This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
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  • Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:07 PM | claire (Administrator)

    I'm partnering with www.locallove.ca to share ways to give back in your local community when even when you are a busy mom and don't have a lot of time. I thought i'd round up a few organizations that support different demographics from infant to seniors.  Whether it's donating your time, donating funds or collecting items for the families in need.  You can give back to communities across York Region through these four organizations.

    Rose of Sharon

    Since 1985, Rose of Sharon have given young mothers the opportunity to work towards their goals in a supportive, learning-centered environment while parenting their young children.

    At Rose of Sharon clients participate in parenting courses and counseling while they are surrounded by other young women in similar circumstances. Our clients learn about motherhood, work towards their goals, and have life-changing shifts in perspective about their futures and about the possibilities that lay ahead.

    You can learn more and volunteer at Rose of Sharon https://www.roseofsharon.com/

    Yellow Brick House

    Right now, and every single day, there are families there rebuilding their lives. Every woman’s story with Yellow Brick House begins with the courage to leave a dangerous—even deadly—home. They share stories of terror, despair, and tears. But the real story of Yellow Brick House is about empowering women and children to rebuild their lives and we give a voice to the untold stories of violence in our community, raising awareness about the need for change, and moving our community forward to end of violence against women and kids.

    Life With A Baby York Region North is proud to support Rose of Sharon by providing necesssary items to families for our Holiday drive. You can learn more and volunteer at https://www.roseofsharon.com/

    Big Brothers and Big Sisters - York Region

    Many children and youth in Canada struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges.

    These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these situations, children and youth risk not having the opportunity to live up to their full potential.

    Even worse is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime or developing mental health issues.

    This comes at a cost to the young person, and to society.

    With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are reminded they can be anything they dream of being.

    You can learn more about how to get involved here https://york.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/


    CHATS : Home Care & Community Support For Older Adults

    CHATS offers a full range of home care and community programs that meet the changing needs of more than 8,100 York Region and South Simcoe seniors and caregivers each year.

    Under the strong experience and knowledge of more than 450 volunteers, a Board of Directors, and 340 staff, CHATS embraces professional best practices with compassionate dedication.

    Their Vision is that Older adults can live independently, safely, and well at home.

    Learn more about how to get involved here https://www.chats.on.ca/who-we-are


  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:35 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Maternal Mental Health Awareness – What are Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders?

    May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month and the first Wednesday of May has been designated as “World Maternal Mental Health Day”. This is noteworthy as in several countries, 1 in 5 new mothers experience a form of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (“PMADs”). As with mental illness in general (where no one is immune, despite their circumstances), PMADs can affect women of all ages, income levels, cultures etc. Maternal Mental Health Day is important because it is meant to reduce the stigma of maternal mental illness.



    What are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders?

    Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders refer to mood and anxiety symptoms that occur during pregnancy or up to one-year post-partum (after pregnancy). According to UNC School of Medicine’s Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, there are many different types of PMADs including:


    Depression During Pregnancy/Perinatal Depression: This refers to depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery of the baby.

    • It is thought that while “mild mood changes” during pregnancy are common, mood symptoms can sometimes become severe enough to require treatment and depression and anxiety during pregnancy can worsen and continue into the postpartum period.
    • Factors that increase the probability of perinatal depression include if a woman has a previous history of depression or history of substance abuse, family history of mental illness, lack of support, marital or financial problems, anxiety, previous pregnancy issues.
    • Symptoms include feeling sad, depressed, crying, diminished interest in becoming a mother, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, feeling restless or irritable, strong anxiety or tension concerning the baby, difficulties sleeping, suicidal ideation, low energy, weight changes.

      Pregnancy Loss: This refers to miscarriage, which can occur at any point in pregnancy and cause physical and emotional pain and grief. Loss of pregnancy can lead to sadness, anger, guilt and depression

      Postpartum Depression: A variety of mood symptoms can occur after the delivery takes place.
    • Postpartum depression is more severe than what is commonly termed, “Baby Blues” which lasts for a short period of time (i.e. 1-3 weeks post-delivery).
    •  Postpartum depression has a longer duration of symptoms and can occur at any point after delivery.
    •  Symptoms include increased crying, feelings of sadness, depression, intense anxiety, obsessions, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, fatigue, irritability, disturbed sleep, appetite changes, poor concentration, excessive worry, suicidal thoughts.

