New + Expecting Parents

Being a new parent can be an overwhelming time in your life and it can be difficult to figure out where everything is. We have listed some groups and resources here to help sort that out.

 
 

Do you think you might be pregnant?

Do a pregnancy test:

 

I’m Pregnant and need a Maternity Care Provider


In British Columbia, women have options available for who cares for them during their pregnancy. The BC Medical Service Plan (BC MSP) will cover the cost of your maternity care. In the Comox Valley, you can choose a family physician or a registered midwife as your maternity care provider. In some circumstances you may be referred to an obstetrician for your primary care.

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RIGHT FROM THE START

The Right from the Start program offers support for pregnant women and new mothers, their babies, children and families.

A public health nurse works in partnership with you and your care team, offering services that include:

  • free health and pregnancy information

  • education and support

  • referrals to community resources specific to your individual needs

For more information or to register online, visit the Island Health Right from the Start registration page. You can also contact Public Health Nursing to get more information about the program.

Get In Touch

Contact: Public Health Nursing
Phone: 250-331-8520
Email: rfts@viha.ca
Location: Comox Valley Health Unit, 961 England Avenue, Courtenay (map)

 

Trousse Bébé Francophone

Bébé Francophone is a welcome package for parents for expecting parents or who have a child under 12 months old, and have French as one of the languages spoken in their home. The package contains lots of information, as well as some “goodies” (including a CD of French songs and a baby book in French). Some of the resources included are geared specifically to families where only one parent is a Francophone.

Get In Touch

Phone: 1-800-905-5056
Email: info@fpfcb.bc.ca

 

Babies + Babble

This new Mom’s group will focus on offering support and friendship to moms with new babies to toddlers ages 0-18 months. There will be informal chat for part of the session, guest speakers as they are available (covering topics such as breastfeeding, dental hygienists for teething, nutritionists for introducing food, behavioural experts and more) and ending with a snack or light lunch for all the participants to help encourage good mama self-care.

Get In Touch

Phone: 250-337-5190
Location: Black Creek Community Centre, 2001 Black Creek Road, Black Creek (map)

 
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ABORIGINAL DOULA SUPPORT PROGRAM

This program is offered through the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. The program provides funding for expectant Aboriginal families to access doula services for prenatal, birthing, and postpartum support.

WHAT IS A DOULA AND HOW DO I FIND ONE?

A doula provides emotional, physical, and spiritual support for women and families during pregnancy and labour and after birth. In the Comox Valley, there is a website with contact information for local doulas (Comox Valley Doulas) or you can call 1-877-365-5588.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE PROGRAM?

The applications are available at Wachiay Friendship Centre. You and the doula will each need to fill out a section of the form and then return it to Lisa at Wachiay, who will send it on to the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for processing.

Get In Touch
Contact: Lisa
Phone: 250-338-7793, extension 261
Email: lisa@wachiay.com
Location: Wachiay Friendship Centre, 1625 McPhee Avenue, Courtenay (map)

 

Breastfeeding Drop-in

This is a drop-in group for moms to get breastfeeding support and information from public health nursing and lactation consultants.

Get In Touch

Contact: Public Health Nursing
Phone: 250-331-8520
Email: rfts@viha.ca
Location: Comox Valley Health Unit, 961 England Avenue, Courtenay (map)

 
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Car Seat Information

Are you overwhelmed by the number of car seat choices? Do you wonder if the most expensive car seat is the safest? Are you totally confused by the car seat installation process? You are not alone!

Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs are local child passenger safety advocates.To find a technician or to ask a question about buying, using or installing a seat, visit their website or Facebook page.

 
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HEALTHLINK BC PHONE LINE

Call 8-1-1 from anywhere in British Columbia to speak with the following health professionals:

  • Nurses

    • Can help with non-emergency health concerns

    • Available day or night

  • Dietitians

    • Can answer your healthy eating and nutrition questions

    • Available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm

  • Exercise Professionals

    • Can answer your physical activity questions and offer advice

    • Available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm

  • Pharmacists

    • Can answer your medication questions when your community pharmacist may be unavailable

    • Available from 5pm to 9am every night of the week

Get In Touch

Phone: 811

 
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MAMACENTRIC

For mothers and babies, this group focuses on self-care, postpartum adjustment and life after baby.

