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Pregnancy and parenting

Breastfeeding Supports

Do you need help with breastfeeding? Do you have questions about your baby? Come to a FREE Drop-in!

Baby symbol indicating location offers breastfeeding and Well baby supportParenting in Ottawa Drop-ins: Public Health Nurses offer support for breastfeeding and healthy growth and development from prenatal to age 6.

Breastfeeding symbol Breastfeeding Support Drop-ins: Lactation Consultants offer breastfeeding support.

Schedule may change. 

Closed on statutory holidays.*

Breastfeeding resources in Ottawa

  • ParentinginOttawa.ca at 613-Parents (613-727-3687). Public Health Nurses are available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
  • La Leche League Canada – Ottawa Chapter, 613-238-5919: For breastfeeding information and support, 7 days a week, visit www.lllc.ca, or e-mail lllcottawa@gmail.com.
  • For private lactation consultant services, visit www.ovlc.net. There is a fee for these services.
  • Telehealth Ontario, 1-866-797-0000, access to expert advice and support for breastfeeding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Ottawabreastfeeds.ca, provides Ottawa and regional families with easy access to information about the many sources of breastfeeding support 
  • Your doctor or midwife

You can also connect with us on our BlogFacebook and Twitter (@ottawahealth) for the latest public health information.

Baby-Friendly Initiative

Breastfeeding symbol indicating location offers breastfeeding supportThe Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It was developed to help hospitals and community agencies protect, promote and support breastfeeding. 'The Baby-Friendly Initiative outlines 'best-practice' for those working with pregnant and/or parenting families. Baby-Friendly organizations support all families with important infant feeding and infant care practices. Baby-Friendly organizations benefit babies, families, society and the environment.

In Canada the  Breastfeeding Committee for Canada (BCC) is responsible for designating hospitals and community health care agencies. Ottawa Public Health supports the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Initiative and is committed to:

  • Helping parents make informed decisions about feeding their baby
  • Supporting all families regardless of their feeding method
  • Recommending breast milk as the only food for babies until they are six months old
  • Recommending breast milk be included in a child’s diet up to two years and beyond
  • Protecting women’s rights to breastfeed anytime, anywhere
  • Working with our community to protect, promote and support breastfeeding

Key messages for families

For additional information on the Initiative or the feeding or care of your baby please contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 to speak with a public health nurse.

Dental Screening Tool

Wondering if your child is at risk for tooth decay?  This simple questionnaire can help you assess the risk.  At the end, if your child is at risk and you cannot afford a dental appointment, visit the schedule of FREE dental screenings or to find out if your child is eligible for a FREE dental program. 

For more information please contact Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744.

Parenting in Ottawa

Parenting in Ottawa is a new resource for parents created by Ottawa Public Health and its community partners. It was designed to make parenting in Ottawa a little bit easier. Browse our website to find information written by local health experts.

Wondering what foods to avoid during pregnancy?  That's in our Becoming a Parent and Pregnancy section.

Getting ready to breastfeed for the first time?  You'll find useful tips in our Breastfeeding section.

Wondering when your child can start eating solid foods?  Check out the Babies and Toddlers section.

Need to know what vaccines your child requires to attend school?  That can be found in our Children section.

Need tips for talking to your youth about mental health?  We're here to help. Visit the Youth section.

We are proud to serve all parents and parents-to-be in the City of Ottawa.

Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page

Do you have questions about pregnancy and parenting children from birth to 18 years in Ottawa? Are you looking for ways to connect with and support other parents? If yes, then you've come to the right place!

The Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page is moderated by Ottawa Public Health and is updated by a Registered Nurse Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 3:00pm (excluding holidays). It's our mission to share information, respond to your parenting questions and create a safe place for parents to get together to chat about raising kids in Ottawa. 

Parenting topics include:

  • family planning
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • the growth and development of your child
  • physical activity
  • healthy eating
  • child safety
  • mental health
  • how to talk to your child and teen about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs 
  • how to talk to your child and teen about puberty and sexuality
  • community services for your family


You can also call our Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.

What are you waiting for?! Join the conversation!

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children (HBHC)

A free home visiting program for pregnant women and families with children from birth until transition to school.

  • Service in the language you speak
  • We are here to answer your questions about pregnancy and parenting; call us at: 613-580-6744.

 After your baby is born, a Public Health Nurse will:

  • Call you to assess your health and the health of your newborn
  • Offer support and answer your questions about such things as parenting, feeding, safety, and growth and development

 As your child grows, we can help by:

  • Providing information about different programs in your community
  • Connecting you and your family to resources
  • Based on your needs and goals, your family may benefit from home visits from a Public Health Nurse, Social Worker and Family Visitor.

You can also speak with a Public Health Nurse at one of our Parenting in Ottawa Drop-ins.

Developmental and Nutritional Screening for young children, birth to 6 years of age

There are many ways to find out if your child is growing and developing well. You can:

1. Go online:

The Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS) is a short and simple checklist. It reviews your child's growth and development at a specific age.

