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Birth Control - Hormonal Methods

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 02:33pm
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These methods include synthetic forms of estrogen and or progesterone to prevent ovulation and prevent pregnancy.

The hormones also cause the fluid in the cervix to thicken which hinders the sperm’s ability to enter the uterus. The hormones are available as: pills; a patch; a vaginal ring; an injection or an implant.

The Pill

Effectiveness
The Pill contains the hormones estrogen & progesterone. If used consistently, with no missed pills, the pill is considered 90 to 99% effective.

Benefits

  • Easy to use.
  • Mom’s periods may be lighter, more regular and less painful.
  • May relieve premenstrual tension (PMS).
  • May protect against cancers of the uterus and ovaries.
  • May reduce acne.
  • May decrease ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast changes.
  • Can be used for emergency contraceptive.
  • Does not interfere with sexual spontaneity.

Limitations

  • Requires a prescription and check up by Mom’s health care provider.
  • If Mom is breastfeeding, these pills may decrease Mom’s milk supply.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Must be taken every day and at the same time of day, which may be difficult for some Moms to remember.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke if Mom smokes.
  • Moms who are not breastfeeding should wait until after 4 weeks postpartum to begin using the pill to decrease the risk of clots.
  • May cause the following side effects: irregular bleeding or spotting; nausea; breast tenderness; weight gain or water retention; mild headaches; skin discolouration; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive.

Not Recommended
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to take the pill:

  • History of heart attacks and stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, breast or vagina
  • Suspected pregnancy
  • Liver disease or gallbladder disease
  • Migraines
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Sickle cell disease

 

Mini Pill

Effectiveness
Minipills contain progestin only. These pills have effectiveness ratings of 95-98% and are considered 100% effective for breastfeeding moms. Moms should wait until 6 weeks post delivery before starting this pill.

Benefits

  • Do not contain any estrogen so can be used by Moms who can't use combined pills
  • Easy to use.
  • Mom's menstrual periods are lighter, less painful and less frequent.
  • May relieve premenstrual tension (PMS).
  • May protect against cancers of the uterus and ovaries.
  • May reduce acne.
  • May decrease ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast changes.
  • Does not interfere with sexual spontaneity.
  • Can be used in Moms who wish to breast feed as it will not decrease the amount of breast milk.

Limitations

  • Requires a prescription and check up by Mom's health care provider.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Must be taken every day and at the same time of day which may be difficult for some Moms to remember.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke if Mom smokes.
  • May cause the following side effects: irregular bleeding or spotting; mild headaches; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive.

Not Recommended
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to take the mini pill:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, breast or vagina
  • Suspected pregnancy

 

Contraceptive Patch

Effectiveness
The Contraceptive patch contains estrogen and progesterone. With consistent use the patch is 95 to 99% effective in women who weigh less than 198 lbs. It is slightly less reliable in women over 198 lbs.

Benefits 

  • Easier to use than the Pill as it only requires once a week application.
  • Mom's periods may be lighter, more regular and less painful.
  • May relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • May protect against cancers of the uterus and ovaries.
  • May reduce acne.
  • May decrease ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast changes.
  • Does not interfere with sexual spontaneity.

Limitations

  • Requires a prescription and check up by Mom's health care provider.
  • If Mom is breastfeeding, this may affect Mom's milk supply.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • A new patch must be applied once a week which may be difficult for some Moms to remember.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke if Mom smokes.
  • May cause the following side effects: irregular bleeding or spotting; nausea; breast tenderness; weight gain or loss; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive; skin reaction at the site where the patch is applied ; change in vision or inability to wear contact lenses for Moms who wear contacts.

Not Recommended
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to take the contraceptive patch:

  • History of heart attacks and stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, breast or vagina
  • Suspected pregnancy
  • Liver disease or gallbladder disease
  • Migraines
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Sickle Cell Anemia

 

Vaginal Rings

Effectiveness
Vaginal ring contains estrogen and progesterone. It is 99% effective if used consistently and correctly.

