Welcome to Island Health

On August 1 st, we launched our new public website:


and a new website for medical staff:


Our website was developed in partnership with patients and residents of Vancouver Island and the surrounding regions. It's accessible, mobile friendly and flexible to help us evolve with our communities as we work towards excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

Come visit the new sites and update your bookmarks. This www.viha.ca site will continue to be available for one month so that our staff and partners have time to update their links to the new site. You can still browse the old site but it will no longer be updated.


Local Prenatal Classes

Prenatal classes and programs are excellent sources of information and peer support. As part of the Right from the Start program, Child, Youth and Family Health's prenatal education program for expectant parents is currently being revised and updated.

Your doctor, midwife or public health nurse can give you a list of prenatal education programs in your area.

First Nation members can also get information on prenatal classes from their community health worker.

Some communities have privately-run prenatal/birth preparation classes. For more options in your community, please contact your nearest public health unit. A public health nurse may also provide:

  • One-to-one and group prenatal teaching and support for people with specific needs
  • Prenatal teaching for pregnant adolescents
  • Pregnancy Outreach Programs
  • Pamphlets, brochures, books and videos on pregnancy and parenting

Questions to ask before registering for a prenatal class or program

  • When, where, and how long are the classes?
  • How many classes are in the series?
  • How much does the series cost? Are bursaries available?
  • What are the instructors’ qualifications/experience?
  • What is the philosophy of the class regarding prenatal care and birth?
  • Is a hospital tour arranged?
  • How many birth support people are welcome?
  • Do birth support people have to attend?
  • What is the maximum number of participants in a class?
  • Are refreshments and parking provided?

Look for the following topics

  • Physical and emotional changes of pregnancy
  • Maternal care issues such as nutrition, exercise, activity, rest, and avoiding alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes
  • Labour and delivery
  • Medical assistance (ex. caesarean section, episiotomy, medications)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Baby care
  • Infant safety
  • Post-partum adjustment and early parenting
  • Community support