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Support for Single Parents in the First Year


mom cuddling with baby


Raising a child can be challenging at the best of times. Doing it as a single parent is even more demanding, but help is available; don’t be afraid to ask.  

You may be single, but you are not alone.

Did You Know? According to the latest Census, 16 per cent of Canadian families are headed by a single parent.Family, friends and healthcare professionals can all provide support if you’re feeling overwhelmed, depressed or exhausted. 

Along with the challenges of raising a baby, you may be struggling with increased financial pressures and juggling multiple priorities, such as school and work. All of these competing responsibilities can wear you down, but you can build strong connections with your baby by:

  • Creating a stable, nurturing home. Your baby will thrive in a loving environment with predictable routines. Read books to your baby before bed, or sing songs to your child while making dinner.
  • Developing support. Build support for your baby and yourself through family, friends, and community. Try to find people who can provide emotional support, companionship, emergency help, child care, and other assistance.
  • Giving your baby quality time. It’s not just the amount of time that counts; it's what you do together. Try to support, encourage, and listen to your baby.
  • Finding time. If you need more time with your baby, be creative. Maybe your employer will be flexible with your hours. Arrange to trade babysitting with other single parents. Join activities with other parents and their babies.
  • Taking care of yourself. Don't forget about nurturing your own health. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and try to get enough sleep. Find ways to take care of yourself, whether it's taking a nap, playing a sport, reading a book, or learning relaxation techniques.

Financial support

Vancouver Coastal Health provides a list of financial resources and programs for people during pregnancy and after birth.

Last Updated: August 18, 2023