      Postpartum Anxiety Disorders: These can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
    • Postpartum anxiety disorders might be as common as postpartum depression and can overlap with depression.
    •  Anxiety symptoms can include panic attacks, excessive worry, restless sleep, hyperventilation, and repeated thoughts or images of frightening things happening to the baby.

      Postpartum Psychosis: This is seen most often in women with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.  
    • Symptoms of psychosis include delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking.
    • Symptoms of depression and mania might also be experienced.
    • This is seen most often in mothers who are having a severe episode of a mood disorder, for example a severe manic episode.

    Can someone with a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder apply for Long-Term Disability Benefits?

    Employees make applications for long-term disability benefits for a variety of reasons. When applying for any type of disability claim, it is always important to provide supportive medical evidence.

    In terms of maternal health issues, one example would be if a woman who has experienced a miscarriage was unable to return to work due to the severity of her symptoms and how they affect her daily functioning, she might decide to apply for long-term disability benefits. 

    In terms of long-term disability benefits and parental leaves, a long-term disability insurer will only cover the health-related portion of a maternity or parental leave. The insurance company determines which part of the leave is voluntary and which part is health-related.

    What does an insurance company mean by the term, “health-related”?  For a maternity leave, this refers to the period in which a woman is unable to work for health reasons specifically related to childbirth or recovery from childbirth. For example, due to post-partum depression or another type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. This must be substantiated with appropriate medical evidence.

    What would appropriate medical evidence consist of? With any claim for a mental illness, aside from listing your symptoms, it is important to show evidence that you are seeking treatment, be it from a social worker, psychotherapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, hospital day program etc. If you are prescribed medication, the insurance company would be interested in knowing how your medication dosages have changed over time.

    What if my claim is denied?

    Many claims are denied because the insurance company feels that a person is not seeking appropriate treatment or medical care and a denial letter may say that your claim is denied due to “lack of objective medical evidence” and that there is no medical evidence to support your reported limitations and/or restrictions. A denial letter may also say that you are past the typical “recovery period” for your illness.

    With any type of claim it is important to have your illness properly documented and to show you are attending regular doctor’s appointments and seeking reasonable and appropriate treatment. The insurance company is looking to see that you are making an effort to recover from your illness. When you seek regular medical attention, you can report your symptoms regularly and your treating physicians can document all new or worsening symptoms, how treatments are working or aren’t working and side effects of treatments. This information can be used to support your claim.

    If your claim is denied, you can fight the insurance company’s decision. You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you understand what limitation period applies (so you know how long you have to start a lawsuit) and to know what your rights and obligations are as an insured person.

    The lawyers at Aaron Waxman and Associates can help you fight your insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. If your long-term disability claim has been denied for any reason, contact our office for a free initial consultation with a licensed lawyer. A consultation can be arranged at a date and time that is convenient for you.

    Sources:

    Disclaimer:

    Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice or create a lawyer-client relationship. Information from sources listed does not reflect the opinions of Aaron Waxman and Associates.


  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018 12:09 PM | Bhavishree (Administrator)

    Welcome to motherhood! Oh and, welcome to all the influences from one side or another. Breast-feeding to formula feeding, cloth diapers to disposables – the possibilities are endless.

    I promise not to bore you with endless statistics and facts, just a simple read at how Nursery Water is the “Game Changer” in my crazy-formula-feeding, two-under-two world!


    I’m sure there are many of you moms out there, that are just as overwhelmed and tired (exhausted is what I really meant to say) trying to make it to that magical bedtime routine every day. Let’s face it, some days are better than others, and as time goes on, everything does get just a little easier.

    My new found discovery of #NurseryWater is why I want to share my crazy life with you!


    I’m a young mom, who recently moved to a rural community from the big city.  I have a just two year old daughter, and an 8 month old son.

    I had my first little babe back in 2016, and I convinced myself that if I didn’t breastfeed I would be shamed!

    I couldn’t let it slide, I took all the courses, I spoke to lactation consultants; I even hired a home nurse to come and help me, teach me and guide me to get this whole breastfeeding thing down pat.