Benefits

  • Easier to use than the Pill or patch as it only requires insertion once per month.
  • More private than a pill dispenser or visible contraceptive patch.
  • Mom's periods may be lighter, more regular and less painful.
  • May relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • May protect against cancers of the uterus and ovaries.
  • May reduce acne.
  • May decrease ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast changes.
  • Does not interfere with sexual spontaneity.

Limitations

  • Requires a prescription and check up by Mom's health care provider.
  • If Mom is breastfeeding, this may affect Mom's milk supply.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke if Mom smokes.
  • May cause the following side effects: irregular bleeding or spotting; nausea; breast tenderness; weight gain; headache; vaginal discharge; vaginal irritation; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive.

Not Recommended
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to use the vaginal ring:

  • History of heart attacks and stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, breast or vagina
  • Suspected pregnancy
  • Liver disease or gallbladder disease
  • Migraines
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Epilepsy
  • Dropped uterus
  • Dropped bladder
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Severe constipation
  • Easily irritated vagina
  • Sickle cell disease

 

Injectable Contraceptives

Effectiveness
Injectable contraceptives contain progesterone only. They are almost 98 to 100% effective.

Benefits

  • Convenient: only requires one injection every three months.
  • Does not require regular supplies.
  • Effective within 24 hours of the injection.
  • Does not contain estrogen, so Moms do not have estrogen related side effects.
  • May decrease risk of uterine cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Does not interfere with sexual spontaneity.
  • Mom can start injections 6 wks after giving birth.
  • Mom may have less menstrual cramping and fewer menstrual periods.

Limitations

  • Requires an injection by Mom's health care provider every three months.
  • If Mom is breastfeeding, this may affect Mom's milk supply.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Delays the return of Mom's fertility.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • Mom's will need to wait until at least 6 wks post delivery to begin this method due to concerns about the effect of progestin on baby's brain, lymphatic and genitalia development.
  • Causes the loss of bone density; Moms should exercise regularly and eat calcium rich foods to help decrease this loss of bone density.
  • May cause the following side effects: spotting; heavy bleeding or no monthly bleeding; weight gain from 5-10 lbs after one year of use; headache; breast tenderness; acne; hair loss; backache; bloating; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive.
  • Side effects may last for a long time. It may take over 6 months for the drug to leave a Mom's body.
  • Slight risk of preterm baby if Mom becomes pregnant while taking Depo-provera.

Not Recommended
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to use injectable contraceptives:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Suspected pregnancy
  • Liver disease or gallbladder disease

 

Implants

Effectiveness
Implants contain only progestin. They are considered 99% effective.

Benefits 

  • Very effective.
  • Provide contraceptive protection for 3-5 yrs depending on type used.
  • Mom's fertility returns within 3 months from when the implant is removed.
  • Mom can use the implant if she is breastfeeding, although she should wait 6 weeks post delivery to have it inserted.
  • Can be removed if Mom changes her mind.
  • Does not interrupt sexual spontaneity.
  • May decrease Mom's risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease, and anemia.

Limitations 

  • Requires insertion by a trained health care provider.
  • Does not protect Mom against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Delays the return of Mom's fertility.
  • May interact with other medications. Mom should first tell her health care provider about any other medications she is taking.
  • May cause slight increase in ovarian cysts.
  • Can be difficult to remove and requires a trained health care provider.
  • Although rare, may cause an infection in the site they are inserted usually the arm.
  • May cause the following side effects: irregular bleeding or continuous spotting; weight gain; headache; acne; abdominal pain; painful periods; hair loss; mood changes including depression or decreased sex drive.
  • Side effects may last for a long time.
  • If Mom becomes pregnant while using implants she may have an increased risk of a tubal pregnancy. A tubal pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus.

