Support for New Parents
Public Health

Pregnancy is an important time to gain knowledge and skills for a healthy pregnancy, birth and adjustment to parenthood. Public Health offers a number of programs and supports to help Nova Scotians beginning during pregnancy and thoughout parenthood.

Pregnancy Education and Support

Welcome to Parenting is an interactive, online education and support program for women and their partners on their journey from pregnancy to parenthood. 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.

Healthy Beginnings Postpartum/Postnatal Support

The early days, weeks and months following the birth of a new baby is a time of adjustment for most parents. Public Health connects with all families after birth to identify if additional support is needed and to connect new families with resources and information on community supports.

For information on postpartum/postnatal programs, contact your local Public Health Office

Infant Feeding

Breast milk is the only food that your baby needs to grow and be healthy in the first 6 months of life.

We encourage mothers to only give breast milk for the first 6 months and to continue to breastfeed for the first 2 years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding. Information on breastfeeding can be found in our Breastfeeding Basics booklet

How to Feed Your Baby with Infant Formula has been developed for parents who have made an informed decision to feed their baby with infant formula.  It tells you what you need to know to feed your baby safely.

If you have questions about how to feed your baby, contact Public Health, your health care provider or family resource centre.

Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting Program

Healthy Beginnings Enhanced Home Visiting provides additional support to families facing challenges through a home visiting program. Families may receive home visiting support for up to three years and/or referral to other health and community resources.  

Home visiting focuses on supporting parents, promoting a healthy parent-child relationship, fostering healthy childhood development and linking families with community resources for healthy growth and development of the child and the family. This program is offered through Public Health Services.

View the Enhanced Home Visiting Program video

For information, contact your local Public Health Office.

Enhanced Vision Screening

The Enhanced Vision Screening Program is a vision screening program conducted by Public Health prior to school entry. The goal of the program is to ensure that all children achieve the highest level of vision possible, through the identification of potentially correctable conditions. 

For more information, contact your local Public Health Office.

Loving Care e-Books

Loving Care is a series of four books for parents of children from birth to age three. Loving Care focuses on information that will help young families to protect, promote, or improve their health, and to prevent illness, injury or disability.

Loving Care has been developed to help parents to better recognize and build on their own strengths as parents.

Three Loving Care books - Birth to 6 months, 6 to 12 months and Parents and Families - are given to all parents in Nova Scotia free of charge from Public Health. All four Loving Care books are available for download.