The Beginning Family



This course is designed as a learning resource to improve your knowledge, skills, attitudes, and capabilities so you can deliver accurate health information to expectant mothers and community members. It will enhance your ability to help expectant mothers understand the importance of prenatal care, the stages of pregnancy, and the signs of labor and delivery and will enable you to guide new mothers through a healthy pregnancy and safe homecoming.


By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Define a "healthy pregnancy."
  • Describe characteristics of the three stages of pregnancy.
  • Identify different stages of fetal (child) development.
  • Explain the importance of prenatal care visits.
  • Provide an overview of common tests performed throughout a pregnancy.
  • Identify signs of labor and delivery.
  • Explain the role of the father in pregnancy and birth.
  • Access local and Internet health resources.


The primary audience for this course is Community Health Workers, but health and paraprofessionals who work with pregnant women may find it useful as well.


Originally launched October 2011.

Estimated Time to Complete

It is estimated that the course takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.


Free and open to the public.

Technical Requirements

The course is built to XHTML specifications. A modern web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome is required to view the pages. The Flash player plug-in is required.


This course was developed by the University at Albany's Center for Public Health Continuing Education and Professional Development Program (PDP) with the Division of Family Health at the New York State Department of Health.

The planners and course authors have no financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity. No commercial support has been accepted for this activity.

Employed by or in New York State?

If you are employed by NYS or a local health department in NYS, we recommend that you enroll for this course through the NYS Department of Health Learning Management System (DOH LMS).