Children, Seniors and Social Development

Prenatal and Postnatal Resources, Services & Benefits

There are a number of provincial programs and initiatives that promote healthy pregnancy, infancy, and birth, improve parenting and family supports and strengthen early childhood development.

Parent and Child Health Programs include a variety of programs designed to offer and support seamless service for childbearing families and families with young children, from the prenatal period to the school-aged child. These are offered to all families, through regional community health services. Families are referred to these programs either by health care providers or by themselves and services are provided primarily by public/community health nurses.

Specific program areas include:

  • BABIES (Before Birth and Beyond: Information, Education and Support), a prenatal education and support program for pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Prenatal education and support is also offered through some hospitals which provide maternity care.
  • Healthy Beginnings: Supporting Newborns, Young Children and their Families (postnatal follow up program)
  • Child Health Clinics
  • Preschool Health Check program
  • Immunization programs

Parent and Child Health Programs also include other services such as:

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Nobody's Perfect (a parenting program)
  • Developmental Screening
  • Anticipatory Guidance and information for parent and child health topics such as growth and development, guiding children's behaviour, safety and injury prevention and other general parenting questions
  • Other programs and services to families on an individual or group basis as needed

These initiatives are designed to provide prenatal, postnatal and parenting education and support to women and their families. Healthy Beginnings was developed to assist public health nurses to identify families and their children who require specific follow-up in the time after birth. The goal of the program is to promote optimal physical, cognitive, communicative and psychological development in all children. Included in this program is a plan for screening and follow-up of priority families. Information about a variety of topics such as parenting, safety, nutrition and growth and development is made available to parents as needed. Child Health Clinics and Preschool Health Checks also provide screening for physical growth, vision, hearing, speech/language development, behaviour, oral health and nutrition as well as information and guidance for parents Referrals can also be made for other services where indicated. Each program provides a standardized, yet flexible, approach based on best practice in meeting the health needs of parents and young children.

Prenatal Resources

Other Prenatal and Postnatal Services and Benefits:


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