With all the preparations that need to take place before your special new arrival, you may not know of the many services that exist in your community that can support you and your family during pregnancy, after birth and as your child grows.
Becoming familiar with the Healthy Start Public Health Services is a good place to begin learning more.
Healthy Start public health services ensure that pregnant women and parents receive the care they and their families need for their overall best health.
These services include:
- Information about pregnancy and preparing for parenting (e.g. healthy eating, exercise, and decreasing or quitting smoking, alcohol and other substances)
- Resources and help for women at risk of perinatal depression
- Enhanced services and follow up for pregnant women who need additional support*
Postnatal Services (Birth to 8 Weeks)
- Education and assistance with breastfeeding and infant feeding
- Resources and help for women experiencing postpartum depression or difficulty with postpartum adjustment
- Parenting information
- Enhanced services and follow up for women and families who need additional support*
Family Health Services (For families with young children)
- Information about child health, growth and development
- Immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases
- Parenting information
- Dental, hearing and vision screening services
- Family planning information
- Enhanced services and follow up for pregnant women and families who need additional support*
Register your pregnancy as early as possible with your local Health Authority to connect with public health nurses and community resources that’ll provide you, your baby and family with the best possible information and care. This support is available to all pregnant women who are residents of BC. Here's how to register.
Through these services you'll find that there are a number of health care providers that work with pregnant women and families. Be sure to visit your doctor or midwife for regular prenatal checkups and care. Health care providers and public health nurses are also available to answer your questions and provide you with information about prenatal classes and pregnancy programs in your community.
A number of publications are also available for pregnant woman and families of young children:
- Baby's Best Chance includes information about pregnancy and how to prepare for the birth of your baby, and the first six months of your baby's life.
- Toddler’s First Steps includes information about healthy development for children 6 to 36 months old.
Public health offices have copies of these publications at no charge. You can also visit HealthyFamilies BC or the BC Pregnancy Outreach website to ensure you are informed about the care you and your family need for optimal health.
*The BC Healthy Connections Project (BCHCP) supports the goals of Healthy Start. Through the BCHCP, a nurse home visiting program called the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), will be scientifically evaluated.