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Welcome to Parenthood Alberta being rolled out in Fort McMurray

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All families need a little help when they bring home a new baby. Welcome to Parenthood – Alberta is a research study that explores what kinds of help parents need with its main message being, “Let’s do this Together!”

Researchers from the University of Calgary want to find out what supports first time parents’ need. They are testing whether a Baby Kit and having a friend or family member to support them makes a difference in the health of the mother and baby. The Baby Kit is a box filled with books, sleepers, sleep sac, diapers and a digital thermometer. The box has a mattress so the baby can sleep in it. The Hub Family Resource Centre (The Hub) in Fort McMurray is elated to be one of the 11 pilot sites.

The Hub is looking for first time pregnant moms to participate in the study. Mothers can join the study when they are about 30 weeks pregnant. Mothers identify a mentor, who is also a study participant. To participate in the study, the expectant mother and father, along with the mentor, attend a class at The Hub to learn how to assemble their Baby Kit.

“We’ve already handed out several Baby Kits and it’s very rewarding to see parents engaged and excited about using them with their new babies,” said Welcome to Parenthood Coordinator Melissa Redden. “Parents and mentors are walking away knowing they have tools at their disposal. There’s lots of support for the early days and weeks with a new infant when things can be especially challenging. We want parents to know that they have support in the community, whether they have family here or not.”

To help us understand if Welcome to Parenthood – Alberta is making a difference, mothers and mentors will be asked to fill out some questionnaires.

“The Welcome to Parenthood – Alberta research study will help us to understand how we can enhance supports to ensure that all children in Alberta have the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong,” said Dr. Karen Benzies.

The study is sponsored by Alberta Human Services. Thank you to Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) for providing their data expertise for the study.


For more information on the study, please contact:

University of Calgary

Dr. Karen Benzies at or 403-220-2294 or Melody Loewen, Project Coordinator, University of Calgary at

The Hub Family Resource Centre

Melissa Redden at 780-791-7110 or or Chantal Beaver at 780-743-9225 or