Our programs reach women, children and families that are the most vulnerable and we help eliminate barriers to participation by helping with the costs of transportation, providing free child-care, and ensuring all programs are free-of-charge.
Healthy Start program sites run 2 hours each week, year-round, for expectant women ages 22 and over. The length of participation varies and participants may attend until their babies are three months of age.
By participating in this program, expectant women gain the skills, confidence, and resources needed to improve their health during pregnancy, learn about self-care, better understand parenting issues, and make choices that enhance their unborn child’s future growth and development.
TEEN PRENATAL SUPPER CLUBS
Teen Prenatal Supper Clubs run 2 hours each week, year-round, for expectant teens. The length of participation varies and participants can attend until their babies are three months of age. Each week expectant teens learn how to prepare a nutritious meal and are provided with the recipe so the meals can be made at home.
Babies born to teenage mothers are at higher risk for health related problems. Risk factors include: preterm babies, babies born with immediately identifiable congenital abnormalities and a higher risk for low birth weight babies. Pregnant teens themselves are also at greater risk, including, for example anemia, hypertension, and depressive disorders.
Healthy Start and Teen Prenatal Supper Club programs and services include:
COUNSELLING, REFERRALS AND SUPPORT
Individualized and group supportive counseling through access to Public Health Nurses, Social Workers, and a registered Dietitian.
Referrals to programs and services that support childbearing women and young children.
Each program site provides a warm, caring, and inviting atmosphere where socializing, friendly support, and lasting friendships are made.
Provides a social network that promotes peer relationships amongst socially isolated expectant women to meet and support each other.
PRENATAL AND EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION
Educational curriculum including the following plus many other relevant topics:
Bonding with Baby
Dealing with Post-Partum Depression
Exercise and Physical Activity During Pregnancy
Labour and Delivery
Living in a Smoke-free Environment
Personal Care During Pregnancy
Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD’s)
Programs for pregnant women and teens in need of support.
Organizational History and Achievements:
Best Start Health Coalition in Peel began on March 26, 1991 from a meeting comprised of agencies and community groups working to support childbearing women and young children in Peel. The aim of this group was to reduce the number of low birth weight and premature babies born in Peel. This group recognized the immediate needs of some expectant mothers for food, prenatal education and access to supportive counseling and referrals. They also acknowledged that by pooling existing resources and expertise, several agencies working together could develop a program to address these needs. As a result, on July 15, 1992, BSHCP launched a new program called Healthy Start.
Also in 1992, a volunteer Board of Directors was elected and a declaration of trust was prepared. A constitution was adopted and shortly after, BSHCP was established as a Trust with charitable status. In April 2003, The Best Start Health Coalition in Peel became incorporated and developed our current Letters Patent.
From these humble beginnings, this group evolved into today’s organization, Best Start Health Coalition in Peel, which consists of seven Healthy Start program sites and three Teen Prenatal Supper Clubs. Sites are all staffed by Public Health Nurses, Registered Dietitians, site Coordinators and child care staff. Social Workers visit the sites on a monthly basis and are available to clients to address various topics and individual client needs. Participants also receive support once their babies are born (up until the age of three months).
The year 2010, marked BSHCP’s 19th year anniversary of providing crucial prenatal services in the Region of Peel.
Best Start Health Coalition in Peel’s mission is to reduce the incidence of low birth weight babies in the Region of Peel by providing free health education, nutritional and social support to child bearing women in need."