“I am so happy we found Connecting Pregnancy,” says Nina as she soothes her new baby. “I was pretty nervous being pregnant for the first time and not knowing anyone with a baby in Vancouver. We didn’t even know what we didn’t know.” Most new families need much more than typical prenatal care. Group care programs are a great way to get the prenatal care you need while meeting other families embarking on their own new journey. One of the more holistic group care programs in Vancouver is Connecting Pregnancy, which is offered at BC Women’s Hospital.
At Connecting Pregnancy, the health care checkup is combined with education and connection with others. This format helps people share knowledge and explore the journey to parenthood together. The group is led by a Family Doctor or Registered Midwife and a Prenatal Educator or Nurse. Each group has a series of 8 sessions held in the evening for 2 hours, beginning around the 5th month and meets regularly throughout the rest of the pregnancy. Many participants continue to meet on their own and support each other for months or years after their babies are born.
Some comments from current participants explain why Connecting Pregnancy is so special:
- “Connecting Pregnancy cleared all the doubts and answered most of the questions we had as first-time parents.”
- “We can share our concerns because we are meeting other future parents that are in the same stage as us.”
- “I really enjoyed the laid-back environment and my instructors’ expertise.”
- “Learning about pregnancy and labour over a few months with other couples has helped settle my anxiety and answer my questions.”
- “I got much more than I realized I needed.”
Who would benefit from Connecting Pregnancy? Anyone who:
✓ wants to meet others who are expecting a baby,
✓ likes to share information, learn from others, and have ready access to experts,
✓ prefers to have their health visits in a relaxed way in the evening, and
✓ wants to share the visit and learning with their partner, friend, or family member
Pregnancy Vancouver is a project of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP). The VDoFP is creating a network of Family Doctors to enhance and facilitate knowledge exchange about prenatal and postpartum care, connect Family Doctors, and improve the maternity care referral process.