    But deep down, aside from all of the guidance and “helpful” advice I was receiving, it just wasn’t for me. However, the guilt held me down; I made it to 6 months – barely.

    And that was that. The end of one thing and the beginning of another.


    Formula provided both my babes with the nutrition they needed, when I just couldn’t handle one more cracked nipple. If you’re a mom like me – who switched to formula feeding after giving breastfeeding a shot, then you get my drift momma.

    In my first few attempts at formula feeding, I figured it was just as easy as reading the label, and bingo – all set. I mean, how hard could it be right?

    But, no. There’s tons of info, what to use what not to use. Which bottle will work best for my baby? Will they want a warmer bottle? Will they drink it cold? Is this formula too harsh on babe? There are so many questions – before you even consider if the water source could play an issue.


    Nursery Water – Perfectly ready for me to use, right then and there.

    Had I of known then the convenience and security it has brought to my formula feeding lifestyle, I would have jumped on the bandwagon a whole two years ago!

    So let’s get to the point.

    Since I’ve found Nursery Water – There’s no Turning Back

    Nursery Water is so practical, more than just for formula feeders! Its 2018 – we can’t deny that we live in a world where convenience and “best” for baby are our top priorities.  Nursery water gives you that convenience of being right there, when you need it – wherever you need it. It also gives you total confidence that your baby is getting the best, safest “treated” water that we can serve them.

    Whether you live out in the country living on a well water supply, or in-town on a town water supply, both have their pros and cons. Living in the country means you generally are sourcing your water directly from the property you reside at; which is great for saving money on that monthly water bill, but what about the groundwater contaminants that can quickly pollute your water source.

    Ground water sources are fresh tasting, but can be aesthetically unpleasant from hard minerals in the ground. Such minerals can be iron, manganese, sulphur and magnesium. All of which can contribute to hard water, odors within the water as well as physical colour within the water.

    In-town you may notice that the water smells like chemicals – generally a chlorine smell. Again, not unsafe for us to drink based on strategic guidelines, but can make the water distasteful and harder on our body. Town water follows guidelines set out by the American Dental association which recommends that all North Americans drink water that contains added fluoride.

    Added at the treatment plant, the fluoride is available in the water to assist us with dental hygiene. The topic of added fluoride can be scary to some, and research to discuss both benefits and losses at the consumer’s level are few and far between. High doses of fluoride, like anything, can be harmful however leaving the treatment plant, water carries fluoride ions at 0.7 ppm.

    In-Town vs. Rural

    So, overall – in plain language there are pros and cons to both situations.

    The benefit of Nursery Water means that you can avoid any question – and any further thought about what our fragile little babes are getting their mouths on.

    Nursery Water is treated at its source without the use of chemicals, rather stream distillation.

    Steam Distillation is a process where water from its source is distilled (water in its purest form) and then steamed and filtered. By converting the water to stream, dissolved contaminants are left behind. From there, the water is bottled.

    Nursery Water uses this strategy, to ensure that its water is 100% transparent – meaning that what you see on the label, is what you’re going to get within the bottle. Nursery Water has been trusted for over 70 years – and rightly so!

    Nursery Water is available in stores all throughout Canada; Wal-Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Toys R Us and Babies R Us to name a few. On shelves you can find Nursery Water in 4L bottles, and in most of the above stores you can also find smaller, convenient travel size bottles.

    Both of which are great – I keep a large bottle in the fridge, to give to the kids with their meals in an open cup, one in the kitchen where I prepare my youngest babes formula bottles (at room temperature), and small travel size bottles in the diaper bag for making bottles on the go – which we do a lot!

    Label - dated 2000's

    More than just for ‘Bottles’

    Nursery Water is perfectly ideal for preparing formula – but its use doesn’t just end there!

    You can use Nursery Water to mix baby cereals with, dilute juices and just for straight up drinking!

    Nursery Water is recommended for use for babies from six months to twenty-four months, however your doctor may recommend using it from birth if you use a well for your water source in home, as fluoride levels could be lower than 0.3ppm.

