Thank you for your honesty and very important testimony. We have five children, and each pregnancy was very different. In our fourth pregnancy, my wife fell and was bedridden, but because she was self-employed she didn't qualify for benefits. One of the witnesses highlighted the issue of kidney problems, diabetes during that period, and back problems.
Anna and Melodie, could you share with the committee some of the costs associated with pregnancy, whether it's buying a new car seat, because they expire, or...? What were the costs to the government associated with that need, in consideration of this new national maternity assistance program? How can we help families? How can we help women who have chosen to have another child and who need help with the costs?
You've shared the cost after your delivery, but are there costs associated with the pregnancy, particularly in the last trimester, that we could help with? The Canada child benefit starts at delivery. We heard the importance of allowing women to fill out the forms beforehand, so they don't have to fill them out after delivery, when they're struggling. I think that was a good suggestion, and they take effect at the time of delivery. Are there costs associated with the pregnancy that you also need help with?
We'll start with Anna, if that's okay.