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Nurse-Family Partnership is a free public health program for women having their first baby and ensures they both receive support during pregnancy and after the child is born up to two years of age.
What is Nurse-Family Partnership?
Nurse-Family Partnership is a free public health program for women having their first baby. Women enrolled in the program are visited by a public health nurse throughout their pregnancy, continuing until their child reaches two years of age. Over this time, a woman and her Nurse-Family Partnership nurse may explore topics such as: how to have a healthy pregnancy, preparation for childbirth, nutrition, exercise, parenting, child development, future life planning and accessing community resources.
The goal of the program is to support first-time parents to succeed.
Who may enroll in the Nurse-Family Partnership program?
You can enroll if you are:
- Pregnant with your first child
- Less than 29 weeks gestation
- Age 24 years or younger
- Age 19 and younger = eligible
- Age 20 to 24 years = eligible if experiencing social/financial, or housing challenges such as lone parenting, less than grade 12, low income, homeless
- Please note: If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, please contact public health as there are other support programs available that might be of benefit and interest.
* Women are encouraged to enroll as early in their pregnancy as possible (ideally before the 16th week of pregnancy) to get to know their nurse and begin the Nurse-Family Partnership program.
What does the program cost?
Nurse-Family Partnership is FREE to all eligible women. The program is voluntary.
What topics can you explore with your Nurse-Family Partnership nurse?
- Having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
- Developing your parenting skills.
- Building a strong network of support for you and your baby.
- Talking about your goals in life.
- Looking at your home as safe and nurturing and/or planning for housing that meets your needs.
- Accessing other community resources that feel right for you.
- Finding ways to continue your education and/or develop employment and career skills.
- Strengthen your skills in budgeting, housing, healthy relationships and family planning.
How often will my Nurse-Family Partnership nurse visit me?
Your nurse is available to visit every week or two during your pregnancy and after your child is born, until they are two years old. At this time, you will graduate from the program and receive a certificate. Your nurse will ask you which visit schedule will work best for you.
Can my family and partner participate?
- Feel free to speak with your Nurse-Family Partnership nurse about who you feel is important to have supporting you during pregnancy and as a new mother.
- Some women choose to invite their partner, family members and/or friends to be involved, to learn how they can best support you and your baby.
- It is your decision who you would like to be at the visit.
- You are the main focus for the nurse on the visits because:
- You are pregnant with the baby.
- You care for the baby once they are born.
- You are your child’s first teacher.
How do I get more information on the Nurse-Family Partnership and/or programs in my area?
Contact your local health unit or health authority to learn more about Nurse-Family Partnership. If Nurse-Family Partnership is not available in your area, your health authority can connect you to many other programs that can provide support to you and your baby.
- Contact your local health authority:
- Fraser Health: Best Beginnings prenatal registry or call 604-851-3089
- Interior Health: Healthy from the Start prenatal registry or call 1-855-868-7710 (toll free)
- Island Health: Right From The Start prenatal registry
- Northern Health: Prenatal services or email HealthyStart@northernhealth.ca
- Vancouver Coastal Health: Public Health prenatal program call 1-855-550-2229 (toll free)
- Talk to your doctor, midwife or other health care provider about the Nurse-Family Partnership program (they can refer you).
- Learn more about registering your pregnancy with your local health authority. A public health nurse will follow up with you shortly once your registration is complete.