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.  


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Baby Gates

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:44pm


Baby gates are used to keep children away from stairs and other hazardous areas. There are two types of gates.
Hardware-mounted gates are attached permanently to the wall or doorframe by screws. They are the more secure choice, although no gate can be guaranteed to keep a child in or out. This is the ONLY type of gate that is safe to use at the tops and bottoms of stairs.
Pressure-mounted gates stay in place by using a pressure bar that fits against the doorframe. Pressure-mounted gates can be easily moved from one place to another. They are easy to install, and are useful in areas where falling is not a hazard, such as between two rooms on the same floor level.
Choosing a safe baby gate:

  • Safety standards for baby gates changed in 1990. Do not buy or use gates made prior to this date.
  • Test the gate in the store to make sure it is easy for you (and not your baby) to open. 
  • Don’t choose any baby gate with openings that could trap your child's head or neck, such as large diamond- or V-shaped openings.

Baby gate safety:

  • Install any gate according to the product instruction guide. Install pressure-mounted gates with the pressure bar on the side away from your child—this will prevent your child from standing on the pressure bar to climb over the gate.
  • Install a hardware-mounted gate so that it will only swing open away from the stairs.
  • Install the gate such that the bottom of the gate is less than 5 cm (2 inches) from the floor. This will prevent your child from slipping underneath. 
  • Don’t use a baby gate once your child reaches age 2, or when the top of the gate is at his or her chin level. At that point your toddler could fall on the gate and choke.
  • Remind older siblings, friends and babysitters to always lock the gate after opening it.

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by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 03:06pm


A stroller is an important piece of baby equipment. Strollers come in many varieties and are made for many purposes, such as traditional strollers for everyday use, lightweight strollers for travelling, rugged strollers for uneven terrains, and jogging strollers for combining exercise with daily childcare duties. Strollers are also available for families with more than one baby. Choose a stroller that best meets your needs.
Many children are injured by falls out of strollers because the safety straps are not used. Children may also slide down and get their heads caught in the leg opening if they are not wearing their safety straps.
 Choosing a safe stroller:

  • Choose a stroller that allows newborns to lie on their backs. Strollers that do not fully recline are inappropriate for newborns.
  • Choose a stroller that has safety straps that include a strap for the waist and a crotch strap that fits between your child's legs. 
  • Choose a stroller that is sturdy and right for your child's weight. Check the weight recommendations provided by the company. 
  • Check that the stroller’s brakes work properly and the wheels are attached firmly. 
  • Check that the stroller has locks to stop it from folding when your child is in it. 
  • Choose a stroller with a basket underneath to carry bags or heavy purses. 
  • Choose only a stroller that you select yourself. If buying for someone else, make sure you know their choice. 
  • Consider the stroller’s weight. Lighter models do not always hold up as well, especially in urban environments. However, sometimes it is cheaper to buy two easier-to-use light-weight strollers over the stroller period of your baby’s life, than to struggle with one heavy-duty stroller.  
  • Don’t choose a reclining stroller that has leg holes that cannot close. Reclining strollers must have mesh shields or hinged, moulded footrests to prevent newborns from slipping through the leg holes.

Stroller safety:

  • Do engage the frame locking mechanism to avoid collapse
  • Keep your child away from the stroller when you’re folding and unfolding it, to avoid pinched fingers. 
  • Return the stroller warranty card so you can be notified of a recall. 
  • Use the safety belt or harness to restrain your child. 
  • Use the stroller’s brakes every time you stop your stroller, especially on an incline. 
  • Do check the size of any toys that come attached to the tray of a stroller. Make sure their size does not present a choking hazard and that they are securely fastened.
  • Don’t leave your child unattended in a stroller. 
  • Don’t hang heavy purses or other bags on strollers, because these can cause the stroller to tip over. 
  • Don’t overload the stroller with a child heavier than the manufacturer’s weight limit. 
  • Don’t place pillows, quilts or blankets in the stroller. They are a suffocation hazard, even when being used as mattresses.