  • To complete the checklist- eNDDS
  • For more information- NDDS

The NutriSTEP® is a short and simple checklist. It looks at your child's eating, physical activity, screen time habits and more.

Parenting in Ottawa is a local online parenting resource, where parents go to get in the know.

2. Call:

Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 and complete the screening tools with a public health nurse. 

3. Attend:

A Growing Healthy Screening Clinic (GHSC). These clinics are for children birth to 6 years of age who may not be developing as expected. A parent or legal guardian must be present

Growing Healthy Screening Clinic

Screening and Information available at all locations:

Ottawa Public Health: ImmunizationDental ScreeningNutrition Screening
CrossroadsBehavioral Screening
First WordsSpeech and language Screening (only for children up to 5 years old and children NOT enrolled in senior kindergarten)
Ottawa Children Treatment CentreDevelopmental Screening
Parent Resource CentrePromotion of literacy

Please call ahead to register as spaces are limited

Date and time

Location

Register by telephone

Tuesday

April 12, 2016

 8:30 to 11:30 am

Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Center

1365 Richmond Road

Tara Matte

613-820-4922 ext. 3599

Leave a message

Tuesday

May 3, 2016

8:30 to 11:30 am

Vanier Community Service Centre

270 Marier Av.

Stéphanie Fragman

613-744-2892 ext. 1090

Leave a message

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For more information please contact Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744.

Prenatal classes/programs offered in Ottawa

Ottawa Public Health offers a variety of options for prenatal education to meet the needs of Ottawa residents. All classes/programs are facilitated by a Public Health Nurse. Please click on the links below to find the prenatal class/program for you.

In person prenatal classes

  • Cost: Free
  • Language: English and French
  • Location: Ottawa Public Libraries including Ruth E. Dickinson (Barrhaven), Nepean/Centrepointe, Alta Vista, Cumberland, St-Laurent and Hazeldean.
  • Duration: 1 class per week for three weeks on weekday evenings. Occasional Saturday morning classes also available

Topics covered include:

  • Session 1: Birth Basics – Confidence and Comfort 
  • Session 2: Breastfeeding Basics – Tips and Techniques 
  • Session 3: Baby Basics – Preparing for Parenthood

Registration: To register you will need a valid Ottawa Public Library card. Please visit the Ottawa Public Library website at: http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/. Click on “Programs” and then choose “Prenatal Classes” from the “Event type” drop down menu and click submit. 

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Pregnancy Circles

Prenatal classes/program for expectant parents in need of extra support. Meet with other expectant parents and a public health nurse to learn about:

  • Staying healthy during pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Coping with labour and birth
  • Caring for your baby
  • Community resources

Young parents prenatal classes (up to 25 years of age)

  • Cost: Free
  • Language: English
  • Location: St-Mary’s Outreach Centre and Bethany Hope Centre
  • Duration: 1 class per week for eight weeks 
  • Registration: To register for classes please call your preferred location.
    • St. Mary’s Young Parent Outreach Centre : 613-749-2491, ext:706
    • Bethany Hope Centre : 613-725-1733

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Pregnancy Circle (Chinese)

  • Cost: Free
  • Language: Chinese
  • Location: Somerset West Community Health Centre
  • Duration: 1 class per week for six weeks on weekday evenings
  • Registration: Please contact the Somerset West Community Health Centre to register at 613-238-8210.

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Other Pregnancy Circles

  • Cost: Free
  • Language: see below 
  • Location: Programs are available at the following locations, call for more information:
    • Carlington Community Health Centre (English)
      900 Merivale Road
      613-722-4000
    • Centretown Community Health Centre (English) 
      420 Cooper Street 
      613-233-4443 
    • Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre (Bilingual)
      225 Donald Street, Unit 120
      613-745-0073
    • Vanier Community Service Centre (en français) 
      290 rue Dupuis
      613-744-2892
    • Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health (English)
      299 Montreal Road
      613-748-0657, ext. 237
  • Duration: 1 class per week for six to twelve weeks on weekday afternoons or evenings*
  • Registration: To register please call your preferred location from those listed above. 

*Childcare, bus tickets and healthy snacks available at some locations

For general information please call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line to speak with a public health nurse: 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).

Other services offered by the City of Ottawa

For information about other services offered by the City of Ottawa for expectant or new parents, please contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line to speak with a public health nurse. We may be able to help guide you to classes that would best suit your needs. Tel: 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or 311 (e.g.: Parks and Recreation programs, and child care subsidy). 

Prenatal classes offered by other agencies

Prenatal classes are a great way to learn information about you and your baby.  You can also meet other soon-to-be parents.

There are many prenatal classes to choose from.  Some classes are free and some have a cost.  Locations, times and the topics are different for each class. 

For more information, please contact the Community Information Centre of Ottawa.

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