Programs that provide medical care for infants during the first six weeks following birth to ensure good health and normal development.
Programs that provide medical care for expectant mothers from the time of conception to the onset of labour to ensure their own physical well-being and the healthy development and birth of their child. Services generally include identification of risk factors based on age, health and/or personal and family history that may affect a woman's pregnancy; diet and lifestyle advice; routine checkups to look for signs of problems associated with pregnancy (such as edema, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes) and to assure that the pregnancy is progressing well; ultrasound and other forms of prenatal testing to monitor fetal development and check for possible birth defects; and general information about being pregnant, e.g., what is normal and what is cause for concern, remedies for morning sickness or sleeplessness, managing weight gain and other common issues.
Programs that provide educational and supportive services for new parents or those expecting a child, to prepare them on an emotional and practical level for the impact the newborn will have on their lives and relationships. Initial focus areas include healthy eating for the mother, danger signs in pregnancy, sibling preparation and being ready for labour and delivery, followed by practical information on basic infant care, newborn behaviours, baby supplies, bathing techniques, diapering, breastfeeding and other feeding options, as well as infant and childhood illnesses. Later topics may include walking, talking, toilet training and other aspects of child development, all to help ensure that infants and toddlers are nurtured, live in a safe environment and receive proper health care. Included are programs open to all as well those targeting special populations such as low income individuals or teenagers.
Programs that visit the homes of parents who want to acquire the knowledge and skills to be effective in their parenting role and provide parenting education services in the family setting. The programs may focus on teen parents; parents who need to develop skills to handle a difficult child; families who want to learn school-readiness activities to share with their child; individuals for whom parenting is a new experience; families at risk for child abuse, neglect or out-of-home placement; or others who have issues that are most effectively resolved in the home environment.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.