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What Can I Expect at My Hospital?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 12:47pm
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Preparing for the birth experience that you would both like to have requires learning as much as possible about all of the options available to you. Plan a tour of your hospital or birth centre – it’s a great opportunity to gather additional information that will help you prepare for your birth experience.

The list below contains several questions that you can ask at the hospital about care for both you and your baby during labour and delivery.

The Room and Staff

  1. Do moms labour and give birth in the same room?
  2. Do moms have a different room after the baby is born? 
  3. What accommodations does the hospital provide for dads in the labour area – easy chair, reclining chair, cot? 
  4. Are there rules that limit the number of people moms can have with them during labour? 
  5. Do rooms have private toilets, showers, tubs? 
  6. Is there an obstetrician, anesthetist, pediatrician, available in the hospital 24 hours a day? 
  7. Do midwives deliver at this hospital? 
  8. Do doulas provide care at this hospital? 
  9. Do you encourage the use of doulas? 
  10. Is there a birth centre in this hospital? 
  11. How does care in the hospital differ from the birth centre? 
  12. Are there rules about taking pictures or videos during labour or delivery?

Interventions and Pain Management
The questions below are good to ask if you want to know more about how the hospital will manage your pain during labour and delivery.

  • How will you monitor the well-being of our baby during labour?
  • What are your practices regarding Intravenous (IV) drips in labour? 
  • What are your rules about eating and drinking during labour? 
  • What are your practices regarding various positions for labour and delivery? 
  • Do you encourage walking or movement during labour? 
  • Are there rules about using the showers or taking baths? 
  • What drug-free measures are used to cope with labour pain? 
  • What medical pain relief options are used in this hospital? 
  • What is the epidural rate at this hospital? 
  • What is the pain medication rate at this hospital? 
  • What is the episiotomy rate at this hospital? 
  • What strategies are used to help deliver without the need for an episiotomy? 
  • What is the rate of assisted deliveries; for example, use of forceps or vacuum extractors? 
  • What is the caesarean section (C-section) rate at this hospital? 
  • Where are C-sections done in this hospital—labour area or a surgical area? 
  • Are partners or a support person allowed in the room for a caesarean birth? 
  • Are moms permitted to be awake during a caesarean birth?

Newborn and Postpartum Care
Keep these questions in mind when discussing postpartum care for you and your baby.

  • Does this hospital encourage breastfeeding immediately after birth?
  • Does this hospital encourage our baby staying in the room with mom? 
  • What procedures are routinely given to our baby after birth? 
  • Will we be separated from our baby immediately after birth? When and why would this happen? 
  • Is there a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on site? 
  • In what circumstances would our baby be moved to the NICU? 
  • What breastfeeding resources are offered here—classes, Lactation Consultant, breastfeeding clinic? 
  • What educational classes are offered regarding postpartum care and adjustment? 
  • What is the average postpartum stay for a vaginal birth? 
  • What is the average postpartum stay for a Cesarean birth? 
  • Does the hospital have an early discharge program? (This allows healthy moms and babies to go home approx. 24 hours after birth. Arrangements are made for a community health nurse to visit the home.)
  • Does this hospital accommodate families that feel the need to stay in hospital longer?
  • What are the rules surrounding visitors? 
  • What types of accommodation are available for fathers during the postpartum stay? 
  • Do you make arrangements for follow-up contact by a Public Health Nurse?

The Room and Staff
The following list of questions will be helpful the first time you visit your birth centre.

  • Are the midwives here licensed?
  • What other staff will care for me during labour—a nurse, for example? 
  • Are there rules about the number of people with the mother during labour and delivery?
  • Do you encourage the use of trained labour support individuals, such as doulas?

Adapted from The Maternity Center Association (2001), Possible Questions when Touring a Birth Center and Possible Questions when Touring a Hospital Maternity Area http://www.childbirthconnection.org/

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