    At six months of age, babies can begin to drink water alone, but prior to, babies should maintain an exclusive breast milk or formula diet. That being said, Nursery Water can be boiled for use with formula as well as sipped from an open cup.


    Nursery Water with Added Fluoride is recommended for babies 6 months+ and Nursery Water WITHOUT added Fluoride is perfect for babe right from birth! Speak to your healthcare provider, to see which is best for you.


    My journey with Nursery Water has gone far beyond my expectations and made life just a little more simple. Who doesn’t want to simplify their life, when we have precious little babes running around, right? Speak to your healthcare provider, and see if Nursery Water can be as beneficial to you, as it has been for me!

    With convenience, availability, safety and simplicity – it’s worth a shot; because it’s a Game Changer!

    ** While I was compensated, the opinions and views within this post are of the writer,

    and users should determine their own views and opinions**

    Blog post written by: Katie MacLea



  • Tuesday, May 08, 2018 6:51 AM | claire (Administrator)
    Recently it was International Men’s Day, and many people used it as an opportunity to discuss men’s mental health and mental health awareness on social media. Mental health stigma, especially surrounding men’s mental health is a serious issue as stigma in general often prevents people from seeking much needed treatment.

    One topic that seems to be gaining traction is how men experience post-partum depression, known as “paternal post-natal depression”.





    Post-partum depression (PPD) is more than “the baby blues” which occurs within a few days of childbirth and does not require treatment. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), post-partum depression is a deeper depression than the baby blues and usually starts within the first month of childbirth but can symptoms can take up to a year to occur and it can develop into chronic depression. It is explained that other than the time of its onset, PPD is really no different than a depressive episode as the symptoms experienced are the same and the same criteria must be met for a diagnosis, with specific thoughts focusing on the baby/motherhood.

    The symptoms of depression can be debilitating and interfere with your functional abilities, including your ability to work. A person who experiences long-term depression may require leave from work and may require long-term disability benefits if such benefits are available to them.

    Symptoms of post-partum depression can include:
    • Fatigue and sleep disturbance (common depression symptoms, but normal for new mothers and difficult to assess)
    • Changes in weight and appetite
    • Physical feelings of being “slowed down” or restless, jumpy or on edge
    • Inability to think clearly and diminished concentration worsened by sleep deprivation
    • Depressed mood or depression with anxiety
    • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
    • Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness (exacerbated if feel not bonding with the baby as feelings of extreme joy, love are expected)
    • Anhedonia, which is a loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure, including the baby

    According to this article found on Psych Centralnew mothers or fathers suffering with post-partum depression have to meet the diagnostic criteria of a major depressive episode. The onset of depression can occur before, during or after childbirth for mothers and affect fathers as well. Post-partum depression is diagnosed when the onset of the depressive episode occurs prior to or after the birth of the child.

    The criteria for a major depressive episode include the presence of 5 or more of these symptoms that have been present for at least 2 weeks:
    • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day by either subject report or observations made by others (e.g. tearfulness)
    • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all/almost all activities, most of the day, nearly every day
    • Significant weight loss or weight gain
    • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
    • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
    • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
    • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
    • Diminished ability to think/concentrate or indecisiveness nearly every day
    • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

    Post-partum depression in mothers is attributed to a change in hormone levels and studies are finding that a drop in testosterone levels is what triggers post-natal depression in new fathers. It is also important to note that it has been found that parents who adopt can also experience post-partum depression, meaning, you don’t have to go through childbirth itself to have this illness.

    It is explained that adjusting to the major lifestyle changes affects both parents according to this article from Women’s Health and can trigger anxiety and depression in both mothers and fathers, especially in the first 5 years. Fluctuating hormone levels along with neurochemical changes that happen in your brain due to lifestyle changes (different sleep patterns, eating patterns, increased stress) increase the chances of a depressive episode occurring but environmental factors can play a role too.

    For more resources and information on parental leave in Ontario and your rights as an employee, visit our resource page found here.

    If you have been denied long-term disability benefits for any reason, you should speak to a lawyer to find out what your rights are.

    Our firm handles long-term disability and employment law matters and we offer a free initial consultation with a licensed lawyer that can be arranged at a date and time that is convenient for you.
     
