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.  


If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, check out www.welcometoparenting.com. These interactive, online prenatal and parenting classes will provide information on pregnancy, labour and delivery, your relationship and a community of expectant and new parents just like you! Watch the overview video!



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Carriers and Slings

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:52pm



Baby carriers come in three types: front carriers, slings and backpacks. What you choose will depend on the age and weight of your child, and the type of activity for which the carrier will be used.
Front carriers consist of two shoulder straps supporting a deep fabric seat. Slings are wide swaths of fabric worn across the adult's torso and supported by a single shoulder strap. Backpacks are similar to camping-style backpacks, but have a seat for your baby instead of a storage compartment for gear. Most are supported by a lightweight aluminum frame to distribute the child's weight evenly across the carrier’s shoulders and hips. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.
Health Canada advises caution when using slings and soft infant carriers as injuries have happened when: a baby falls over the side or slips through the leg openings; a baby has fallen from the sling or carrier when a parent trips; the product breaks and a baby becomes improperly positioned in the product and suffocates.  Health Canada is developing a safety standard for infant slings.

Choosing a safe baby carrier or sling:

  • Consider when and how you will use a carrier or sling, and how easy it is to put your baby in and for you or your partner to wear.
  • Choose a carrier that is comfortable for baby. Leg holes should be banded with elastic or padded fabric, and a there should be a padded support for your baby’s head. 
  • Choose a carrier that holds and supports the child securely. Give the harness and seat a few gentle tugs to make sure all belts, buckles and straps are in working condition. 
  • Choose a carrier with reflective strips, if you will be using it at night. If you cannot find a carrier with reflective strips, add your own. 
  • Choose a carrier with durable fabric and that is easy to clean.
  • Try out the carrier or sling in the store—it should be comfortable and a good size for you or your partner.  
  • Choose a backpack with a safety harness that clasps across your baby’s chest and over her shoulders. 
  • Choose a backpack with an adjustable inside seat, so it can continue to be used as your baby grows.

Baby carrier and sling safety:

  • Never leave your baby unattended in the baby carrier or backpack.
  • Always follow the instructions provided with carriers, slings and backpacks.
  • Check every time before you use the carrier, sling or backpack for ripped seams, missing or loose fasteners, and frayed seats or straps; repair them as needed or dispose of it. 
  • Check your baby frequently while you are using these products to be sure that: baby’s nose or mouth are not pressed against fabric or that his head has not bent forward onto his chest. His head and face should always be visible.
  • Do not zip your coat around the baby in a sling or carrier.
  • Hold onto baby when bending over, to keep her from falling out of the sling or carrier.
  • Consult with your paediatrician if your baby is premature or has medical conditions that may make use of these products a safety issue for your baby. 
  • Use the safety straps all the time when using a baby carrier or backpack, even when indoors.
  • Don’t put your baby in a carrier or backpack that is resting on a raised surface—your baby may rock or tip and fall over.
  • Avoid using the sling or carrier if you are doing activities such as cooking, cycling or drinking hot beverages.

Visit Health Canada's Website for more information on safety for carriers and slings.

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Lead and Pregnancy

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 05:31pm
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Your home is your cocoon, where you feel safe and secure. However, it also contains a variety of things that can have an impact on your health and the health of your baby.

Lead is a very soft metal that can be easily worked, does not rust and is difficult to break. Lead is cheap and, in the past, was frequently used in pencils, paint and gasoline. Lead accumulates in the body, especially in the liver and the bones.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Where possible, buy canned foods from Canada or the U.S. where the cans are not made with lead solder.
  • To avoid tracking lead into the house when you clean floors, do not wear your outdoor shoes in the home. Use a high-efficiency filter vacuum or damp mop floors.
  • Do not use power sanders or power scrapers when removing lead paint.
  • Do not plant fruits and vegetables near the road, especially along major streets or highways, as they may absorb lead left from traffic exhaust.
  • Do not store food and drinks in lead crystal containers.
  • Gardens and play areas should not be near peeling paint surfaces or other possible sources of lead.
  • Never burn painted wood or coloured paper; paints/inks can contain lead.
  • Run taps for one minute when the water has not been used for a number of hours as lead might have been used in the water system.
  • Use cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby food because lead leaches into hot water more easily.

Adapted from Hidden Exposures, Reproduction and the Environment Fact Sheets. Produced by South Riverdale Community Health Center in collaboration with Toronto Public Health, Copyright Dec 2001 with permission from South Riverdale Community Health Center.

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What is Nitrous Oxide?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 03:01pm
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Nitrous Oxide is often called “laughing gas” or is referred to as Entenox. It is a gas that you would breathe during a contraction.  The gas results in a mild analgesic effect and using it does provide a distraction. Some of you may have had this pain relief measure used when you had repairs done at your dentist office.

The benefits of this pain relief measure include: it provides short relief of pain during the contraction when you are feeling the pain; it does not slow labour and ypu can still feel the urge to push baby during the second stage of labour. There is also very minimal effect on baby.

The disadvantages for Mom include:

  • Can cause nausea
  • May cause dizziness
  • May cause sedation
  • Can cause headaches.

Talk to your health care provider before you go into labour about the options for pain relief and any concerns that you have about them. 

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