Pre and Post Natal Supports

Aboriginal people for a long time have recognized the need for pre and post natal supports for healthy families. At Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) we are committed to beginning relationships with families early to provide prevention supports that stem the flow of families away from Child Welfare. We take a holistic and culturally based approach, working with other service providers in the community to deliver sustainable programming based on the needs of communities across Toronto.


Wrapping babies in moss bags and placing them in a Tikinagan (cradle-board) is a traditional practice that helps infants develop awareness of self and learn about the world around them. These cradle-boards were created by families and often passed down through generations. This is a ceremonial time during which a feeling of safety and protection is created. This womb-like environment minimizes insecurity and fear of the unknown.

Pregnant Aboriginal women, their partners and infants are often confronted by barriers when attempting to access culturally informed pre / post natal health care.  Native Child and Family Services of Toronto’s Tikinagan team provides a circle of care and case management for pregnant and postpartum mothers, their infants and partners. Tikinaganis an integrated pre and postnatal team that offers culturally responsive, early intervention health and support services to nurture a healthy start for Aboriginal infants.

Our collaborative model of service delivery utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to address the service gaps in pre and postnatal care. Tikinagan’s culturally grounded, trauma informed practice is flexible, accessible and mobile. Our team partners with midwives, Toronto Public Health nurses, nurse practitioners, doulas, elders and knowledge keepers to provide a service wraparound that meets the needs of infants, mothers and their partners. We accept individual, community and NCFST referrals, and welcome all Aboriginal caregivers, parents and their infants (0-6 months) to participate in our services.

We also offer a variety of in-house, group, drop-in and one-to-one counselling while providing access to opportunities that include cultural birth year teachings as well as Welcoming, Naming, Cedar Bath and Full Moon ceremonies.

Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP)

Proper nutrition and diet are critical to child development and growth.  The Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) provides expectant mothers and new caregivers with education and skills to ensure a healthy start for infant and children based on traditional and mainstream principles of wholesome nutrition. CPNP helps caregivers make positive choices for themselves and their families health by strengthening their knowledge of food and meal preparation through in-home visits, group work and community kitchens.