This past Saturday my husband Scott and I attended our first prenatal class offered by the City of Hamilton’s Public Health unit. Although a number of locations exist, downtown people note: This one is centrally located in Jackson Square in a nice, modern classroom with lots of windows out to King St. The public health nurse was super friendly, approachable, and was happy to answer any questions at all. She got into the nitty-gritty of pre-birth stuff for this portion while the next session is about post-baby life. There was no lying on the floor to practice breathing or pretend birthing. In fact, it was a modern, informative and an overall practical session! Thinking of resources available through the City of Hamilton for expecting parents, it got me wondering what us lucky people in the downtown core can take advantage of! Here is my rundown of them :
- Cover topics such as: nutrition for mom, pregnancy changes, labour and delivery, breastfeeding, safety, etc.!
- Price is ~$50.00 per couple
- If you pick the downtown location in Jackson Square, it is only 2 classes (4 hours each) instead of multiple, shorter classes elsewhere.
- Bonus: Go for lunch after in the Hamilton Farmer’s Market! We went to Slurp! Ramen which was amazing. We may go back there this weekend again.
- Free, weekly meetups with Registered Dietitians and Registered Nurses to discuss eating well, managing stress, breastfeeding, community supports, etc.
- Bonus: You get a weekly grocery gift card, free bus passes, gift card for prenatal vitamins, a healthy snack to make and eat with the group and free childcare for your other children (under 6 yrs) during the session.
- Pregnant women who smoke are a priority here at this clinic located in downtown at 21 Hunter St E. which helps with quicker access!
- Bonus: Free (I believe) and resources include: 30 min. one to one counselling sessions to help quit, free nicotine replacement therapies.
Note: Learning how to take care of a baby doesn’t require you to own a car or travel to the suburbs. The benefits of being downtown is really one that allows you to take advantage of being so close to plentiful city department clinics and resources. Downtown will especially be handy when you need the postpartum resources which I will get to later on. Stay tuned!