We are excited to announce that we have added a 3rd International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to our Healthy Families Department! Our IBCLCs can provide virtual breastfeeding classes and individual support.
There are two options for our virtual breastfeeding support. The first is our prenatal breastfeeding class, which is 2 hours in length. This is offered monthly on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. We encourage parenting partners to join in. During this class, clients will learn how to:
- Prepare to start breastfeeding.
- Identify when your baby is hungry and full.
- Latch your baby to your breast.
- Comfortably position your baby.
- Assess if your baby is getting enough breastmilk.
- Prevent and address breastfeeding concerns (e.g., engorgement, supply issues).
- Obtain local breastfeeding support.
If you encounter new parents who are breastfeeding, our second option for virtual breastfeeding support is just for them! Our “Breastfeeding Support” groups are new and were developed for parents with newborns. These groups are led by one of our IBCLCs and are provided in an open format with ample opportunity for questions and answers. Parents can get continued support and expert guidance in their current breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding is more likely to be successful if a mother receives support and education in both the prenatal and postpartum periods. In your practice, as you encounter prenatal or postpartum women, please encourage them to attend a virtual breastfeeding session. Registration is required for these programs. The schedule, which includes the day and time and how to register, for both sessions is available at www.wechu.org/parents. Clients can also call 519-2582146 ext. 1350 to register.
Our Public Health Nurses (PHNs) also provide individual breastfeeding support through our “Ask A Nurse” Healthy Families Hotline. Phone support is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is provided to parents throughout Windsor-Essex County.
If breastfeeding concerns are out of the scope of our PHNs, one of our IBCLCs will provide further support through:
- A phone call
- A virtual visit OR
- An in-home visit.
If you encounter any prenatal or postpartum women who would benefit from individualized breastfeeding support, please contact us. You can call 519-258-2146, ext 1350 or complete an online referral form: https://www.wechu.org/parents. We are here to help and look forward to collaborating with you!
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit offers programs for prenatal women, new parents, and parents of young children.
The Healthy Families department at the Health Unit offers multiple programs and services to local families from preconception until the child enters school. All programs are FREE to residents of Windsor-Essex County and can be accessed directly by clients or by community referral.
Lactation Consultation Services
Certified Lactation Consultants provide women with specialized, one-on-one support for breastfeeding challenges. Support is available via virtual meeting, over the phone, or in the client’s home.
18 month Developmental Follow-up
Registered Nurses review the results of the 18 month LookSee developmental screen with parents and provide practical recommendations for parents to help their child reach the associated milestones. Nurses link parents with other community resources, as needed.
Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes
Certified Lactation Consultants lead virtual classes twice a month. During these 2-hour classes, prenatal families receive instruction on how to: prepare to start breastfeeding; identify infant cues for hunger and satiety, assess the adequacy of breastmilk consumed, and prevent and address common breastfeeding challenges. Prenatal families will also receive education on different latching and positioning techniques.
Online Prenatal Education Program (Yomingo)
This online, self-led prenatal course is available for pregnant women and their partner/support persons. Yomingo includes videos, tools, and articles on various topics, including: healthy pregnancy, labour and delivery, breastfeeding, newborn care, and adjustment to parenthood. This course is mobile-friendly and available in multiple languages through Google translate. Yomingo provides parents with convenient information at their fingertips, including a directory of associated local services.
“Ask a Nurse”- Healthy Families Hotline Service
Registered Nurses are available to answer questions about preconception, prenatal, and child health. The most common inquires include questions about breastfeeding, infant feeding, parenting, and growth and development. Nurses connect callers with community services and educational resources, when needed. This service is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am until 4:00 pm at 519-258-2146 ext. 1350.
Nurse Practitioner Clinic
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) provides primary healthcare services and mental health support for prenatal and postnatal women and children up to six years old, who do not have a primary health care provider. An Ontario Health Card is not required to receive NP services. The clinics are located at both the Windsor and Leamington WECHU sites.
How to Refer
Complete the new online referral from at www.wechu.org/parents or call the Healthy Families Department 519-258-2146 ext. 1350.
Pregnant? Parent with Young Children?
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s (WECHU) Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is here to help!
What is the Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program?
The goal of HBHC is to promote optimal physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth and development in children at risk while increasing parental capacity. HBHC is designed to support pregnant women and families with young children from birth to school entry. The HBHC team[AR1] provides customized, in-home support to parents to help their children have a healthy start in life.
HBHC is a FREE and voluntary provincial program that is designed to help families learn how to:
- support a healthy pregnancy and birth
- form a healthy attachment with their baby or child
- breastfeed, formula feed, introduce solid foods, and provide nutritious meals
- support physical growth as well as mental and emotional development
- support their own mental health
- connect with relevant community services.
The HBHC is a multidisciplinary team made up of Public Health Nurses, Social Workers (MSW), and Family Home Visitors. The HBHC nurses use a Universal Screening tool and targeted assessments to help create family centered goals and interventions that are unique to the needs of the families they are working with. Interpretation services are available for families. Additionally, the HBHC program has access to many translated resources for their families.
Our two MSWs support families through advocacy and education. They assist clients with immigration and settlement, housing security, financial resources, OW/ODSP, educational attainment, and employment. They also assist with cultural adaptation.
Both MSW supports families with mental health and substance use issues through a client-centered and trauma-informed lens. The MSW supports clients by assessing and stabilizing mental health and substance use issues and referring to appropriate community resources. [AR1] In addition, the MSW can support clients who are on a wait list for community mental health services and/ or substance use services in the interim through individual supportive counselling.
Clients experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual exploitation are also supported by the HBHC nurses including the MSW’s through brief intervention, psycho-social support, and coordination with community partner agencies.
Who is HBHC for?
HBHC is for families who have been identified with risk by the HBHC universal screening tool that is used provincial wide by Public Health Units.
How can a Health Care Provider refer to HBHC?
Providers or clients can complete our new online referral form, which is available at https://www.wechu.org/parents or call the Healthy Families department at 519-258-2146 ext. 1350.