Not Recommended   
Mothers who have the following conditions may be advised not to use implant contraceptives:

  • Heart problems
  • Intolerance to irregular bleeding
  • Allergies to Progestin
  • Depression
  • Known or suspected breast, cervical or endocmetrial cancers

 

 There are other methods of birth control. Learn More >>

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What impact does an involved father have on the life of the child and father?

by Maxine
Posted August 26 2010 12:07pm
Filed under:

Dad's involvement in his baby's life is important for baby's development as well as a healthy family life. The early years are critically important to a child’s healthy development and positive parenting is the most powerful path to ensure that healthy development. Yet, nearly 30% of Canadian children under the age of 6 have a social, emotional or learning problem that is related to the kind of parenting these children experience.

Expectant dads dream of being the best dad in the world and are committed to doing everything possible to realize this dream. Here are some facts about the impact a father's involvement has on his family.

  • Children who have involved fathers are more likely to be curious and eager to explore their environment.
  • Men's emotional involvement with their children provides a mental balance to their work-related stress, giving them something besides work that is very important in their lives.
  • Studies show that children who have involved fathers are more likely to grow up to have long-term, successful marriages.
  • Fathers who are involved in their children's lives find parenthood satisfying, are happier in their marriage in mid-life,  are more likely to participate in the community and are less likely to abuse substances.

Dad's involvement is needed to create a healthy, stimulating environment for his new family. This will certainly provide your baby with the best opportunities for a long and healthy life. Moms can help dads become more involved in their children's lives by supporting dad’s parenting abilities, viewing him as a competent parent and approaching parenting as a joint effort.
 

 

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Dad’s Guidelines for Survival

by Maxine
Posted August 4 2011 12:32pm
Filed under:

While the first few weeks with your new baby may be a rollercoaster of emotions and responsibilities, Dad, the following are some proven ways that can help you cope.

  • Consider taking parental leave from work.
  • Accept or seek help from family members and friends.
  • Share your needs, fears, desires and feelings about the birth of your baby with Mom.
  • Discourage visitors politely, if any of you are too tired.
  • Guard against unhelpful or unwanted advice
  • Make time with Mom to strengthen your relationship.
  • Be sensitive to Mom's physical and emotional needs.
  • Help with the household chores—keep an inventory. 
  • Nourish Mom if she’s nursing—bring her snacks and drinks.
  • Make sure Mom takes time for herself (that is, offer to take the baby for a walk while she takes a bath).
  • Make some time for yourself.

 

Are you a dad? What tips can you add to our list? How did you survive the first few weeks with your new baby? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Coping: What If I Feel Like I Can’t Manage with My New Baby?

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 11:33am
Filed under:

It is very important that you find ways to get some help with your new baby, even though it isn't easy.

 

Try the following to help you cope with your new baby:

  • Get out of the house for fresh air, exercise and to change your environment. Exercise helps to improve mood and is a way to deal with stress. 

  • Find community resources such as exercise classes (e.g. stroller fitness), and parent and child groups as a way to meet others and to build your support system.

  • Check out local parks, libraries or even coffee shops and try to meet other new parents in your neighbourhood.

  • Arrange to have some time alone on a regular basis, time when you are responsible only for yourself.

  • Arrange for time alone with your partner.

  • Eat well.

  • Structure your day, setting small goals. For example, getting one load of laundry done and a rest in the afternoon. Going to the parent drop-in centre and making a large pot of stew for dinner and freezing the rest for a dinner next week. Don’t expect to get a lot of tasks completed – caring for a new baby takes a lot of time.

  • Sleep when you can and every time your baby sleeps. Getting more rest will help you to cope.

  • Ask for help with your baby and household chores.

  • Find someone to talk to who is a really good listener.

  • Try to accept and express negative feelings and thoughts. Think about keeping a journal.

  • Encourage yourself to think positively – write down the good or funny things that happen to remind yourself of them during bad moments.

 

If you find yourself feeling close to the breaking point, having a lot of trouble dealing with day to day activities, crying a lot, having trouble eating and sleeping, or feeling all your relationships are in trouble, it's time to get some outside help. Discuss this with your physician or health care provider. Don't hesitate.

In addition, you may want to contact a service, like Postpartum Adjustment Support Services-Canada. If you are in Canada, call 1-800-897-6660 for information on services near you. The earlier these problems are treated, the easier it will be on you, your baby and your family.

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