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Despite fears, Baby Talk to continue

Renée Nixdorf says she and her 5-month-old daughter Zophia have benefitted tremendously from the Baby Talk program through Fraser Health and the City of New Westminster. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
Renée Nixdorf says she and her 5-month-old daughter Zophia have benefitted tremendously from the Baby Talk program through Fraser Health and the City of New Westminster.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

All the talk about Baby Talk being cancelled appears to have been premature.

At least for now.

Fraser Health said despite fears from participants, the popular program for new parents in New Westminster will continue into the new year.

That’s a relief to Renée Nixdorf, mother of five-month-old Zophia and campaigner for the program’s retention.

Nixdorf and fellow Baby Talkers had been told by the public health nurse who runs the program Wednesday afternoons at the Centennial Community Centre (CCC) that her boss had said it would not be continuing. So they started a campaign to tell Fraser Health how important the program was to New Westminster.

The program features speakers on a variety of topics concerning new parents, and has helped many build a support network as they navigate their new role.

“It’s very helpful to not only hear the experts, but the other mothers,” said Nixdorf.

CCC programmer Ramona Manzer said a typical Baby Talk session brings out between 30 to 35 parents.

It’s so big Manzer has had to move it from one of the centre’s meeting rooms into the gymnasium to accommodate all the babies, parents and their paraphernalia.

“I do know we have numerous parents upset this is being cancelled,” said Manzer last week.

On Friday, however, Fraser Health spokeswoman Nasifa Abdullah said Baby Talk will continue into the winter session and speakers are already being booked. She said, at this time, there has not been any region-wide decision to change the service.

“It is definitely good news,” said Nixdorf on Monday.

“I hope they’re not just going to do the winter session and skip spring and summer. That’s definitely what I’m worried about.”

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