    Sources:
    http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/Postpartum-depression/Pages/default.aspx
    https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/male-postpartum-depression 
    https://psychcentral.com/disorders/postpartum-depression




  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 5:32 PM | claire (Administrator)

    The Babytime show reached out to me to review some of their vendors who will be at the show this year and share my feedback.

    Some of the vendors I got to review are:

    Lil Miss Dressup : I don't know about you, but it is sometimes really hard to find coordinated outfits for my kids when we have a special occasion. Lil Miss Dressup and Lil Mr. Dressup are a great option if you are looking for something for a photo shoot, wedding, or other special occasion



    Posh Gal Leggings & More : These come in a variety of colours and two sizes 2-12 and 12-18. What I love most about these leggings are how comfortable they are. At first, I thought the line would be on the inside would be uncomfortable but I hardly felt it. The best part for pregnant and postpartum bodies is that the wait is very high and goes well above the waist, so you don't have to feel anything along your stomach.



    Made Good: These were gone in a few days. I packed them in the kid's lunch as snacks and were also great for a quick snack afterschool in between programs. There was one box that I kept for myself. The chocolate chip bananas. K's favourite was the vanilla rice bars, and Ethan was the granola bars. They loved them all - I didn't tell them they were healthy. Personally, I have a milk sensitivity, and it was fantastic to find bars that are vegan and gluten-free that also tastes great.




    Mimos Pillow : I like the idea of this one, but my kids are out of this stage, so I wasn't able to test it out. This is great I think for expectant parents to get ahead of time, so they have it when baby arrives. I'll be raffling off the one I received and will share the winner's feedback. 



    allKiDz Vitamins : We are going on vacation this month, and the Anti-cold is packed in my suitcase ready for any sign of a cold. The kids have already started taking the probiotics, and they love the taste.



    Spoonfed Baby : I love that the recipes in this baby cookbook are easy to follow and vary between purees as well as options for baby led weaning as well as recipes for the toddler years. The sample baby meal plan chart is simple and easy to follow and gives new moms an idea of what to expect at different stages.



    Tidy Tot: All-in-one bib & Tray Kit : Kids are messy! And this is the perfect way to let your kids explore and have fun with their food. Instead of having to wash their clothes after each meal just remove the bib, and you are ready to go. The tray kit is great because it is easy to clean just wash and you are done. I'm not sure how it fits over the various types of high chairs, but you can try it out at the Babytime show this weekend and get all your questions answered. 



    BabyGourmet : I love the variety of products for babies 6 months and up from Baby Gourmet. The best part it's organic! The puffs are delicious and made from quinoa - it's a great alternative for parents who are considered about wheat sensitivity.



    As you can see from just a few of the vendors I reviewed the Babytime show offers items for the whole family not just for babies. Check them out this weekend, and you can use the code TINYHUMAN for a discount on tickets.



  • Tuesday, April 24, 2018 10:16 AM | claire (Administrator)

    The world can seem like a scary place especially when you watch the news. Even with social media, I noticed that my newsfeed is sometimes showing more negative than positive stories. As bad as things may seem right now, there is also a lot of good in our world, and we have to look for the good. But even more than that we have to actively do good and let our kids see us doing good. I was invited to the launch of www.LocalLove.ca a few weeks ago, and I'm pretty excited to share this website with you. Not only do they have a newsletter that will send you a dose of good that is happening in your local community, but they also feature various organizations and groups that allow you to give a little love and do good in your community.


    We are all busy, right? Well, their guide of 25 things might be just the thing you need to do good without it taking up too much of your time. I know I was recently looking for things I can do with my daughter and was really happy to see the number of organizations that involve youth in their offerings.

    A few of the organizations I learned about that I think you'll want to know more about are:

    Soup Sisters is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort to women, children and youth through the making, sharing, and donating of soup. A fun and easy way to give back is getting a group together to make soup that will be donated to local women's shelters. Check them out at www.soupsisters.org

    The Cedar Basket Gift Shop is a group that sells a selection of First Nations, Metis & Inuit products and the proceeds go back to supporting young people facing barriers to employment. I'll share a bit of some of the others throughout the week. https://shop.ncct.on.ca/

    Furniture Bank is a charitable organization that collect your gently used furniture and make them available to families transitioning out of homelessness or displacement. www.furniturebank.org

    To learn more about these and many others visit www.locallove.ca


  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:29 PM | CONNIE (Administrator)

    I have been a long time Health and Fitness enthusiast and have owned gym memberships all my life.  Somewhere along the line of becoming a wife and a mom of two beautiful (but active) boys, I lost myself!

