Safety: How Do I Make My Home Fire Proof?

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 12:12pm
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Here is a list of basic safety precautions in the case of fire in your home. In addition to the points below, be sure to look carefully around your house for yourself, to see if there are any additional actions you can take to fire proof it for you and your child. But begin by making sure that:


  • There is at least 1 smoke detector per floor

  • If the smoke detector is in the hall, the bedroom doors are kept open

  • Any room with bunk beds has a smoke detector - this is a must because smoke rises and the person in the top bunk will be quickly overcome with smoke

  • Escape routes to leave all areas of the house have been planned



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Postpartum Red Flags

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 05:44pm
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As new parents, you should consult a doctor immediately if mom has any of the following signs:

  • Heavy, bright red bleeding from the vagina that soaks through a new regular-absorbency pad in less than an hour and/or large clots (the size of a loonie or bigger)
  • A temperature over 38°C (102°F) or chills/shivers that don’t go away
  • Foul smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Pain or continued pain during urination, difficulty urinating or urinating too often
  • Breathing problems, such as shortness of breath
  • Lasting significant pain in the vaginal area
  • Flu-like symptoms and sore breasts, which could indicate mastitis or breast infection
  • Cough or chest pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Cracked and/or bleeding nipples, which requires the attention of a Lactation Consultant
  • A very red or swollen Caesarean incision, discharge or pus leaking from the incision or continued pain in the incision
  • Pain or tenderness, redness or a lump in the leg, which may indicate a blood clot
  • Sudden onset of severe headaches, blurred vision or dizziness
  • Symptoms of the “baby blues” that continue after the second postpartum week and are getting worse (Symptoms vary from feelings of inability to cope, frequent crying, mood swings and fatigue.)


In addition to contacting your physician, 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.

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Breastfeeding When Mom is Out

by Maxine
Posted July 25 2011 07:10pm
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When you start breastfeeding you might worry that it will be impossible to go out for an evening or return to work or school while you’re responsible for feeding your new baby. Many moms know that breastfeeding is best for their child’s healthy development and they want to breastfeed, but they worry that doing so won’t be possible with their commitments or lifestyle.

The good news is that you can continue to provide breast milk for your baby even when you can’t be there. With some preparation and planning it’s possible to make breastfeeding work even when you aren’t always available.

“Many women want to continue breastfeeding their baby and they should,” says Kris Langille, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “Continuing to breastfeed your baby during periods of separation helps to keep you and your baby close. Also, it helps to keep him healthy, which can mean that you’ll be less likely to miss work, school or an evening out because of a sick child. And, of course, breastfeeding saves money, which is always tight when you’re a new parent!”

When you’re planning to be away from your baby for a few hours you want to prepare for the separation. Continue to breastfeed your baby whenever you are together. This includes feeding just before you leave and when you return. Breastfeed as often as possible on days you are with your baby to help to keep up your milk supply.

To provide breast milk for your baby, even while you're away from him, you'll need to do the following:

  • Express or pump milk from your breasts. As long as you continue to breastfeed, if you express or pump regularly, your breasts will continue to produce milk.
  • Safely store the breast milk in a cooler or a refrigerator. 


Langille recommends that, if possible, you allow yourself a 2-week head start, not only to learn how to pump easily but also to give your baby time to adjust to a new way of feeding. Your baby also needs to adjust to having someone other than you giving him milk. This lead time also allows you to build up a reserve of breast milk that you can store in the freezer. Breast milk can be safety stored in a deep freezer for 6-12 months, in a two door fridge/freezer for 3-6 months and in a 1 door fridge with freezer compartment inside for up to 2 weeks.

This is also a good time to get your baby used to the new feeding routine, as long as your baby is over 6 weeks old. You need to be sure that baby is successfully feeding on the breast before offering breastmilk by another route. Offer at least one of these feedings a day, preferably during the time of day that you expect to be away. Don’t be surprised it your baby isn’t thrilled at first. It takes some babies awhile to adapt to a different feeding method.

Whoever will feed your baby while you’re away will need to know your preferred feeding method, as well as how to prepare breast milk by thawing it, for example. Keep in mind that some advance preparation time gives you the opportunity to go over the details and practice the feeding method with the caregiver.

