How to Use the Contents


We encourage service providers to align their prenatal information with the evidence-based key messages in this online tool. In addition, the key messages are available in PDF format and can be printed for clients.

For inquiries related to potential adaptation of content please contact

There are many ways to use this tool. It can be used as a quick reference for evidence-based information, or as the basis for a complete prenatal education curriculum. Much will depend on the setting of your practice, such as whether you provide prenatal education in a traditional classroom setting, or if you spend most of your time sharing prenatal information on a one-to-one basis with individual clients or through online or print materials, etc. As you familiarizing yourself with the basic setup of this tool, you can consider what will work best for your situation. Make sure you register as a user at the “Register to Receive Updates” tab, so that we can keep you informed of any updates to this site.

If you want to focus on a particular topic, start at the Home tab and click on the topic folder that you are interested in. You will find that each topic folder has several tabs across the top. One tab (Key Messages) has information to share with clients and the remaining tabs are designed to guide your work (Supporting Evidence, Resources and Links).

Key Messages

The Key Messages for each topic have been written in second person and at a reading level appropriate for the general public so that they can be shared with clients directly. They are the main health messages that should be conveyed to all future and new parents. Clicking an underlined word or group of words in the text will redirect you to the section in Supporting Evidence that deals with that topic. You have the option of printing the key messages for each topic using the PDF icon found on the Key Messages page. The PDF version will not show any links or websites that have been embedded into the webpage, except for those mentioned in the last key message, directing you to where you can learn more about the particular topic. If you find inconsistencies when printing PDF’s, it may be related to the browser you are using. If using a different browser does not solve your problem, please let us know by emailing us at:

Supporting Evidence

The Supporting Evidence tab will provide you with the context within which the key messages were developed. Content is written in third person and is aimed at prenatal education providers. It is not intended to be shared directly with new and expectant families; it is meant to provide the background information and evidence for the key messages.

The content is divided into a number of different headings and subheadings using drop-down boxes, allowing you to expose as much or as little of the information you need. It allows for easy scanning of the topic if you are uncertain as to which words you want to use in the search function, or if you just want to get an idea of what general information is available. Simply click on a plus sign to expose the content, and click on the minus sign to collapse the text within the heading.

As much as possible, the Supporting Evidence content is presented in the same order as the content in the Key Messages. When applicable, the content begins with a definition of the topic and some relevant national and/or provincial statistics. The body of the content provides the supporting evidence for the key messages of that topic and often includes headings such as “Who is at Risk” and “Potential Health Consequences”. Each topic ends with information about when and where to refer clients.

Within the supporting evidence, you may see words that are underlined with a row of dots. If you hover over these words, the definition of that word will appear on your screen. At times, you will be able to click on text that is hyperlinked to an external website, or to a particular section within the topic folder. This hyperlink will show up in a separate tab in your browser, so you can easily go back to where you were.

Superscripted reference numbers are not linked to the listings in the References tab.

Resources & Links

The Resources & Links tab includes resources and services related to the key messages. It is not an exhaustive list of available resources, nor should any of these resources be used in place of seeking professional advice. The resources cited are not necessarily endorsed by the Best Start Resource Centre or the Government of Ontario. Although we aim to provide the most accurate links, there may be times when websites are being updated or the URL has been changed. You can notify us of any concerns or suggestions by emailing us at

The Resources & Links tab is divided into a number of different sections, depending on the resources available for that topic. Headings can include:

  • Professional guidelines
  • Professional associations
  • Reports/publications
  • Websites
  • Helplines
  • Prenatal education provider tools
  • Client resources and handouts
  • Books for parents
  • Apps
  • Videos

Items are listed alphabetically and are updated periodically.


All the references used in the supporting evidence are listed in the References tab. If the document is available online, an active link has been provided.

Additional Information

Determinants of Health

Preconception, prenatal and child health are affected by many things. Consistent evidence-based key messages are important. In addition, consider how you can influence underlying factors contributing to good health, for example:

  • In addition to providing information about healthy eating during pregnancy, is your client able to purchase the healthy food she needs during pregnancy? If not, what services can you refer her to?
  • When discussing safe sleep for newborns, are there factors that would affect your clients’ access to the basic safety of adequate housing? What can you do to improve access?

For more information on the determinants of health and health equity, visit these websites:

Prenatal Education Certification

A variety of professionals provide prenatal education information in the province of Ontario. Several organizations offer training and certification to professionals and lay people alike, to further strengthen their ability and credibility in providing prenatal education. For more information, visit these websites:

Back to the Top