feel prepared from the start saves you stressful moments in the future.


Note: It is important to note, however, that plans do change, and that is okay. Making sure you plan for different scenarios can ease some of the uncertainty that comes with last-minute changes.


3. Be your biggest advocate.


My mother-in-law recently told me that all moms have this superpower instinct when it comes to their children. Moms always know, deep down in their gut, when something is wrong or if something requires more attention. Although there is absolutely no scientific evidence behind that statement, there are however years and years of personal experience as a mom of six and now a grandma of 10.


Superpower-gut-instinct aside, all this goes to say that you will always be the biggest advocate for your child, and that ultimately starts in the womb. So always go with your gut. Whether that is choosing a type of care, changing up your birth plan, or going to the hospital when something feels off.



During the New Mom" Stage:


1. Mingle, mingle, mingle!


As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, becoming a mom is a monumental moment filled with a million different emotions. And although the vast majority of those emotions are positive ones, there’s always the inevitable roost of "negative" emotions. For me, one of those emotions was loneliness. At the time I became a mom, I had a great group of friends, a supportive family, and a loving husband. However, I still felt lonely on my motherhood journey.


I quickly realized that one of the things my life was lacking was mom friends. Since I was the first of my friends to have kids and my mom and other family members live hundreds of miles away, I came to the conclusion that I needed to get out and meet some fellow moms in my area.


I went to playgrounds, library story time, and countless other activities where I was able to meet wonderful women going through the same journey as me. Some of whom I now dearly care for and consider as my extended family here in Canada.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and mingle. Sharing this exciting journey with other people makes it all the more beautiful.


2. Take advantage of the resources Canada has to offer.


One of the great things about Canada is the countless resources and programs catered to those early years.


Free resources:

Your local library probably hosts programs such as babytime, storytime for toddlers, outdoor storytime, and more. Your school district has strong starts, which is incredible for early learning development and social skills (if you want to learn more, here’s BC’s StrongStartBC program info).


Moreover, there are specific immigrant-related programs for certain ethnicities. An example would be this Spanish family program in Langley, BC.


A quick Google search with your area and specific ethnic background may provide you with more groups. Also, contacting your local school branch is always a good idea since the majority of these services are provided within the schools.


Paid resources:

Your local community centre runs affordable and valuable programs and classes. From swimming to $2 gym play areas, there is always something worth checking out.




3. Get out and explore.


My last takeaway would be to get out and explore this beautiful new country you are now in. Stepping out of your daily routine is incredibly beneficial, even if it is just for a quick walk around the park. Although I know that getting out with the kids can be a challenge in itself at times, I can guarantee that it is almost always worth the effort. From camping and hikes to weekend getaways, there is always something new to explore in Canada.


 

In Conclusion


In retrospect, becoming a mom in Canada as an immigrant has been a transformative journey. Canada, with its embrace of universal healthcare and free recreational programs, became my sanctuary amid the challenges of raising two children far from my extended family.


My ultimate advice to fellow immigrant moms navigating this intricate path would be to embrace the uniqueness of your journey, seek the support that surrounds you, and cherish the blend of cultures shaping your narrative of motherhood.

Feel free to keep checking out our blog for activities, ideas, yummy recipes, and more. You’ve got this momma!




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