Fatigue or Difficulty Sleeping in Pregnancy

by Guest
Posted July 7 2010 12:11pm
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Fatigue or difficulty sleeping during pregnancy is quite common for a number of reasons. Early on, your body is experiencing numerous system changes. These changes require a great deal of energy and can therefore affect normal sleeping patterns. As pregnancy continues, the growth and development of the baby puts more demands on you, thus causing fatigue.

By the end of pregnancy, there can be many things that keep you from getting a restful night's sleep. The physical size of your belly, heartburn, pressure on the bladder, which makes you have to pee, as well as the baby moving around are a few common reasons.

Fatigue is a sign that the body needs more rest. So how can you solve this problem? Know what can and can't be done in a day and take time out to rest. Eating smaller meals several times a day and trying a few relaxation activities (like a relaxation exercise or a warm bath) may also help you sleep better.

Find our more about Sleep and Pregnancy.  


If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, check out www.welcometoparenting.com. These interactive, online prenatal and parenting classes will provide information on pregnancy, labour and delivery, your relationship and a community of expectant and new parents just like you! Watch the overview video!



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by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:50pm

A bassinet is a basket-like product intended to provide a sleeping place for an infant. Bassinets are often made of wicker. They may also have soft or rigid sides. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back in a crib that meets current Canadian safety standards in their parents room.  If you choose to use a bassinet, Health Canada is proposing new standards related to their safety, check for these before purchasing a bassinet.
Bassinets are smaller than cribs, so are typically made for babies up to the age of 3 months old and weighing 10 kg (22 lbs) or less. Bassinets are also no larger than 50 cm (20 inches) in width and 90 cm (35 inches) in length. Whereas cradles rock back and forth, bassinets are stationary. Some bassinets come with portable frames and wheels, allowing them to be rolled from room to room. Some bassinets also come with integrated changing tables.
Choosing a safe bassinet:    

  • Choose a bassinet that is sturdy and has a wide base.
  • Choose a bassinet with a manufacturer’s label listing when, where and by whom it was made and the name and model number.
  • Choose a bassinet with a safety label listing the warnings, in both official languages.
  • Bassinets are intended for a baby who is 3 months old or less, and who has a body mass of 10 kg (22 lbs) or less.
  • Stop using this product when your baby can roll over, push up on his hands and knees or sit up.
  • Mattresses and padding should have a firm surface and fit snugly. Only use a mattress that is long and wide enough so that the gap between the mattress and the two sides forming one corner of the bassinet is not more than 3 cm (1.18 in) when the mattress is pushed into the opposite corner of the bassinet. The mattress should be no thicker than 8 cm (3.15 in)

Bassinet safety:

  • Do lock any wheels on a portable bassinet when stationary.
  • Do lock the legs on folding models when the baby is in the bassinet. 
  • Don’t use a bassinet that has rough, sharp inside edges.
  • Check the bassinet regularly before using it for any missing or loose parts.
  • Don’t use a bassinet that has space between its slats or spindles larger than 6 cm (2 3/8 inches).
  • Place the bassinet away from windows, curtains, blind or extension cords, electrical plugs or lamps. Children can fall out of windows or get caught in cords.
  • Don’t set up your bassinet with bumper pads, comforters, soft mattresses, or stuffed toys. These can suffocate your baby.
  • Don’t tie your baby in the bassinet. Strings and ribbons can choke your child.


Additional Resource:

Health Canada website on Safe Sleeping for Children


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Food-Bourne Illnesses in Pregnancy

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 05:17pm
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During pregnancy, you should avoid foods such as unpasteurized milk products, raw or lightly cooked eggs, raw sprouts, raw fish and shellfish and uncooked deli meats. Although you might never think that some of these foods could cause problems during pregnancy, they are all high-risk foods. They could pose a risk to your baby's development or lead to food poisoning for you.

Food poisoning can be very dangerous to pregnant women. There are types of food poisoning that can even seriously harm your baby.

To reduce your risk of food poisoning:

  • Wash your hands frequently, both during pregnancy and after your baby is born.
  • Avoid foods that increase the risk of food poisoning. These foods include unpasteurized milk, cheeses such as brie, feta, camembert and queso blanco, unpasteurized juice such as unpasteurized apple cider, pates and smoked fish products.
  • Wash raw vegetables and fruit. 
  • Make sure that meat, poultry, fish and hot dogs are well cooked. 
  • Follow the "best before" dates on food packaging.

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Coping with Labour

by Maxine
Posted August 25 2010 02:34pm
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On this page you will find strategies that may help you cope while going through labour and delivery. The information has been split up with ideas both for the mother-to-be and the father (or partner). Read this alongside The Four Stages of Labour to understand the different stages and how to make them more comfortable for both of you.

What Should We Do in the Early Phase?


