Healthy Start

Research around the world shows that our health, well-being and coping skills as adults are strongly related to the first years of our lives. From conception to school age, infants' and children’s brains develop in response to their environment which will influence their future.

Children need:

  • Responsive and interactive environment of talking
  • Reading
  • Mentoring and encouragement to explore their world through play, warmth and acceptance
  • Protection from teasing and punishment. (UBC Human Early Learning Partnership)

Northern Health Public Health staff work in collaboration with doctors and community service partners to provide services and support with a focus on prenatal health, early childhood health, development, education and family well-being. As you experience your pregnancy, we can provide with you with information about Northern Health’s Healthy Start program, which is part of Healthy Families BC.

This program offers a wide range of public health services for pregnant women, new mothers, babies, children and families. We want to ensure that pregnant women and new parents receive the care they and their families need for their overall best health.

Prenatal services

The Prenatal Registry - Supporting you to have the healthiest pregnancy and baby possible.

Doctors, Northern Health and community health care providers are working closely to improve prenatal care for expectant women like you. Our new approach will offer you wraparound care from a team of health care professionals who are skilled to care for you during and after your pregnancy. This team may include your doctor, Public Health nurses, specialty services from an obstetrician, a midwife, a nurse practitioner, Mental Health and Addictions clinicians, a dietitian, hospital maternity services, and other community services.


Pregnancy support questionnaire

At your first prenatal appointment, you may be asked to complete the Pregnancy support questionnaire. The information you give us when you complete the questionnaire will help all your care providers serve you and your family better.


Your registration will be reviewed by a Public Health nurse at your prenatal visit to support you to:

  • Receive prenatal health information and resources;
  • Make healthy choices in pregnancy;
  • Learn about feeding and caring for a new baby;
  • Get the physical and emotional support you need; and
  • Find community services that are right for you. 

All women who register will receive a prenatal registration package that includes Baby’s Best Chance Parent HandbookPregnancy Passport and other local community resources.


Health records

The information you provide is confidential and will be held in an electronic records system for Northern Health. Your health care providers can access the information to answer your questions, provide you with information, and connect you with the resources that you are interested in.


Postpartum services

After you deliver your baby we can offer you:

  • Education and assistance with breastfeeding and infant feeding;
  • Resources and help for women who are experiencing postpartum depression or having difficulty with postpartum adjustment. 

Family health services

For families with young children we can offer:

  • Information about child health, growth and development;
  • Immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases;
  • Parenting information;
  • Family planning information; and
  • Enhanced services and follow up for pregnant women and families who need additional support.

Have any questions?

Contact a Public Health nurse with any questions you may have related to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Giving birth
  • Breastfeeding
  • Making lifestyle changes
  • Parenting
  • Issues and concerns
  • Anything else