The Best Start Resource Centre regularly contributes to or leads innovative provincial and national initiatives or special projects, often in partnership with others to create a synergistic benefit. Here are just a few examples:
- Baby Friendly Initiative Strategy for Ontario
- Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services
- Breastfeeding Community Projects
- Child Health and Wellness Resource Booklets
- Have a Ball Together! - Physical Activity in Children
- It Takes a Village - Taking Action for Healthy Children
- Prenatal Education Key Messages for Ontario
Health Nexus is supporting the Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Healthy Kids Strategy. The goal of the TEGH initiative is to deliver training and other supports to nearly 400 organizations in collaboration with the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health and the Best Start Resource Centre. Together we will support hospitals, community health centres, Aboriginal health access centres, birthing centres, family health teams and nurse practitioner-led clinics across Ontario in achieving BFI designation through training, consultations and resource development.
Today, most mothers in Ontario decide to breastfeed their babies. Although breastfeeding is the natural way to feed babies, breastfeeding is a learning process for both mother and baby. All mothers benefit from the support of other mothers. Sometimes they need a little help and support from professionals and experts as well. If you are looking for support for a breastfeeding mother in Ontario you can now search the: Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services directory
- You can search by location, type of service, language and other criteria. Programs and services can be added or updated according to the inclusion criteria posted on the site.
- The site is hosted by the Best Start Resource Centre www.beststart.org.
- If you need to speak with a registered nurse with breastfeeding expertise any time during the day or night call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or TTY: 1-866-797-0007.
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This series of resources is a response to a growing interest in parenting information for First Nations and Métis parents in British Columbia (BC). The National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH) worked in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority to create these resources. They were developed with funding from the Government of BC (Aboriginal ActNow) and the First Nations Health Authority and with the support of the Best Start Resource Centre at Health Nexus. The resources include:
The Prevention Working Group of FASD ONE, through funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada - Ontario Region, purchased a range of provincial media buys to support local efforts to raise awareness about alcohol and pregnancy. The Best Start Resource Centre led the development of the materials.
is a newsletter about FASD for the province of Ontario, developed by FASD Ontario Network of Expertise. The newsletter helps people in Ontario work together to address FASD. The newsletter reports on FASD activities in Ontario, and shares other related news to individuals, caregivers and service providers in Ontario who are working in the area of FASD. The newsletter includes information about upcoming training events, new resources, community activities etc. The Best Start Resource Centre was the editor of the newsletter from 2006 to 2011.
It’s never too late
In March 2008, the Prevention Working Group of FASD Stakeholders for Ontario released provincial awareness materials and strategies about alcohol and pregnancy. These materials and strategies were designed primarily for women who drank alcohol before they knew they were pregnant. They share important information about safe levels of alcohol use, and where women can get helpful information.
Through the Healthy Communities Fund, the Best Start Resource Centre partnered with HC Link and Ophea to develop an online course for service providers. This course is for service providers who work with children 2-11, and their families, and will help them have a better understanding of how to support the healthy growth and development of children. The focus is on healthy weights in children, in the context of healthy child development. A large number of advisory members and expert reviewers from Ontario contributed to the content.
The Healthy Kids Panel report “No Time to Wait” is one of the driving forces behind this course. It highlights the need to take action now to address the serious health issues facing our children.
In this report, the panel recommends a three-part strategy which are covered in this course:
- Start all kids on the path to health.
- Change the food environment.
- Create healthy communities.
This course was created to contribute to the provincial goal of reducing childhood obesity by 20 per cent by 2017.
Preconception and prenatal health are the foundation for lifelong health. A growing body of evidence suggests that health and weight before and during pregnancy have a direct influence on the baby’s future health, including their risk for obesity and diabetes later in life.
With funding from the Government of Ontario, the Best Start Resource Centre developed an online resource for those who offer prenatal education/information to assist them in providing women and their partners with consistent, evidence-based key messages on 25 topics covering the areas of health before conception, pregnancy, labour and birth, newborn and postpartum health.
There are many ways to use the key messages available at ontarioprenataleducation.ca and in French at educationprenataleontario.ca. The online resource can be used as a quick reference for evidence-based information, or to prepare or update a prenatal education curriculum. The key messages for each topic can be shared with clients directly and supporting evidence, resources and links are also provided to guide providers.
According to Public Health Ontario’s report Addressing Obesity in Children and Youth, specific preconception and prenatal factors have been associated with childhood obesity, including maternal smoking, maternal gestational diabetes and maternal weight. If current trends in childhood obesity persist, by 2040 up to 70% of today’s children will be overweight or obese adults, placing them at increased risk for heart disease, cancer, strokes, psychosocial problems and type 2 diabetes.
The prenatal education key messages are part of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy to improve children's health and well-being. Health promotion interventions during the preconception, prenatal and early infancy life stages have the potential for long-term impacts on health and weight.
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