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.  


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Baby Bathtubs

by Maxine
Posted August 4 2010 02:43pm

Portable baby bathtubs can make bathing a baby easier and more fun for Mom, Dad and baby. They can be placed in a sink, in a regular bathtub, on a counter or kitchen table, or even on the floor. Never leave your baby alone in the bath, even for a minute. When your baby is in the bath, keep a hand on her at all times to keep her safe.

Once your baby can sit up, usually at about six months old, you should no longer bathe baby in a bathtub that is small enough to fit into a sink. Move your baby to a slightly larger model.
Choosing a safe baby bathtub:

  • Choose a baby bathtub with an internal slip-resistant mesh sling, cradle or contour to prevent baby from slipping.
  • Choose a baby bathtub with a smooth, overhanging rim to allow for easier carrying. 
  • Choose a baby bathtub that has a large drain with an attached plug for quick emptying.


Baby bathtub safety:

  • Turn off the hot water first when filling the bathtub, and make sure that the baby does not touch the hot water spigot.
  • Swirl the water with your hand this will even out any hot spots of water. 
  • Test the water’s temperature before placing your baby in the bathtub. The water should feel warm, not hot; then place your baby in the bathtub;
  • Stay with your child at all times; a baby can drown in as little as 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water.



Don’t buy or use a bath seat or bath rings. Both items are dangerous. They pose a drowning risk.
We do not recommend the use of baby bath seats. Organizations such as Health Canada, the Hospital for Sick Children and Consumer Reports all ask that parents avoid bath seats and bath rings.

A baby can drown in as little as two and a half centimetres (1 inch) of water. Babies have fallen over and drowned when the suction cups on the seats did not stick to the bathtub or they slipped through the leg openings. These things have happened even when parents were in the room.  


Learn how to turn bathtime into Comfort, Play & Teach Time with our Bathtime with your Baby video.

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Doorway Jumpers

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:56pm


Doorway jumpers are bouncy seats that hang from the tops of door frames. Bungee-style cords or springs hang from a non-slip door-frame clamp and suspend a seat that is usually removable and washable. Adjustable straps are used to keep the seat at the child’s jumping height.
Such jumpers are typically used by infants of 5 to 15 months in age. Some feature support bars in the front and back of the seat, while others have solid, moulded frames contoured to encircle the baby. Some doorway jumpers feature a small tray to hold snacks or toys.
Babies are often delighted by the motion they create by pushing off from the floor, but some babies are not. Follow your baby’s cues. Injuries have occurred when doorway jumpers were not used correctly.

Choosing a safe doorway jumper:

  • Choose a jumper that is appropriate for your baby’s age, weight and height.
  • Choose a doorway jumper with specifications that will match its intended door frame. Not all door frames can support a doorway jumper.

Doorway jumper safety:

  • Install the jumper according to the product information.
  • Check that the straps and the clamp are fastened and secure each time you place your baby in the jumper. 
  • Stay with your child when she is in the jumper.
  • Inspect the doorway jumper after each use. 
  • Limit jumping time to 15 minutes at a stretch, which is about all the bouncing a small body can take. 
  • Don’t push a jumper or let others push it. Jumpers are not swings, and the motion can cause your child to hit the side of a doorway.

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Circumcision: What You Need to Know

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 11:42am

If you have a baby boy, will you have him circumcised? It’s a big decision for every parent —sometimes based in religious or cultural reasons, sometimes chosen for medical reasons and sometimes based on personal preference. And it’s all wrapped up in your loving concern for the welfare and comfort of your baby. Even if you don’t know the gender of your baby yet, you may want to give this matter some thought now. There is a lot to consider before making your decision.

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the layer of skin that covers the head of the penis. The following information will help get you up to speed on what the research says, and what is involved in circumcising a boy’s penis.

What do expert physicians recommend and why?

  • Both the Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics conclude that for pediatricians practicing in Canada and the United States there is currently no reason to circumcise healthy newborn males.
  • They conclude that for such boys, the medical and health risks associated with the circumcision procedure outweigh the benefits.

Why do some parents choose circumcision?

  • Some parents choose circumcision because they believe a circumcised penis is easier to keep clean.
  • Some parents choose circumcision for religious or cultural reasons. 
  • Some parents choose circumcision for personal reasons, for example, “to look like Dad or other boys.”

How is circumcision done?

Circumcision is done in many different ways. In all methods, care is taken to protect and not harm the head of the penis. Nearly all physicians and religious leaders begin circumcision by providing anesthesia. 

Here are the 3 most common ways circumcision is done. Ask your child’s doctor which method s/he will use.

