Put on pause during the pandemic, the Pregnancy to Parenting program will be back this fall, headed by a different organization.
Supported by the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program by Canada Public Health, the P2P program aims to help new and expecting parents develop skills and gain confidence, while also developing community connections.
Previously run by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, the P2P program will be operating again under the Guelph Community Health Centre starting this September.
Jocelyn Wells is the program coordinator for the P2P program. She said Guelph CHC is well-positioned to support families as they transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
“I know that the Guelph Community Health Centre is well-positioned to lead this program in the community just given all the other services they offer for families and children,” said Wells.
She mentions this program is available to anybody experiencing challenges with their pregnancy or up to six weeks postpartum.
“Some of the risk factors might be something like low income, inadequate housing, trouble accessing food, substance use,” said Wells, who adds the program is also for Indigenous populations and newcomers to Canada.
The free daytime program will have weekly sessions facilitated by Wells and registered dietitian, Shin Low. In these sessions, participants will learn about healthy eating, infant care, breastfeeding and more.
“In person with the program, it will be providing food, in terms of a shared meal or a lunch, and we are also working with the SEED program to provide additional access to healthy food for our participants,” she said.
When it first launches, the program will be offered online due to the pandemic concerns.
“We want to keep people safe and want to support all of our participants,” said Wells, “Once it is safe to do so in person, we will be running out of the EarlyON Centre out of the Stone Road Mall location.”
To access the program, expecting or new parents can either submit a self-referral or a referral through an agency on the Guelph CHC website. Residents can also call 519-821-6638 ext. 339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.