    40 lbs heavier then where I wanted to be, a couple years ago when I turned 30 and had two kids in school full time, I decided to take my health and self-confidence back into control and make myself a priority again :)  I had forgotten that underneath all those baby goobers and leggings there was WOMAN under there with needs.

    After a successful journey through the Weight Watchers Program (read my blog about that here) and obtaining a personal trainer, I not only met but exceeded my goals.  And I felt great!!   The best in my entire life.  Even better than high school!!!

    So now here I am.  Back in the best shape of my life, I worked so hard to get here.  However I don’t have $10,000/year to spend on a personal trainer anymore and I’m looking for a better long term solution to maintain what I’ve worked so hard for.  I thought I could continue at the gym “on my own” without the trainer; but the reality was that I just didn’t push myself the way he did and I found every excuse not to go when I didn’t have that set appointment in my calendar that I had already paid for.  Then I started feeling ashamed to go back to me gym and seeing my old trainer. 

    I went on a 2 month hiatus from the gym; post a couple of surgeries (per doctors' orders) and some indulging vacations.  I hated myself for putting 10 lbs back on sooooo quickly.   I needed to figure out my next steps before I lost everything I worked hard for. I could FEEL that my body was hating me for letting myself go again and I wasn’t happy with myself either. 

    I had heard a lot of amazing things about OrangeTheory Fitness (OTF) in my area of Newmarket.  I also had some friends who went there and encouraged me to go give it a try.  First class was free and if you’re lucky to know someone who goes there already they may be able to give you a free 1 week referral pass (email me if you want one connie@lifewithababy.com and i'll hook you up for Newmarket location!).   I called and booked my first free class and the staff were very nice and welcoming.  The owner, Joe, was very "no-pressure" and informative.  He and the trainer that day, Anthony, showed me the ropes and explained how it all worked.

    Basically its a 1 hour exercise that involves components of treadmill (always at least 25 mins), rowing and weight room.  Although each class uses these pieces of equipment / areas of the gym, each class is also different in what they are going to ask you to do at these stations.  You are never bored and it is never the same workout.  There are also modifications for each exercise i.e. injuries, pregnancies, bad knees, etc.  There are Strength, Power, Endurance and Combination days (they tell you before class... you don't get to know in advance which is great because then you won't be choosy :). 

    Let me tell you it is BY FAR THE BEST 1 hour workout you will EVER have.  The best part -- there is no guessing if you are working hard enough / too hard as you are wearing an arm (or chest) heart rate monitor and the screen will tell you whether you are in your grey / blue (warm up), green (base), orange (push) or red (all out) zones.  Most people aim to be in the green and orange zone for the majority of their workouts.  If you work out 12 mins or more in your Orange zone (between 12-25 is ideal), you get what is called "splat points" and thus get the benefits of the after burn of calories even after you're done in the gym.

    This is an example of typical results emails that you will get after your workout on your performance.  *note that I got my splat points this particular time and how many calories I burned in 1 class!!!  


    1 month into my new OTF membership (I went with the premiere / unlimited membership which is around $150-$200/mo).  It seems expensive in comparison to regular gyms, however in comparison to personal training and if you are going often like me, that works out to be only about $12/class which is actually not bad at all for small group training.  The fact of the matter is, if you are paying $50/mo for a regular gym membership and you're not going, it's no good to you anyhow!  I am LOVING the change up in my workout routine.  I'm going 3-4x per week and I cannot wait to go to classes!

    Here are my results after just 3 weeks of classes:


    I've noticed since starting in the last 3 weeks:

    • my upper abs are back (yay!)
    • lifted belly button
    • less bloating 
    • side lines are back 
    • less pudge pudge
    • increase stamina
    • my period / PMS was MUCH better this month (less heavy, no pains and I didn't feel like I wanted to kill anyone which is a nice bonus :) 
    • overall mood and energy is amazing
    • glowing skin on my face 
    • better digestion 
    • im down only about 1lb in weight BUT this is typical for me as i'm at a plateau and I have not made dramatic diet changes YET (thats next!)