  • Gomco clamp - This is the most common method used. The foreskin is retracted and a protective cover is placed over the head of the penis. The foreskin is then pulled forward over the head of the penis and a Gomco clamp is placed over the foreskin and tightened; the clamp is left on the foreskin for up to 5 minutes. During this time the pressure of the clamp cuts the foreskin and it is removed.
  • Mogen clamp - The doctor lifts the foreskin forward. This causes the head of the penis to retract towards the scrotum. A clamp is attached to protect the head of the penis, and the stretched foreskin is cut. The clamp is left on the penis to seal any bleeding. This method is frequently described as appearing less painful to the baby than the other methods.
  • Plastibell - The foreskin is stretched over a disposable plastic cap that covers the head of the penis. A string is tied around the base of the head of the penis. This causes pressure on the foreskin and the skin dies and is shed along with the plastic cap. (This may take up to a week to shed. No scalpels are used in this method.)

What are the risks or disadvantages of circumcision?

The Canadian Pediatric Society website provides the most complete information about the risks or disadvantages of circumcision. Here are the major ones:

  • Complications – The most common complications are bleeding or infection at the site of the circumcision. In Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society reports that of every 1,000 boys who are circumcised, 20 to 30 will have a surgical complication of this type.
  • Less common complications may include difficulty peeing, removing too much tissue, prominent scarring, infection in the blood (sepsis) and reaction to the anesthetics or pain relief measures used (for example, nausea and vomiting, itching, rash). 
  • Pain - Many studies show that circumcision is very painful for babies. 
  • Cost - newborn circumcision is no longer covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Therefore, parents must pay the cost of the procedure. Prices vary among hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices and the health care provider that does the circumcision.

What are the benefits?

Research shows there are some benefits to circumcision. However, medical experts consider these benefits are very small compared to the risks identified above at this time, which is why the Canadian Pediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend circumcision as a routine procedure for pediatricians practicing in Canada and the United States.

The information below summarizes some of these benefits:

  • Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) - At one time, circumcision was used to prevent these infections. However, research shows that UTI’s in males are more often due to deformities of the penis and urinary tract (such as narrow urethra or non-normal opening, which can result in an increased likelihood of infection). It is less often due to the having a foreskin cover the head of the penis. UTI’s are easily treated with antibiotics. For every 1,000 boys who are circumcised 2 will be admitted to hospital at some point in their lives for UTIs compared to 7 boys who are not circumcised.1
  • Prevention of penile cancer later in life - penile cancer is rare; 1 man in 100,000. The risk for penile cancer is slightly lower in circumcised men. 2
  • Prevention of HIV/Aids – in populations that have high rates of HIV/Aids, circumcised males are less likely to contract the disease and transmit the infection to their partners. 
  • Hygiene – It is a myth that an uncircumcised penis is less clean than a circumcised penis. Furthermore, it is equally easy to teach circumcised and uncircumcised boys how to wash their penis.

Is circumcision painful?

Many studies show that circumcision is painful for babies. There may still be some hospitals, doctors or religious leaders who do not use anesthesia when performing newborn circumcision.

However, most people who perform circumcisions may use one of the following pain relief measures:

  • Anesthetic cream (EMLA)
  • Local anesthetic injection that freezes the foreskin before it is removed. These include:
  • A subpubic ring block
  • Dorsal Penile Nerve Block (DPNB)
  • Concentrated oral sucrose solution used in combination with other types of pain relief to adequately relieve pain. Research has shown that when babies taste something sweet, they do not feel pain as intensely.

It is important for you to ask your healthcare provider or religious leader about the pain relief measures available for your son. They may not offer this information to you, if you don’t ask.

What can you do to make your baby boy more comfortable during circumcision?

  • Mom, breastfeed immediately before and after the procedure; this may help for two reasons. First, breast milk has sucrose, which tastes sweet, and when babies taste something sweet, they do not feel pain as intensely. And, of course, breastfeeding is very soothing to babies, which is what they need the most after circumcision.
  • Allow your baby to suck on a pacifier during the procedure. Sucking is soothing to babies and may reduce the pain sensation.
  • Place your baby in skin-to-skin contact against your chest. You can cover the both of you with a blanket, or better yet wear a large man’s shirt, place your baby in their diaper against your chest and then button up the shirt. Research shows that skin to skin contact can help babies regulate their temperature and help to stabilize their breathing and heart rate. 
  • Ask your doctor to prescribe a suitable type and amount of pain relief medication for your baby, to be administered after the local anesthetic wears off.

1.   Canadian Pediatric Society. Circumcision: Information for Parents Retrieved
2.   Circumcision Information Resource Centre. Circumcision Fact Sheet Retrieved , 2004

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