Safety: Are Our Bedrooms Safe for Our Child?

by Guest
Posted August 26 2010 09:40am
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Here is a basic safety checklist for bedrooms. In addition to the points below, be sure to look carefully around your bedroom for yourself, to see if there are any additional actions you can take to safety proof it for you and your child. But begin by making sure that:


  • There are no "cute" decorator night lights - they look like toys to be played with.

  • Beds and cribs are located away from windows and radiators. Windows can break, and if they are open, children can fall out of the window. Radiators can burn small children.

  • Children are not allowed to jump on beds, because they can lose control and be bounced onto the floor or into the corners of hard bedroom furniture.

  • Babies should not be placed on waterbeds because little ones do not have the strength to turn their head into a position where they can easily breathe.  Babies should not be placed on adult beds to sleep as they may roll or suffocate in the bedding and pillows.  The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that a baby sleeps in a safety-approved crib, on their back and close to their parent. 

  • Pillows are not used for children under two year of age.

More information on safe sleep can be found on Health Canada's Website.


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Breastfeeding: Who to Consult for Help

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2011 03:22pm
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If you’re thinking about breastfeeding your baby you might have questions or concerns and need someone to talk to about these. There are many types of supports available for women who want to breastfeed or are trying to breastfeeding.

Our experts have created a list of some of the types of supports available.

Lactation Consultant

Almost anyone can call themselves a “Lactation Consultant.” However, only Lactation Consultants who have taken specialty courses and written the certification examination of the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants can use the initials IBCLC after their names. This certification is considered the “gold standard” of quality breastfeeding consultation. Some Public Health Nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives are Board certified Lactation Consultants, but physicians and non-health professionals rarely have this certification. An IBCLC certified Lactation Consultant in your area, can be located through the International Lactation Consultants Association.


Breastfeeding Counsellor

Individuals who call themselves Breastfeeding Counsellors have usually taken a course in breastfeeding. This course generally covers the practical and theoretical aspects of breastfeeding, on-the-job training and information about consultation. Although this type of course is usually open to anyone, it is mainly taken by Public Health Nurses and midwives. Breastfeeding Counsellors provide support and advice to breastfeeding Mothers through clinics, hospitals or Public Health Units, but may also work through an organization, such as La Leche League, or work as a private business.


Public Health Units

Many Public Health Units provide breastfeeding support, and can visit you at home. These nurses are trained to address breastfeeding issues. For this type of support, contact your local Public Health Unit (the telephone numbers are listed in the government blue pages of your local telephone directory and can be found online).


La Leche League

Formed in the 1950s, this is an international organization providing local, peer support groups for breastfeeding women. They hold monthly meetings and are available for telephone support. The Mothers in this organization can offer you personal and practical experience. Their support materials are written by breastfeeding experts, such as Lactation Consultants, nursing professors and physicians.



General practitioners, family physicians and paediatricians, most often, do not have special training in breastfeeding issues. However, they are trained to refer you to local expert resources in your area to help with any challenges that may come up, and are generally supportive in a team relationship with you and your breastfeeding specialist.


Maternity Ward

You can expect the staff at the hospital where you have your baby to provide support and advice in helping you initiate breastfeeding. Most hospitals will have a certified Lactation Consultant on staff, so if you are struggling with  breastfeeding, ask to speak to the Lactation Consultant.


Breastfeeding Centres/Clinics

Breastfeeding centres or clinics are located in and around urban areas. These clinics may be associated with hospitals or with local Public Health Units. Generally, the staff in these clinics includes certified Lactation Consultants, Breastfeeding Counsellors and physicians trained in breastfeeding issues. These centres provide support, advice and treatment to breastfeeding Mothers. To locate a breastfeeding clinic or centre near you, contact your local Public Health Unit.


What supports did you use when you were breastfeeding? What would you recommend to a friend who had questions? Share your experience with other parents just like you by leaving a comment below.


More information on breastfeeding »

Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? Our expert, Attie Sandink, is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask Attie a Question!



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Emotional Changes After Birth

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 05:53pm
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As a new mother you may experience a few bouts of crying or moodiness during the first two weeks after your baby’s birth.

This is a common reaction, often called the “baby blues.” You have just been through a major life experience; are probably sore, are definitely tired and you are taking on a brand new role as a parent. Not to mention that you may be having hormonal changes, which can affect some women more than others.

If after 2 weeks either you or your partner is experiencing any of the following persistent emotions you need to see your healthcare provider:

  • Mood swings that have lasted for more than two weeks and don’t seem to be letting up
  • Frequent worrying and increasing irritability 
  • Racing thoughts that keep you up at night 
  • Irregular sleep patterns because you feel like you can’t or don’t need sleep 
  • Feeling that you don’t need to eat regularly, especially if you’re losing weight 
  • Poor concentration—unable to focus on anything for very long 
  • Short-term memory loss, trouble focusing, remembering or making decisions 
  • Lost interest in activities you normally enjoy 
  • Agitated state almost all the time 
  • Lack of energy, always tired
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide 
  • Constant worry about your baby’s development 
  • Feelings of sadness or crying a lot for no apparent reason 
  • Hot/cold flashes, chest pain and shaky or dizzy feelings 
  • Guilty thoughts or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Restlessness, lack of control or lack of energy 
  • Feelings of guilt or inadequacy as a parent 
  • Withdrawal from partner, family, friends, co-workers

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Sleeping: How Can I Encourage My Baby to Sleep Regularly?

by Guest
Posted August 26 2010 09:45am
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When babies are born they don't know the difference between night and day, so it's a parent's job to help them learn this.

Babies sleep patterns will vary as they grow. Babies will sleep less as they develop, and by the end of the first month, they will be alert for two- to three-hour stretches, sleeping an average of 15 hours in a 24 hour day. By six months, infants are sleeping about 12 to 14 hours in a 24 hour day.

In comparison to adult sleep habits, most babies are not the greatest sleepers.

Here are a few strategies to encourage regular sleeping habits:


  • Some babies like small beds - The safest place is in a crib that meets current safety standards, however if your baby prefers a cradle it should meet the guidelines currently set out by Health Canada Product Safety.

  • If your baby wakes frequently at night, try to keep him as close to mom as possible - a cradle can be kept next to mom.

  • Wrap your baby securely to give her that feeling of warmth and security - remember that newborns are accustomed to a very close and warm environment.

  • Provide your baby with more stimulation during the day, and less at night.

  • Establish an evening routine giving a clear signal to your baby that sleep time is coming - bath time is often a cue used by parents, since many babies will feel relaxed and sleepy after a warm bath.

  • Make sure the room your baby sleeps in is comfortable - check the temperature and the lighting.

  • When your baby cries in the night, go and soothe him, but make sure not to turn on any bright lights or initiate any play. Try singing gently or humming, stroking your baby's body, or turning on a mobile that plays a quiet tune. Then give him a chance to fall back to sleep on his own.

  • Moms of restless sleepers should be reminded to sleep when their baby sleeps to keep up their energy.

  • Wake and feed your baby before you go to bed - this may give you a stretch of sleep at night and will not harm her at all.

  • If there are other adult family members in the house, have them share some of the baby's waking periods.


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