    What I love most about OTF:

    • soooo clean!  Everyone takes pride at this gym
    • people are soooo nice and encouraging.  You see the OTF Family feel right away
    • no guessing if you're working / wearing a heart rate monitor keeps me on track
    • being able to pre-book my classes (and if im lucky i can even get into some last min when there is space)
    • the trainers!  all are very encouraging and professionals (and might I add... very attractive :)    Awesome motivation to succeed!

    My tips if you are new to OTF:

    • try a free trial class
    • if you need to.... try a full week free (ask a friend who has guest passes from their new member kit)
    • sign up!  even if its just 2x per week (8 sessions per month) in addition to your current fitness regime OR if you are getting started (its cheaper around $80-$100/mo) and gets your feet in the door
    • plan your month (or your week) of sessions and book in advance so you get your class space!    
    • ONLY BOOK if you are sure you can go!  Otherwise you pay a last min. cancellation fee if you cancel your class less than 8 hours before
    • keep your gym bag ready to go in your car so there are no excuses!
    • buy one of those portable battery chargers so that you can keep your heart rate monitor charged in your purse or gym bag at all times (nothing is more annoying that a dead Heart Rate monitor when you wanna kill a class!)
    • bring a towel & a water bottle!  YOU WILL NEED IT

    Tips for moms new to OTF:

    • there is no daycare facilities at OTF so you'll need to make childcare arrangements 
    • go to the bathroom before class.  There are sometimes lots of jumps and whatnot that are hard on our post-baby bladders :) 
    • know that YOU ARE WORTH IT!  I know its hard to justify this kinda money on ourselves sometimes!

    Enjoy your new OTF journey and please share your results or questions!


  • Friday, March 16, 2018 8:00 AM | Christina (Administrator)


    Danielle


    Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Danielle has spent her adult life between Toronto and London, England. She originally studied as a dental hygienist, but after five years of practice, she sold everything, packed up her life and moved to London to model. Over the course of five years in the UK she has trained as a yoga teacher, opened an organic juice bar and started working with various health networks presenting healthy eating/drinking and fitness.  Her hobbies are yoga, boxing, travelling and mountain trekking. She has trekked the Peruvian Andes, Atlas Mountains, Banaue in the Philippines and the three peaks challenge in the UK. After the birth of their beautiful daughter Lily, they decided to make the move back home to Canada to be near family! Danielle is currently working on a documentary to raise awareness on postpartum depression! Follow her in Instagram @daniellech.


    1. How would you describe yourself before having a baby?
    Before Lily arrived, I lived life quite selfishly! A free spirit who would travel every month, sometimes for long periods of time. Living day by day! I was confident, outgoing, and social and would find it very hard to sit still. I loved going out for dinners, dancing, football (UK) matches and practicing power yoga 5-6 times a week!

    2. How would you describe yourself after having a baby?
    After Lily arrived I was so lost and quite miserable from the sleep deprivation. I was quite snappy and just living in a daze. I tried to exercise as much as I could (half asleep). I always felt irritated, especially with my husband. I definitely have lost a lot of my confidence, mainly because I feel my brain is in a fog! If the conversation isn’t about “baby stuff”, I feel lost, inexperienced and have little to offer. I find it difficult to focus on things and try to nap during the day when the baby does. I feel my “spark” is overburdened with the new realities of motherhood!

    3. What is one thing you miss about your pre-baby life?Freedom! To travel for long periods of time!

    4. What is one thing you wish someone prepared you for when it comes to Motherhood?
    I wish someone had told me how important it was to have a strong support system around all the time!! From husband to family, friends and hired. You can never have too much help!!

    5. How has Motherhood changed you?
    Motherhood has given me a new purpose, a much more important purpose! It has stopped me in my exhausting footsteps, to lead a calmer and more selfless life.

    6. Do you feel like you have “balance” in your life and why? 
    As of recently, I feel I am leading a more balanced life. I have enrolled at the The University of Toronto to take courses to help me transition into a new career I am passionate about. I have hired part-time help, gone back work (part-time) and moved back to Toronto from London, England! I have time to exercise now, spend time with husband and meet my friends for play dates!