Our goals:

  • to increase knowledge of parenting issues

  • to provide opportunities for socialization and community building in Cumberland

  • to reduce distress, isolation and depression

  • to increase the mental and social wellbeing of the whole family

Siblings up to the age of 3 are also welcome. Tea and snack provided. Program offered by Cumberland Community Schools Society

Get In Touch

Contact: Selena
Phone: 250-336-8511, extension 76616
Email: ccss.coordinator@gmail.com

 
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NEW DISCOVERIES

The goal of this program is to strengthen families in our community by offering programs that meet the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs of parents and their children. Suited for children age 0-5.

Activities including crafting, cooking, summer camps, and learning skills like boundaries.

All of the programs are free, however, space is sometimes limited.

Get In Touch

Contact: Brandi
Phone: 250-338-8221
Email: brandi@cvsalarmy.ca
Location: Salvation Army Church, 1580 Fitzgerald Street, Courtenay (map)

 
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PACIFIC POST PARTUM SUPPORT SOCIETY

Pacific Post Partum Support Society supports women and men who are struggling during pregnancy or after the birth or adoption of a child.

Some of these difficult adjustments may include:

  • crying for no apparent reason

  • numbness or feelings of helplessness

  • frightening or intrusive thoughts

  • depression ranging from sadness to suicidal thoughts

  • anxiety or panic attacks

  • anger and aggression

  • feelings of resentment toward the baby

The Pacific Post Partum Support Society is based in the Lower Mainland but supports parents throughout British Columbia by offering:

1.Telephone support: experienced postpartum counsellors offer telephone support, information and referrals five days a week. The toll free number is: 1-855-255-7999.

2. Information in print: information packages are available to individuals and professionals at no cost. There is also a Self-Help Guide published by the Society that is available for purchase.

Please note: women may seek support at any time from pregnancy until their child is 3 years old.

Get In Touch

Phone: 1-855-255-7999
Email: admin@postpartum.org

 
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PRENATAL CLASSES

Prenatal classes are taught by childbirth educators and covers topics important to you during your pregnancy such as nutrition, lifestyle factors, community support and your hopes for your pregnancy and birth. You may want information about getting ready for your baby’s arrival including what to expect when feeding and caring for your new baby.

As classes can fill up quickly, it is important to register as soon as you can, even if you are early on in your pregnancy.

Registration is done through the Right From the Start program and can be completed online. If you would like to speak to someone about the program, please contact Public Health Nursing.

Get In Touch

Contact: Public Health Nursing
Phone: 250-331-8520
Email: rfts@viha.ca
Location: Comox Valley Health Unit, 961 England Avenue, Courtenay (map)

 
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STAY + PLAY

This interactive parent-child support group is for families with children between 4 – 12 months of age. It is an opportunity for parents to:

  • connect with other parents and caregivers in a supportive, learning environment

  • learn more about children’s health, safety, nutrition, growth and development

  • access clothing sharing shelves & emergency food hampers

  • talk with community guest speakers while the children enjoy a variety of early learning activities

Transportation is available and a healthy lunch is always provided.

Get In Touch

Phone: 250-871-7577
Location: Comox Valley Family Services, 1415 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay (map)

 
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YOUNG PARENT PROGRAM

The young parent program supports education, childcare, social and health needs of expectant and parenting students in the Comox Valley.

This program is accessible to all families including those completing high school or college education, employed and/or families needing assistance through the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Get In Touch

Contact: Christine
Phone: 250-338-8445
Email: ypp@tntls.com
Location: Today n’ Tomorrow Learning Society, 4830 Headquarters Road (next to Vanier Secondary), Courtenay (map)