Indoor Safety Checklist

by Maxine
Posted August 25 2010 12:41pm
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Although it will be a few months before your new baby is mobile, your goal will be to keep your precious child safe. Sooner than you think, your baby will be reaching for things, and most likely putting them straight into his mouth, so it’s important to make your home safe right away.

A checklist has been provided below as a guide to help you keep your home safe. In addition to the points provided, be sure to look carefully around your home to see what else you can do to ensure your child’s safety. By doing this, when your baby does start to reach for things or crawl to things, you won’t have to worry about baby’s safety.


Use the following checklist as a guide to help you keep your home safe. You may want to print a copy of this checklist and keep it close by as an easy reference.

  • Post all emergency numbers by the phone.
  • Post the emergency number for poison control centre.
  • Post the emergency number for police.
  • Post the emergency number for fire department. 
  • Post the emergency number for ambulance. 
  • Post the emergency number for local hospital. 
  • Post the emergency number for the hydro—in case of a power outage.
  • Post the emergency number for gas—in case of a gas leak. 
  • Put safety coverings on all electrical outlets.
  • Lock up all hazardous products.
  • Lock up drugs and medications (many children can take off childproof safety tops)—don't forget those that are in purses or jackets of guests, such as grandparents.
  • Lock up cleaning solutions. 
  • Lock up cigarettes, tobacco, matches and lighters. 
  • Lock up alcoholic beverages. 
  • Lock up garbage.
  • Lock up soiled diapers and diaper pails. 
  • Lock up skin care products and container caps, cornstarch and diaper pins. 
  • Lock up plastic and dry cleaning bags.
  • Lock up cat litter boxes and pet food.
  • Lock up electrical, computer and telephone cords and cables.
  • Lock up batteries.
  • Lock up breakable materials.
  • Lock up items that are personally valuable. 
  • Lock up all guns in a cabinet that is secured to the structure of the building.
  • Lock up the ammunition in a separate container; secure the gun with a trigger lock that needs a special key or wrench; and keep the key or wrench locked up separately from the gun. 
  • Ensure that all cleaning materials, medications and toxic substances are clearly labeled. Never store hazardous products in drinking bottles. 
  • Remove all objects that your child could use to reach dangerous items or climb out of the crib or playpen. 
  • Remove all locks on the inside of doors so your child cannot lock himself in a room. 
  • Keep all hanging curtain or blind cords out of reach. 
  • Keep free-standing lamps behind heavy furniture. 
  • Ensure all windows that open have screens and locks. 
  • Secure loose flooring or rugs. 
  • Check for tiny objects buried in rugs. 
  • Toss a towel over the top of the door—this prevents doors from slamming shut and hurting fingers. 
  • Ensure furniture is sturdy, splinter-free and without sharp edges. 
  • Block open stairway—do not use pressure-mounted gates at the top of a staircase—one good punch by your child or pet and all will go tumbling down. 
  • Keep purses out of reach, including those of visitors; they may contain medicines or sharp objects. 
  • Block wet areas (such as, freshly washed floors) so your child doesn’t slip and fall. 
  • Ensure you child is safe while you are answering the phone or door.
  • Use a seat belt when your child is in a highchair, stroller, portable swing or any other piece of equipment. 
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector(s) in your home. (NOTE: smoke alarms are now required by law in Ontario.) 
  • Supervise your child constantly. 
  • Never leave your child alone on a change table or bed. 
  • Never leave your child alone with a bottle. 
  • Never leave your child alone in the bath (children can drown in as little as 4 cm (1 1/2") of water). 
  • Never leave your child alone in a highchair. 
  • Never leave your child alone on a bean bag chair or water bed (children can roll over and smother in the soft fabric). 
  • Never leave your child alone on a balcony.
  • Never leave your child alone with a pet, including sleeping with a child (jealous or curious pets can hurt children). 
  • Never leave your child alone in a car—not even for a very brief time.
  • Never leave your child alone in the house—not even for a very brief time.
  • Remove all poisonous plants from your home and yard.


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What is an Induction of Labour?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 03:46pm
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Think of an induction as a way of starting your labour. When an induction occurs, you go from not having any contractions to having contractions that help your cervix to open.

