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Xpress Way To Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The excitement of a new baby also comes with many questions for new parents. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) have partnered to create the Prenatal Xpress – Prenatal Self-Learning Guide, a new resource to help parents find the answers they need.

The guide, prepared by OPH’s Reproductive Health Program, is an easy-to-use handbook that includes two DVDs on pregnancy, nursing and baby care. The guide is now available at any of OPL’s 33 library branches or bookmobile stops. The program aims to increase the presence of prenatal education resources in the community.

Access to early prenatal education increases the chance of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. However, each year nearly half of all first-time mothers in Ottawa do not take a prenatal class.

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First-time parents may choose not to attend prenatal classes for many reasons including scheduling, language barriers, other cultural considerations, rural location, transportation limitations or economic reasons.

Whatever the reason, OPH and OPL want these families to have the healthiest start possible. The Prenatal Xpress – Prenatal Self-Learning Guide is a new access point to the information normally obtained through a prenatal class.

The Harold Crabtree Foundation provided a generous grant to make the guide possible. The grant also allowed OPL to update and expand its collection of DVDs on pregnancy and infant health, with recommendations from the OPH Reproductive Health Program.

The DVD collection and guide may stand alone as a reference on prenatal information, or work in concert with other resources to provide the greatest benefit to parents and baby, especially for those parents who cannot attend a traditional prenatal class.