For expectant moms and their partners there are often more questions than answers and that's why Ottawa Public Health offers programming to teach them the basics.
Any mom within Ottawa's borders can take the free in-person prenatal classes available at six Ottawa Public Library locations and online courses available at any time.
The classes run in three instalments: Birth Basics, Breastfeeding Basics, and Baby Basics. These help parents establish good habits and are meant to supplement the material that's available online.
As well, they're important for building parents' social circles.
"It's a great way to meet other expectant parents to build that social network and it's also a way to, we have heard that it helps build their confidence and their comfort level," said Ottawa Public Health nurse Beverly Croft.
There are also pregnancy circles which run for six weeks and Croft said they are meant for expectant parents who need a bit more support.
"In those classes we talk about everything from staying healthy during pregnancy to, again, breastfeeding, coping with labour and birth, caring for your baby," she said.
There are also programs specific to young moms and pregnancy circles offered in Chinese and through cultural centres.
The goal is to prepare all expecting mothers in the city for the challenges and joys of raising a child and to link them to services like Baby Express, local food banks, and community centres to ensure they have the help they need throughout their babies' lives.