The early days, weeks and months following the birth of a new baby is a time of adjustment for most families. A Public Health Nurse may connect with you and your family in hospital or at home after birth to talk about supports you may want or need and link you with community supports and resources.
Public Health Early Years provides many services to help families with young children. You can be referred to Early Years by a healthcare provider or community organization, or you can request these services for yourself. Your local Public Health Office can also give you information about postpartum supports and services in your community.
If you are still expecting, visit Public Health's Pregnancy Supports webpage.
Additional Public Supports:
211 Nova Scotia offers a free and confidential referral service, linking families with a variety of programs and services in your community that meet your needs. You can access the service by phone, online, or text.
811 Nova Scotia can offer information and advice from a Registered Nurse if you have a concern about your health, or want to know about services in your area. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Feeding your baby
Regardless of how you are feeding your baby it is common for questions to come up as you develop your new relationship and learn to respond to your babies' feeding cues.
Information on breastfeeding can be found in our Breastfeeding Basics booklet (.pdf) and on the La Leche League Canada website. There you can access helplines across the country, ask questions online, search for a leader in your province and share your feeding and parenting stories with others.
Infant Formula: What You Need to Know (.pdf) 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.
You can find information on Infant Feeding Emergency Preparedness for Parents and Caregivers here.
Do you have questions about how to feed your baby? Contact Public Health, your health care provider or family resource centre.
Loving Care Books
Loving Care is a series of books for parents of children up to three years old. Loving Care gives tools to help young families protect, promote or improve their health and to prevent illness, injury or disability.
These books have been developed to help parents to better recognize and build on their own strengths as parents.
Loving Care books (Birth to Six Months and Parents and Families) are given to all parents in Nova Scotia free of charge from Public Health.
They are available in downloadable PDF below:
- Birth to Six Month - English | French (.pdf)
- Six to Twelve Months - English | French (.pdf)
- One to Three Years - English | French (.pdf)
- Breastfeeding Basics - English | French (.pdf)
- Infant Formula: What You Need to Know - English | French (.pdf)
- Parents and Families - English | French (.pdf)
Home visiting program
Welcoming a new baby into the world can be an exciting time. It can also be challenging, especially when we live alone or in a remote area, or are worried about money, transportation or housing.
Public Health offers a home visiting program that provides extra support to families facing challenges through in-home visits. Families may receive home visiting support for up to three years and/or referral to other health and community resources.
View a video about the services offered through the Enhanced Home Visiting Program.
Early Childhood Immunization Clinics
To help support access to routine early childhood vaccines in Central Zone and Northern Zone, Public Health’s Early Years program offers vaccine clinics for children who do not have a primary care provider, or do not have an MSI number (health card).
These vaccines are publicly funded, which means families do not have to pay to immunize their children. To learn more, visit the Public Health Immunization webpage.
Early Years Drop-in Sessions - Central Zone
Public Health’s Early Years program in Central Zone (Halifax Regional Municipality, Eastern Shore, West Hants) offers regular community drop-in sessions to support families with children from birth to 5 years old. These sessions are staffed by a Public Health Nurse.
Drop-in sessions provide support and guidance on infant feeding, weight checks, questions about sleep, immunizations, mental health, growth and development, nutrition, parenting and social supports.
Please note: Public Health Nurses are not able to diagnose or prescribe medication. In addition, Immunizations are not available at drop-in sessions.
Please check with the Family Resource Centre for closures or cancellations before venturing out.
Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre Baby Club
3499 McAlpine Ave., Halifax
Friday, December 8 & 22 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Phone: 902-454-9444 | Facebook
La Pirouette - Centre de ressource à la famille
1326 Bedford highway (Centre le Tournesol)
Téléphone: 902-225-1149 | Facebook
This clinic will resume in January.
Memory Lane Family Place
22 Memory Ln., Lower Sackville
Tuesday, December 5 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Phone: 902-864-6363 | Facebook
Sackville Public Library
636 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville
Wednesday, December 6, 13 & 20 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Phone: 902-865-8653 | Website
Cole Harbour, Dartmouth, Mineville
The North Grove
115-6 Primrose St., Dartmouth
Tuesday, December 12 from 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: 902-464-8234 | Website | Facebook
Please call ahead to confirm date Public Health Nurse will be present. Registration is required.
Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre
2nd Floor Haverstock Pharmasave Building, Suite #2
12280 Hwy 224, Middle Musquodoboit
Phone: 902-384-2794 | Website | Facebook
Call to confirm day/time Public Health Nurse will be present
Sheet Harbour Public Library
22756 Highway 7, Sheet Harbour
Phone: 902-885-2391 | Website
Call to confirm day/time Public Health Nurse will be present
Windsor Regional Library
195 Albert St., Windsor
Wednesday, December 6 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Phone: 902-798-5424 | Website
Whether you are currently pregnant or adjusting to life as a parent, there's a lot to learn and it can be challenging to know where to get credible information. A list of resources can be found here to help support you during these times.
You can always contact your local Public Health Office at any time during pregnancy and parenthood. We are here for you and your family.