  • Have light, easily-digested snacks for energy – you won’t be fed in the hospital.
  • Drink fluids: water, juices, popsicles etc.
  • Take a walk – it helps with comfort; it helps labour progress; it’s a diversion.
  • Other comfort measures, such as shower, massage, rocking, paced breathing
  • Finish packing, make phone calls etc.
  • If labour begins during the night, and you are comfortable, try to sleep or at least rest – there’s a lot ahead!


  • Dad, stay close by.
  • Take Mom for a walk, if she wants.
  • Encourage changing positions.
  • Play a game with her, watch TV together.
  • Use comfort  and coping measures, such as touch, massage, support, reassurance, paced breathing
  • Use a cool or warm cloth – ask her preference – on Mom’s face and forehead.
  • Offer Mom easily-digested food and drinks, ice chips or mouthwash.
  • Put lip balm on her lips.
  • Help Mom take a shower or a bath.
  • Remind Mom to pee often.
  • Time her contractions.

What Should We Do in the Active Phase?


  • Changing positions can help with comfort and with labour progression.
  • Try to stay in a new position for at least two contractions, to give yourself time to adjust. If you’re still uncomfortable, change positions again.
  • Use positions that allow gravity to help the baby descend. e.g.: Lying flat on your back is NOT a good idea because it decreases the blood supply to your baby and it also creates ‘uphill’ work for labour, instead of allowing gravity to help.
  • Squatting or sitting on a toilet can open the pelvic outlet as much as 2 cm. This can make a big difference!
  • Empty your bladder – pee often.
  • Sip fluids.
  • Massage; heat; cold;
  • Start your paced breathing - whichever level feels comfortable.
  • Rest between contractions.
  • Take a bath or a shower –If your membranes have ruptured only showers would be allowed to prevent any possible risk of infection.  Use of water has been linked to decreased pain and increased coping with pain. Stay in water only up to one hour. The positive effects last up to 2 hours, then you can go back in water. Water shouldn’t be > 39°C.

Remember: The baby will come out!  


  • Continue to be supportive. Stay close and be responsive.
  • Encourage her – "You’re doing such a great job with this contraction."
  • Massage.
  • Help Mom to change position.
  • Help her to take a shower or bath.
  • Coach her paced breathing.
  • Offer sips of fluids, ice chips.
  • Remind Mom to empty her bladder.
  • Provide warm or cold packs (ask her preference).
  • DON’T criticize or question – "You just said you didn’t want ice"
  • DON’T personalize anything Mom says or does. She may act differently or be irritable. This is normal.
  • DO stretch tired muscles and rest when you can.
  • DO eat when you can.


Video Alert!
Learn more about coping with labour by watching these videos.
Walk Move & Change Position Have Continuous Support Everyday Miracles: A Celebration of Birth


What Should We Do in Transition?


  • Do what is most comfortable with regard to positions and paced breathing.
  • Try to focus on one contraction at a time.
  • Try to rest in between contractions, if you can.
  • Urge to push. Two ‘schools of thought’ around pushing when you get the urge to push:
      • 1. Listen to your body and start to push with guidance from and your caregivers.
      • 2. Pushing before you’re fully dilated may slow labour by causing swelling of the cervix. Pant, or pant-pant-blow to stall pushing.
  • Urge to push sometimes is absent. Your care providers will provide good coaching as to when it’s time to push.




  • Mom will need your help to focus in order to get through this tough stage. This may mean having her look right into your face.Mom may not feel like talking so use her cues for comfort and coping needs.
  • Encourage her.
  • Provide socks and blankets for warmth, if she’s cold.
  • Remind her re paced breathing and do it with her – i.e. pant-blow.
  • Advocate for her around issues that arise.

What Should We Do in Second Stage?


  • Tell caregiver when you have urge to push

Effective Pushing:

  • Ensures maximum amount of oxygen for you and your baby.
  • Allows the tissues of your perineum to gradually stretch.
  • Bend your elbows and grip your legs or the squatting bar with your hands. 
  • Ease your chin towards your chest and open your mouth slightly.
  • Relax your pelvic muscles.
  • Unless there’s a reason to quickly birth the baby, bring the baby down with 3 -5 short pushes per contraction:
    • Gives your tissues a chance to stretch gradually, in order to avoid or minimize tearing.
    • Easier on the baby.
  • Avoid ‘purple pushing’ – avoid holding your breath longer than five seconds.
  • Grunting can be effective as it helps to push the diaphragm against the top of the uterus.– Screaming is not (interferes with pushing).
  • Rest/relax between contractions.


Video Alert!
Get upright and follow your urges to push. This can help the delivery progress and may result in a faster birth.
Watch this video to learn more



  • Mom may need your help to position herself for pushing. 
  • Support Mom
  • Encouragement and feedback as to the progress - ‘Her head is almost out!’
  • Guide her with breathing and pushing.
  • Help to make her comfortable between contractions
  • Advocate where necessary – i.e. warm compresses and perineal massage to avoid/minimize tearing; avoiding  episiotomy.


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