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Perinatal Substance Use

Substance use affects many people, even those who are pregnant and parenting. Whatever your role is, you can help support healthy people, families, and babies.

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The resources offered here have been created through the Provincial Perinatal Substance Use Project. This  provincial project is a collaboration between the BC Women's Hospital, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions and all regional health authorities and community agencies who serve women who are pregnant, or newly parenting, and using substances.  

For more information about the project, or to get involved, please contact Provincial Perinatal Substance Use Project

Education & Training

There are many related courses, conferences, and resources available that will help you to prepare and advance your skills and knowledge. Please see the topic areas and resources below.


Safe, collaborative, trusting relationships are a essential when it comes to working with women and families, ‎where there is substance use.  Some key educational offerings that support building safe relationships include

Motivational Interviewing, trauma and violence informed practice, and Indigenous Cultural Safety.  The following courses are available to help you grow your skills in these areas. Indigenous Cultural Safety is integrated throughout all our content. 


This 2 day psychoducation for staff is related to trauma informed practice. SafeCARE includes focus on attachment, trauma, self-care for staff, harm reduction, and Indigenous Cultural Safety. SafeCARE is currently offered in person, but due to limitations on in person events, virtual options are in development.  

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative conversation style, that draws on a person's own motivation to change. All Health Authorities (HA) offer yearly seats at MI training. These offerings are co-ordinated through point persons at each HA.  You may also contact your regional perinatal substance working group to find out about CCMI educadtion opportunities. Finally, see the education resource list for other on-demand resources for MI. 

Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS)

Indigenous Cultural Safety is integrated throughout all our courses and education, but you there are also more specific ICS options listed in the education and training resource list. 


Moms and babies both do better when they are together. BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre (BCW) supports mother and baby togetherness as a guiding principle for care, recommended by Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO) (2009).


The Provincial Rooming In Guideline for Perinatal Women Using Substances was developed by the Provincial Perinatal Substance Use Project at BCW. The guideline is comprised of best evidence, leading and wise practices to support mother and baby togetherness through Rooming-in in the acute care setting.


Eat, Sleep, Console (ESC) refers to a clinical tool used in acute care to manage neonatal withdrawal symptoms.  ESC education is available as part of the Perinatal Substance Use course on the UBC CPD site. ‎ See other education options through Perinatal Services BC

PPSUP Education Repository.pdf   

Addiction Care and Treatment Online Course (UBC CPD)

Please see the "Pregnancy and Substance Use" module that is part of the ACTOC Certificate course. You can complete individual modules, or the entire certificate, if you choose. 

Perinatal Substance Use (UBC CPD)

The Perinatal Substance Use course includes 4 separate modules related to perinatal care, the Eat, Sleep Console (ESC) clinical tool and non-pharmalogical care, as well as pharmacological care, Neonatal Abstinance Syndrome, principles of care, and 'going home'.  

The following document contains links to courses, videos, toolkits and guides that are mostly free, online and available on demand.


Perinatal Substance Use Education Resource List

Other Resources

Ensuring Best Care and Supports to Pregnant and Newly Parenting Women with Opioid Use Challenges Visioning Workshop was hosted by BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre and Perinatal Services BC in June 2018 in Vancouver. 

The From Visioning to Reality Forum: Caring for Pregnant and Newly Parenting Women Using Substances was hosted by the Provincial Perinatal Substance Use Project in June 2019 in Richmond.‎

The Renewed FIR Model of Care was developed in a collaborative process with the FIR interdisciplinary team and reflects alignment with the best evidence, leading and wise practices, and insights from women with lived and living experience.  The FIR model of care provides the acute care design elements for the provincial blueprint for a perinatal substance use continuum of care. 

Women Together. Conquer Stigma. Perinatal Substance Use. A video by the Provincial Perinatal Substance Use Project.



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