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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Car Seats

by Maxine
Posted August 4 2010 02:53pm

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for Canadian children. Ensure your child’s safety by choosing the right type of car seat for his age, height and weight.

In Canada, it is mandatory for anyone transporting a young child to make sure the child is properly secured in the correct seat. This law applies not only to parents, but to relatives and caregivers such as nannies and babysitters.

Car seats come in four main types:

  • rear-facing seats
  • convertible rear-facing seats
  • forward-facing seats 
  • booster seats

Rear-facing car seats provide newborns and infants with special protection.
Rear-facing infant car seats are required for infants weighing 10 kg (22 lbs) or less, or until an infant measures 66 to 74 cm (26 to 29 inches) in height.

Convertible rear-facing car seats can be used facing toward the rear of the car until the maximum limits of height and weight for which the seat is rated are reached. After that, they can be converted to forward-facing seats. Forward-facing seats allow babies to face the front of the car and are for babies over 1 year of age.  

Forward-facing child car seats are required for infants over 1 year old who weigh between 9 kg and 18 kg (20 to 40 lbs) and up to 102 cm (40 inches. In height
Booster seats raise children up off the back seat of the vehicle to position them properly in adult seatbelts. They are usually used for children from about 4 or 5 years to about 9 years of age. The seat you choose depends on the age, height and weight of your child. Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8 or 9, weighing more than 18 kg but less than 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) and who stand less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall.

Seat belts are used when they fit your child correctly usually about 9 years and who are over 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches). The seat belt fits your child correctly when the lap belt fits low over the hips and the shoulder belt fits over the shoulder without touching the neck.
Choosing a safe car seat:

  • Check that the car seat has a label indicating that it meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and have a National Safety Mark on them. Car seats that are made in the United States may not meet these standards.
  • Check the car seat labels to find the expiry date or useful life date.  Depending on the make and model the expiry time may be 5-8 years. 
  • Choose a car seat that is compatible with your car. Ask to check the fit of a floor model in your own car. If purchasing a seat after your baby is born, bring your baby to the store to test the seat before you buy it. 
  • Check the store’s return policy. It’s important to know that you can return the seat if you are unhappy with it for any reason. 
  • Choose a car seat with removable, washable fabric, especially if you intend to keep the seat for a long time. 
  • Replace your car seat if it was in the car during a crash.
  • Don’t choose a second-hand car seat unless you have the instructions and know that it has not been in a crash, been recalled or is past the expiry date..

Car seat safety:

  • Do make sure the car seat is properly installed by following the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Use the seatbelt every time your child is in the car. 
  • Do check the seat every time you use it. The seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in any direction
  • Do send in the registration card or warranty card. This way you should be notified if the car seat is recalled. 
  • Don’t choose a car seat that is not labelled for use in Canada. 
  • Don’t place a rear-facing infant car seat in a front passenger seat equipped with an air bag. 
  • Don’t use a car seat that is past its expiry date, The plastics, fabric and buckles may start to wear out. Also safety regulations may have changed.

When using a car seat in your home:

  • Do keep car seats on the floor. Babies can rock themselves off of raised surfaces, or the car seat can be knocked over accidentally.
  • Do keep the car seat’s straps fastened when moving your baby indoors. 
  • Do monitor your baby when in the car seat indoors.  
  • Don’t leave car seats on soft surfaces—your baby could suffocate.
  • Don’t use a car seat as a crib. Babies have died after slipping and becoming tangled in car seat straps.


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Poisons: How Can I Protect My Baby?

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 05:36pm
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For many years, your child will not be able to understand the concept of danger. As your very curious child continues to develop through different stages and explores every corner of your home, you will need to keep him safe from all harmful things – especially poisons. As a parent, you'll need to set up effective safety barriers. To do this, you should learn about the products in your home. Do you know which products are dangerous for children?

Infants and toddlers often explore their world by putting things in their mouths. Babies and very young children often put things in their mouths as a way of exploring the world.

You should keep cleaning products safely locked up from the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital. Many children are able to get into cabinets before their parents realize that they have learned to do this.

Products should always be stored in their original containers.  It’s much easier to make a mistake about a harmful substance if it’s not in its original container.  Poisonings have occurred because an item such as paint thinner was stored in a soft drink bottle.  Keep items in the container they came in and make sure the labels are clear.

Keep drugs safely out of reach - including over-the-counter drugs that may be in your purse.  Swallowing medicine is the most common cause of poisoning in children, even birth control pills or vitamin pills can poison your child. Avoid taking medication when your child is watching - this is one of the ways they learn.  Otherwise, he may try to find your medication and copy you. Keep in mind that child resistant safety caps are not childproof. In fact, many children can open them.

Don’t assume that because something tastes bad your baby will not consume it. Babies and young children frequently swallow things (i.e. perfume) that do not taste or smell good to adults. Perfume is a poison. If your child swallows this, it can be very dangerous.

If you smoke, be sure to store and dispose of your cigarettes, butts and ashtrays somewhere your child cannot get access to them. If your child swallows just 1 unsmoked cigarette or 2 cigarette butts, he could get sick.

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What is epidural anaesthesia?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 03:02pm
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A medication is placed in the epidural space in the lower back. This medication numbs the nerves in the lower back.  This is similar to when the dentist numbs the nerves in your face before doing a filling.  Epidural has been used since the 1960’s to provide pain relief during labour.

There are two types of epidurals available.  A standard epidural (block) can be used for either a vaginal birth or a Caesarean Birth.  With a standard epidural you will not be able to move your legs and may only feel pressure but no pain. A light epidural sometimes called a ‘walking’ epidural is used for a vaginal birth.  With this type of epidural you will be able to move your legs, you will feel pressure and pain will be diminished.

Epidurals offer excellent pain relief, they allow you to relax and even sleep during labour and they allow women who are having a caesarean birth to be awake.  The light epidurals also allow you to change position, walk and move around - all measures that help labour to progress.

When can an epidural be given?
Since only a specialist can give an epidural, it is a pain measure that is only available in hospital.  Once your labour is progressing and the neck of your cervix has opened to about 4cm an epidural can then be given.  An epidural may not be appropriate for some women due to their medical history, talk with your doctor before you go into labour to discuss what pain relief measures would be best for you.

How is an epidural given?
A specialist doctor called an anaesthesiologist gives the epidural by having you lay on your side in a curled position or has you sit up bending over your abdomen. He freezes your skin first by injecting a medication-then he places a needle into the epidural space. A thin, flexible plastic tube (catheter) is threaded through the needle; the needle is removed and the catheter stays in place until after your baby is born. The specialist then inserts medication or a combination of medications through the catheter and into the epidural space.

Like any medical procedure epidurals do have some disadvantages.

For mom these include:

  • Possible fever in mom for several hours after birth
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Some women experience shivering 
  • May slow labour
  • Diminishes urge to push
  • Diminishes urge to pee (urinate)
  • Reaction to the medications used i.e. nausea, vomiting, headache, itching
  • Requires the use of intravenous (I.V.) fluids, fetal monitoring, frequent checks of vital signs and possible urinary catheter to empty the bladder.
  • Paralysis is extremely rare.
  • Lingering back pain is a common complaint; however research to date does not support the epidural as the source of the pain.

For baby disadvantages include:

  • Changes in baby’s heart rate
  • Changes to baby’s temperature
  • Changes in baby reflexes for first few days after birth
  • Baby’s sucking reflex may be affected by medications
  • Fussiness
  • May cause hypoglycaemia in baby (low blood sugar)

Talk to your health care provider before you go into labour about the options for pain relief and any concerns that you have about them. 

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