    7. What helped get you through the postpartum transition into Motherhood? 
    Hiring help! I was living in England, without any family on either side, so I really didn’t have a support system. I joined mom and baby fitness classes met with other moms on a regular basis and went back to work part-time. Just knowing that there still was “Danielle” in there somewhere, really helped me transition through the rougher times.

    8. Motherhood is hard. What gets you through each day, day after day?
    Any help (hired or family) that allows me to exercise or do jobs! Also, I keep telling myself “ it's just a phase!” (The best advice I have ever received!) However, my husband and awesome mom network are the reasons I can get through each day …Wine!

    9. What makes you grateful about motherhood? 
    The best part about motherhood is you get to experience a love like no other, even though they stress you out and can drive you crazy, it truly is a love so powerful! And those innocent baby laughs are priceless.

    10. What is one thing you would tell a new or expecting Mother? 
    Ask for help! Don’t expect to do it all, you have nothing to prove. Hire if possible, enlist family members, do a nanny share. Anything!!




    #HonestMom #LWAB10 #PPD #PPMD #Motherhood #MomTruths #MomTruth #MomConfessions #IAmMom


  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:45 PM | claire (Administrator)

    The Life With A Baby program has been operating for 10 years. An entire decade of evidence-based programming to support new and expectant mothers.

    I am absolutely humbled and proud of what Life With A Baby has become.  When I first had the idea of the program after my own challenges with adjusting to becoming a mom I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I was just looking for something that would ease my own loneliness, isolation, fears, and anxieties of being a new mom.

    Luckily, there were other moms who felt the same way and were just as passionate about helping and supporting other new mothers and we came together to create something amazing. I am blown away.  At last count, there are 500 volunteers! 500!!!

    We've had over 35,000 attendees out to events across the province and this year we are national! That’s right! There is a LWAB chapter in all but 2 provinces in Canada! With PEI & Quebec launching this year.





    Life With A Baby now has 49 Communities, 420,000 users, and over 950,000 website visitors, over the last 10 years.  You can pictures from some of our larger events on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lifewithababy





    Peer support is something all new moms should have
     and that’s why I’m so happy to see community ambassadors who are making a positive change. 

    In 2018 I’m challenging YOU to get involved! There are many ways to get involved reach out to us at info@lifewithababy.com. We’d love to hear from you.



    Pictured above are some of our 2017 community managers


    Moms just like you and me have taken the initiative to do something to help other mothers and babies. I call these moms superheroes because they are fighting for moms and helping in the prevention of postpartum depression.

    Our community is wonderful! And continues to grow – Thank you to our volunteers, chapter managers, community ambassadors, donors, sponsors, and you - our members for being a part of what makes the LWAB community unique and supportive.






    LWAB would not be where we are today without the help and support of our amazing volunteers.  

    So what does a volunteer do?  It really is up to you and what you think you can contribute.  I know like me you are a busy mom trying to balance it all, so we do not want to add too much to your already full plate.  Whatever you can give will be appreciated. 


    Let’s make LWAB even more amazing!  

    Here's what Debbi, LWAB member and Volunteer since 2009 has to say about her experience as a volunteer.

    I learnt about Life With A Baby through a friend and signed up for my first event completely unsure of what to expect. What I found was a group of women with the same circumstances as myself... a new mom craving 'adult' contact and conversation and unsure of "what to do" with this tiny new life I held in my arms.


    It started with my volunteering to host a few social events, then some classes and culminated in my becoming more involved in general organization of events and activities, even though I am now back at work. Thanks to LWAB, I met and still keep in contact with moms in my "Birth Club"; as a group we still get together and will continue to stay in contact for many years as our children grow up together.


    I would recommend to any parent of young children to volunteer to host a social event - something simple like a coffee and chat or meet up at one of the many free activities available for babies and young children. In general it's great being able to meet other parents, compare notes and share those special moments with someone who 'gets it'. It makes the parental journey a little less lonely or boring, especially for new moms on maternity leave.


    I have had so much fun meeting parents, babies and the other fantastic volunteers. