Public health won't provide prenatal classes to all parents
Internal documents outline changes to how public health deals with families
An internal document outlining public health protocol expectations in Nova Scotia lays out a series of changes to the services offered families before and after a child is born.
CBC News has obtained a "working copy" from June, which says: "Universal prenatal classes will not be provided by public health."
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief public health officer, said in a conference call Friday that the Department of Health and Wellness is shifting from a "come to us" approach to what he describes as better access for the entire province.
The department said certain groups such as pregnant teens, low-income families or those in First Nation communities would benefit from a class. Most others can find what they need online.
The IWK Health Centre, where demand for prenatal classes is high, is still offering the courses. But in areas like Guysborough or Nova Scotia's south shore, prospective parents will have to go online.
There are other changes outlined in the document. It says "universal postpartum follow-up of infants and families will not be provided by public health," and that "universal breastfeeding follow-up will not be provided."
The health department acknowledges this is the direction it is giving all health districts, but says those changes are years away.