Community supports in Truro help parents feel empowered and informed

Friends and first-time mothers, Rosina and Bushra with their children
Friends and first-time mothers, Rosina and Bushra with their children (contributed)

Becoming a first-time parent is an ongoing and evolving learning experience. 

For friends and first-time mothers, Rosina and Bushra, the guidance and support they received from their local family resource centre eased their worries and prepared them for their transitions to motherhood.

In partnership with Nova Scotia Health Authority Public Health and La Leche League, Maggie’s Place Family Resource Centre in Truro equips soon-to-be-parents with information about infant feeding, labour and delivery, stress management, post-partum mood disorders and much more.

Now parents to 19-month old son Roshaan, Bushra and her husband learned a lot about what to expect while she was pregnant from the parent supports offered at Maggie’s Place.

The couple was encouraged to learn together and found the information about breastfeeding to be especially helpful.

After being born two weeks early, Roshaan had trouble learning how to latch during breastfeeding. 

However, motivated by the positive impacts of breastfeeding she had learned and with the support of her husband, Bushra was determined to continue breastfeeding. 

With the support of her nurses and lactation consultant, she was able to meet her feeding goals despite these challenges.

“Roshaan is the only child in my family who was breastfed for more than three months,” said Bushra. 

She sees how healthy he has been – something she attributes to breastfeeding. 

With that in mind, Bushra plans to continue breastfeeding Roshaan until he’s two-years old— the recommended age by the World Health Organization (WHO).  

Having found the information so valuable during her own pregnancy, Bushra decided to share her breastfeeding knowledge and resources with her sister in Pakistan who is also a new mother.

A little closer to home, Bushra also shared her experience at Maggie’s Place with her friend Rosina, hoping she would find the same support that Bushra and her family did.

As a recent newcomer to Canada, this resource has proven to be invaluable for Rosina.  

“All of the things that really matter during a pregnancy were discussed,” said Rosina. 

“Initially I was all for breastfeeding but I didn’t have much idea about it,” Rosina shared. 

After learning about the health benefits for herself and her baby, Rosina and her husband made the decision to breastfeed their daughter, Abeer.

Knowing little about breastfeeding, Rosina was nervous about whether she would be able to and how to go about it. 

“Feeding classes started from scratch and made it feel very easy,” she said, noting they even discussed situations where she might not be able to breastfeed or the possibility of her not wanting to. 

“They were supportive in all those situations.”

The prenatal group offered Rosina more than a trusted space to learn and ask questions - it also introduced her to expecting parents who were going through the same thing.

“There were moms that I got to know quite well, and I used to look forward to seeing them every week,” she said.

Now Rosina’s daughter is a healthy and happy five-months-old. 

To learn more about pregnancy and parenting supports available in your area, contact your local Public Health office.