The Early Years

MAIN-prenatal-to-iconHelping parents from prenatal to age 4

Programs are designed to be a resource and offer support to new and expecting parents. By sharing personal experiences and incorporating current research, parents can gain insight on pregnancy, prenatal care and early childhood development and how to relate and effectively communicate with their babies and young children.

View class schedule and register or for more information, call 757-727-1300, Ext. 3.

Note on COVID-19: Because of the pandemic, classes will be primarily administered virtually until further notice.


Childbirth: Let's Get Ready. What do I need to know?
The baby is coming, whether you're ready or not. Knowing what to expect during labor, delivery and the early days of parenting can help things go more smoothly. This eight-week course is currently being offered virtually with live instruction by Healthy Families parenting educators.

  • Week 1: Let's get ready: Understanding Pregnancy-physical and emotional changes. Learn the basics of pregnancy and what to expect in the coming weeks.
  • Week 2:  Going into Labor: Understanding the different stages of labor, contractions and what to do. Managing stress and self -care
  • Week 3: Coping and Comfort Choices:  Natural childbirth or not? What are breathing and relaxation techniques and will they help? Understanding how to soothe a fussy and crying baby. And how to keep calm.
  • Week 4:  Reality Check and Practice: How to prepare for and what to expect during your hospital stay. Hands on practice to keep your baby content and calm. 
  • Week 5:  Making informed decisions:  Understanding birth plans, medication choices and being flexible. Newborn care, how your baby changes and what to know about well-baby checks. 
  • Week 6:  Choiceschanges and challenges: Cesarean birth-planned or not? Understanding the ins and outs of C-sections- why, how and when it may take place. Feeding Choices – Breastfeeding or Bottle or both. When to introduce solids and how to meet possible challenges.
  • Week 7:  Baby’s arrival: What to expect and know the first few hours after birth. Getting acquainted with your newborn– first appearance, sleeping, crying, feeding and much more.  
  • Week 8: Postpartum – Now what??  Recovery, self-care and adjusting to becoming a new parent- first time or repeat act. Coping with change. Keeping your new baby safe at home or in the car.  Safe sleep, what to know about car seats and childproofing-its not too early to start. Graduation and wrap-up.
New Baby Care   Now what? Join us for three weeks and get helpful information about the first few months of caring for your new baby.  Topics will include, but are not limited to how to soothe a fussy baby, the best feeding options, how best to keep your baby safe, what to expect as your baby grows and develops, and why it's important to take care of yourself. Attendees will have opportunities to ask questions. Come feel supported and connect with other new parents.

Infant Massage  Learn the art of massaging your baby.  Massage helps your baby to relax, sleep better and experience fewer stomach upsets. Your gentle touch communicates your love to your child. This program is open for children 4 weeks to 6 months. 


Nurturing Parents of Children, up to age 4 * Children's needs change as they move from rocking and cooing to toddling and chatting. In this 12-week course, parents of children ages 1-4 learn about normal childhood development, establishing nurturing routines and providing positive discipline.
123-magic-icon1-2-3 Magic, Ages 2-4  Appropriate child discipline can be a daunting task. This 6-session program provides easy-to-follow steps for effective ways to discipline children ages 2-4 without yelling, arguing or spanking. You'll also learn when and how your silence can speak loudest.

* This course also meets court-mandated parenting class requirement.