Think of an induction as a way of starting your labour. When an induction occurs, you go from not having any contractions to having contractions that help your cervix to open. In order to have your baby vaginally your cervix needs to open to 10 cm. This can take both time and patience. This is especially true if you are a first time mom because your body is not used to having a baby.

Labour induction is different from labour “augmentation.” Augmentation involves making your contractions stronger, longer, or more frequent. The difference is that when your labour is augmented you have already started having contractions. Augmentation is usually done with a medicine called oxytocin. You have to have an IV to get this medicine.
There are a number of reasons why your doctor might recommend an induction. Maybe your pregnancy has gone on for too long. It sounds strange, but there is an increased risk to your baby’s health if he or she stays inside of you for more than 42 weeks. Also, your water may have broken without the onset of contractions. Without the protective water around your baby, both you and he are at an increased risk for infection.  

Your labour can be induced in a number of ways. Your doctor will discuss what she or he feels is the best method of induction with you. There are specific reasons for choosing each method. One commonly used method involves intentionally breaking your water and waiting a couple of hours to see if contractions start. This is called an “artificial rupture of membranes.” The doctor will conduct a vaginal exam to locate the bag of water around your baby. Then the doctor will gently break this bag with a thin, plastic hook. While the vaginal exam is uncomfortable, breaking the bag of water doesn’t hurt at all. However, your cervix must be at least a couple of centimetres open for the doctor to insert the plastic hook.

Another common method of induction involves the placement of gel or a thin piece of mesh fabric against your cervix. The medicine in the gel or mesh can help stimulate contractions. Sometimes a long tube with a small balloon on it can be placed at your cervix. The balloon will be inflated to about the size of a loonie. Following this placement, you will be encouraged to walk to allow the weight of the balloon to open you cervix. While the placement of this balloon is uncomfortable, once it has been inflated most women don’t find it painful.
If these methods do not work, oxytocin is used to help the induction process. Oxytocin is a substance your body produces naturally to help stimulate labour. In the hospital you would get a synthetic version of it. Although oxytocin is always started at a very low rate, it is a strong medicine and many women find that their contractions come on quite intensely shortly after it is started. While you are receiving oxytocin your baby will need to be monitored all the time, so two silver dollar shaped monitors will be fastened to your belly. One of the monitors records your baby’s heart beat and the other records your contractions. Many hospitals have portable versions of these monitors. This means you can walk around your room while wearing them.

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Positions for Labour

by Maxine
Posted July 21 2011 03:16pm
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This handout provides images and descriptions of various helpful positions that you can use during each stage of labour including upright positions, forward leaning positions, asymmetrical positions, pushing positions and more.


Download the Positions for Labour handout (PDF)


This information was provided with permission by:

Mother's Advocate

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Sexual Activities Without Intercourse in Pregnancy

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 07:29pm
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Intimacy is more than intercourse. For any woman who is feeling too uncomfortable or not interested in intercourse, or the doctor has put it off limits, there are other ways to experience loving feelings and sexual pleasure.

  • Try sharing a warm bath, a gentle massage, caresses and hugging. This allows you to stay physically connected.
  • If it is not against your cultural or personal preferences, couples can engage in solitary and mutual masturbation as an alternative to penile-vaginal intercourse.
  • If it is not against your cultural or personal preferences, oral sex (sometimes called "cunnilingus" pronounced cun-ee-ling-gus and "fellatio" prounouced fell-a-shee-o) is an option. However, if you proceed with this, mind the following qualifications:
      • It can be dangerous to blow air into the vagina, particularly during the last few weeks of pregnancy when the cervix may be slightly open. This can cause what doctors call an "air embolism" (pronounced ehm-bowl-ism). Air is forced between the uterine wall and the fetal membranes, and then enters the maternal cardiovascular system through the placenta. 
      • Additionally, when engaging in oral sex during pregnancy, the male partner should use a dental dam as recommended in the section safe sex during pregnancy.
  • You also might want to use this time to explore some new ways of demonstrating your love for each other. Try new things and experiment. One of the most important ingredients is to talk with each other. You need to tell your partner what feels good and what doesn’t. If at any time there is discomfort, it is important to stop the activity.

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