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Welcome to Parenting


Home » Public Health » Programs & Services » Family Health Program

Public Health

Programs & Services

Family Health Program


Welcome to Parenting

Healthy Development

Pregnancy Education and Support

Local Public Health Offices
Contact your local public health office to learn about a range of programs and services available in your community.

Welcome to Parenting
Welcome to Parenting is an interactive, online education and support program for women and their partners on their journey from pregnancy to parenthood. It was developed by The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families and has been customized for Nova Scotia parents.

The program is for women and their partners who are expecting a baby and living in Nova Scotia. It provides information for pregnancy and throughout baby's first year.

  • Learn about healthy pregnancy, labour and birth, breastfeeding and more.
  • Get answers to your questions from experts in health, parenting and child development.
  • Connect with other parents online.

Register online at novascotia.welcometoparenting.com

Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting Program
Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting provides additional support to families facing challenges through a comprehensive home visiting program. Families may receive home visiting support for up to three years and/or referral and linkage to other health and community resources. This program is offered through your local public health office.

Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program
This prenatal program provides group and individual support and education to pregnant women facing challenging life situations. It is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Find a location near you.

Family/Parenting Resource Centres
Family resource centres throughout Nova Scotia work in partnership with public health and many other community organizations to support families. Some centres offer in-person prenatal education classes. Find a location near you and see the programs and services offered to expectant and new parents.

Important Links for Education and Support

Our services are listed below:

The Healthy Baby Program
Home visits, telephone consults and/or office visits
Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting Program
Baby-Friendly Drop In Program
Public Health Childhood Immunization Clinic Schedule
Family Health Links and Resources
Loving Care Books


Healthy Baby Program
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services offers extra money for milk and juice to those who are pregnant or who have children less than 12 months of age and are receiving Employment Support and Income Assistance. Public Health Services offers information and help with healthy choices. Call the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services at 667-3336 or 597-3887 or Public Health Services at 667-3319 or 1-800-767-3319 to find out more about this program.

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Home visits, telephone consults and/or office visits
Public Health Nurses visit new mothers and babies at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center to complete the Enhanced Home Visiting Screening tool, hearing screening assessment, and to inform them of the programs offered by Public Health Services. All families are contacted by a Public Health Nurse 1 to 3 days after hospital discharge as per Public Health Service Standards and the Department of Health; Healthy Babies, Healthy Families Postpartum and Postnatal Guidelines. A home visit will be offered to all families as soon as possible.

During the home visit, the Public Health Nurse will offer to:

  • Assess and assist with breastfeeding
  • Do a physical assessment of the newborn (weight, jaundice, cord, and feeding)
  • Discuss attachment, infant feeding cues, crying, growth and development, immunizations, introduction of solid foods, oral health, and safety issues.
  • Review the mother’s health.
  • Discuss and assess mom’s emotional status, support network, response to the birth experience, and the family’s adaptation to the baby.
  • Discuss family planning, postnatal checkups, healthy lifestyle, family roles, family violence, and financial concerns.
  • Provide a postpartum package that includes a set of Loving Care Books, Breastfeeding Basics, information on community resources and Public Health programs such as the Baby Friendly Drop In and immunization clinics.

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Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting Program
This program is a family-led, strengths-based program offered to those families who score over 9 on the Enhanced Home Visiting Screening tool and who have children with known disabilities, developmental risk factors, and/or concerns with mental health, social support or financial issues. This is a free and voluntary program for families with babies from birth to 3 years old. A Public Health Home Visitor in collaboration with a Public Health Nurse offers information about parenting, child development, behavior issues, and information about available community resources. This program is parent led – Parents choose how often they want a visit, and what topics they want to include in the visits.

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Baby Friendly Drop-In
Baby Friendly Drop-In is a well-baby drop in program held every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm at Maggie’s Place (Amherst). Drop in with your little ones to chat with other families, have your baby weighed, meet with public health nurses and receive information and support regarding breastfeeding and other concerns. Information sessions are presented monthly on a variety of topics such as making your own baby food, infant massage, growth and development, parenting and baby teeth. Parents can also get a free checklist designed to help monitor your child’s development called the Nipissing District Developmental Screen.

You can also drop in to have your baby weighed, meet with public health nurses, receive information, and support at the following locations throughout Cumberland County:

Springhill
The 4th Tuesday of each month from 3:00pm – 4:00pm at the All Saints Hospital Boardroom

Oxford
The 4th Tuesday of each month from 11:00am-12:00pm at the Oxford Medical Center

Drop-ins are also welcome at immunization clinics in Advocate, Springhill, Pugwash, Parrsboro, and River Hebert.

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Public Health Childhood Immunization Clinic Schedule
Vaccines are a safe and effective way to give children immunity against a number of potentially serious diseases. Please review the Nova Scotia Immunization Schedule or contact our office for more information about childhood immunizations. We also encourage you to visit Health Canada’s Website on Childhood Immunizations for more information. We offer immunization clinics on a regular basis throughout Cumberland County (please see the schedule below). If you wish to have your child immunized, please call and book an appointment with Public Health at 667-3319 or 1-800-767-3319 for more information.

Amherst
Location: Public Health Services (18 South Albion Street in Amherst)
1st Wednesday of each month from 4:00pm – 6:00pm
3rd Wednesday of each month from 9:00am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 3:00pm
4th Wednesday of each month from 9:00am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Springhill
Location: Saints Hospital Boardroom
2nd Tuesday of each month from 1:00pm – 3:00pm
4th Tuesday of each month from 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Oxford
Location: Oxford Medical Center
4th Tuesday of each month from 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Parrsboro
Location: South Cumberland Community Care Center Boardroom
3rd Tuesday of each month from 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Advocate
Location: Primary Health Care Clinic
1st Tuesday of each month from 10:00am – 11:00am

River Hebert
Location: Primary Health Care Clinic
1st Tuesday of each month from 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Pugwash
Location: North Cumberland Memorial Hospital Boardroom
1st Wednesday of each month from 10:45am-11:45am

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Family Health Links and Resources

Loving Care Books
Loving Care is a brand new series of health education booklets from Nova Scotia’s Public Health Services designed for families with children from birth to three years of age. All new families will receive a copy of these books from their public health nurse. The booklets are written in plain language and help parents build upon and develop their parenting skills. The booklets focus on parent and child interaction, as well as healthy growth and development. These booklets complement many of the programs and services offered by Public Health Services. You will find a link to an online copy of these booklets below.

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