Whether it's Dad, a relative or an outside-the-home caregiver, everyone should feel comfortable and confident about the new feeding arrangements. The best way to do this is to acquaint your baby with other feeders before you are gone for long periods of time. He needs time to get comfortable with the new arrangement, too. Remember you're asking your baby to make three big adjustments:

  1. Your baby must start drinking breast milk in a whole new way. 
  2. Someone else will be feeding your baby. 
  3. Mom will be away for long periods of time. 


The number of times you’ll need to express or pump milk depends on the amount of time you will be away and the age of your baby. Usually, you pump or express as often as you feed. Choose a place where you are most comfortable; the more relaxed you are, the better the milk flows, sometimes having a picture of your baby with you will help. Once you've mastered pumping, and if your pump allows, try pumping both breasts at the same time. This will help to cut back on your pumping time. Don't worry if there are daily differences in milk supply; this is normal.

Langille explains that while hand-expressing breast milk is great for relieving engorgement, most moms prefer to use a manual or electric pump. These take less time and you'll have more success getting sufficient quantities of milk. There are a wide variety of pumps available on the market, some better than others and some more expensive than others. Renting a breast pump is another option you may want to explore, especially if you only plan to pump for a short time.

Some things to consider: 

  • Manual pumps require more hand strength and dexterity.
  • Electric pumps will provide an electrical outlet which may or may not be in a convenient location for you to pump.
  • Portability if you plan to take your pump with you, to work or school, for example, you will need a pump that’s easy to transport.
  • If you're busy, shop for a pump that's easy to use and quick to clean.
  • Once you have expressed or pumped breast milk, make sure you store it properly. If you are at home, store it in the fridge or freezer. If you are out, use a cooler with ice or store it in a refrigerator at work or school. 


Check information you may have received from your doctor, midwife, healthcare provider or breastfeeding classes which contain clear instructions on how to safely collect and store breast milk, pumping and expressing breast milk. Other good sources of information include a Lactation Consultant, the breastfeeding clinic or the LaLeche League. Learn more about breastfeeding support options. 

And take a look at our article about Breastfeeding While at Work or School for information on how to deal with this common situation.


What method did you use to breastfeed while you were away from your baby? What worked best? What problems did you have? Share your story 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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Involving dad with a new baby

by Maxine
Posted August 5 2011 03:38pm
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Couples share the care of their baby in different ways. Some fathers are more involved than others and in different ways. What we do know is that the research is very clear: Fathers play a very important role in their children’s lives.

Some dads have a great deal of confidence when the new baby arrives, but many are nervous about doing something wrong. Many dads have expressed fearing, “dropping the baby,” and may avoid holding their child because of their fears. Some Dads have expressed that they feel they are being criticized because they don’t do things exactly the same as mom, or they are just not given a chance to have a role because mom has taken over 100% of the care. All of these are part of the normal process of shifting to parenthood and most fathers look forward to being a part of their child’s everyday life.

Here are some ways to help ensure there is a healthy involvement between father and his baby.

Dad’s need to:

  • Be encouraged to connect with their baby right from the start.
  • Be able to ask questions without getting a look that says, “Is that ever a stupid question.”
  • Have time alone with the baby as well as with mom and the baby
  • Be involved in the baby’s daily routines (feeding, changing, bathing, etc.). Start slow if necessary, maybe dad does the shampooing when baby is being given a bath.
  • Be allowed to make mistakes….nobody is perfect
  • Be allowed to do some things his way.

Mom’s need to:

  • Give time and space to dad. Don’t take over or give the message that you don’t need dad.
  • Give praise and positive comments.
  • Give some time for dad and baby to be alone (don’t hover).
  • Give constructive advice when you notice something, “Can I make a suggestion….” is a great start.

Some things nervous dads can start with:

  • Help out with breastfeeding (bring baby, cuddle with baby and mom)
  • Help out with bath time
  • Cuddle with baby, read stories, play or rock baby in the rocking chair
  • Dress baby
  • Get baby ready for sleep
  • Change diaper
  • Burp baby


Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about father involvement? Our expert, Brian Russell, is a parent educator whose main focus is working with fathers, encouraging them to be involved with their children. Ask Brian a Question!


Are you a father? Did you find it difficult to become involved with your new baby? Are you a mom? Did you notice that it was difficult for dad to become involved? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below.

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