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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Baby Swings

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:47pm

Baby swings are designed for indoor use and can be handy for soothing crying babies or keeping babies occupied. Like bouncer seats and doorway jumpers, the motion of the baby swing entertains or soothes the baby. However, your baby can get hurt if the swing is not used correctly.
Baby swings come in two types: wind-up and battery-operated models. Wind-up models provide 20 to 30 minutes of motion after being wound with a handle located at the top or side of the swing. Battery-operated models are driven by a motor that runs on D batteries, and such models emit a low churning noise with each passage of the swing.

Baby swings generally consist of a seat suspended by a pair of arms attached to a frame with wide-standing, tubular-metal legs. Because baby swings have lightweight frames, they can be moved from one room to another.
Choosing a safe baby swing:

  • Choose a baby swing with a safety harness or strap that goes between the legs and over each hip.
  • Choose a baby swing with a wide, sturdy base that folds or dismantles easily for storage.
  • Choose a baby swing with a plush padded seat cover that is machine washable. 
  • Decide prior to purchase what type of swing is preferable for you as a parent: battery operated or wind-up. Each of these produces noise that some parents may find annoying.
  • Test a swing—in a store or at a friend’s or relative’s house—with your baby. Not all babies like to swing.  

 Baby swing safety:

  • Always stay with your baby when she is in the swing.
  • Always follow the product’s age and weight restrictions at all times. 
  • Use the safety belt or harness every time. 
  • Check that your baby’s head is supported according to the product instructions.
  • Always check that the swing is in good working condition, that there is no loose hardware and that there are no sharp edges or tears in the seat fabric.
  • Place the swing on a flat surface away from doors, furniture, appliances and stairs. 
  • Remove your baby from the swing if she falls asleep to keep her head from falling forward onto her chest.
  • Start with the lowest speed and watch your baby’s cues. Limit the amount of time your baby spends in the swing.

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Why Should I Breastfeed My Baby?

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 04:52pm

Breastfeeding is the most common way to feed your baby. In Canada, about 90% of moms begin breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has benefits for your baby, for you as a mom, and for you as a family.

The benefits of breastfeeding for baby include:

  • It provides baby with food designed especially for babies that changes to meet your baby’s daily needs and that is easily digested.
  • It promotes optimal brain growth and a smarter baby.
  • It provides baby with immunity and reduces infection and illness-such as fewer ear infections, fewer respiratory infections, fewer cases of gastroenteritis, fewer risks of blood infection and fewer risk of meningitis.
  • It provides protection for preterm babies.
  • It protects against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 
  • It may decrease risk of baby developing allergies, anemia, obesity and diabetes.
  • It promotes skin-to-skin contact and bonding.

The benefits for Mom include:

  • It aids in postpartum recovery and helps the uterus to heal and return to a non-pregnant state.
  • It decreases the risk of breast cancer; ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

The benefits for a family include:

  • The convenience - breast milk does not need to be prepared, it is always available and at the correct temperature. 
  • The cost - there is not the weekly cost of purchasing artificial milk supplements.
  • Mom and Dad may not miss as much time from work because their baby is ill.


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by Maxine
Posted August 25 2010 12:56pm
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Signs that labour is approaching:

You may start to experience signs that labour is near three-four weeks before the birth, just before the birth or not at all – all of these are considered normal.

Lightening / Engagement - “The baby has dropped”

  • The baby settles down into the bony pelvis
  • This usually occurs two-four weeks before labour for first time moms and may happen at the start of labour with subsequent births.
  • You can breathe easier in this stage, as upward pressure on the diaphragm and ribs lessens
  • You need to pee more often. Pressure on the bladder occurs as the baby settles down into the pelvis, meaning more frequent trips to the bathroom.

 Energy Level

  • Fatigue - can be related to many things: trouble sleeping; hormonal changes; response to carrying the extra weight of pregnancy etc.
  • Energy burst – If you have an energy burst you should be careful not to overdo it! You don’t want to wear yourself out before labour.

Vaginal Discharge

  • You may notice an increased amount and / or thickness of vaginal discharge.
  • Discharge should look and feel like the white of a raw egg.
  • It should NOT be: bloody, watery or foul-smelling.
  • Both bloody (unless it is the mucous plug, which is pink, not red blood) and watery discharge require immediate medical attention – visit the hospital immediately.
  • Any foul-smelling or unusual coloured discharge requires medical attention, as does itchiness and soreness – see your caregiver as soon as possible.

Mucous Plug/Bloody Show

  • The ‘cork’ of mucous forms a protective seals in the cervix (opening to the uterus),  as the cervix begins to efface (thin) and dilate (open), the mucous plug loosens and breaks free
  • This is a sign that cervix is beginning to efface (thin) and dilate (open)
  • The pinkish colour results from the rupture of microscopic blood vessels as the plug dislodges
  • This can occur several days, 24 – 48 hours before labour begins or just as labour begins, so don’t rush to the hospital just yet

Braxton - Hicks Contractions

  • The tightening and relaxing of the uterus as it tones in preparation for labour
  • Often called “False labour” or pre-labour
  • Increases in the last month of pregnancy. Some expectant moms are aware of Braxton-Hicks contractions throughout the last three months. Others are unaware until the last month or close to labour.

Other Signs

  • Loose or more frequent bowel movements, due to release of the hormone prostaglandin, which helps to ripen the cervix but also stimulates the bowel.
  • Low backache, which is the result of stretching of the broad and uterosacral ligaments. This backache will gradually subside during postpartum.
  • Relaxin, a hormone, loosens the joints during pregnancy, can create shifts in these joints. These can result in aches and pains that are not normally experienced 

Is This True Labour?

True Labour: 

  • Contractions get stronger, longer and closer together
  • Contractions become regular
  • Moving and using upright positions helps
  • Cervix effaces (thins) and dilates (opens)* 

Braxton Hicks:

  • Don't get stronger
  • No pattern
  • Not affected by rest or moving
  • No changes in cervix

Timing Contractions:

How frequently (frequency) are contractions coming?
Time from the start of one contraction to the start of the next contraction.  For example; first contraction starts at 10 a.m. and the next contraction starts at 10:10 a.m., the contractions are coming every 10 minutes.

How long is a contraction lasting (duration)? 
Time from the start of the contraction to the end of that contraction. For example; contraction started at 10:00 a.m. and ended 30 seconds later.  Contractions are usually timed in seconds. Initially they may be about 30 seconds and will gradually increase until they are lasting 90 seconds.

Occasionally your care provider will mention the interval between contractions.  This is the time from the end of one contraction until the beginning of the next contraction.  For example, contraction ends at 10:01 a.m. and next contraction does not start until 10:10 a.m. the interval is 9 minutes.

Go to the Hospital When:

  • Mom’s water breaks in a gush or her water is leaking steadily
  • Contractions are regular and five minutes apart for at least one hour. If the hospital is more than 30 minutes away, you may want to consider leaving before the hour is up.
  • If Mom is uncomfortable or not coping well with labour
  • If unsure, call the labour and delivery unit at your hospital
  • You may be sent home or for a walk if it’s early labour



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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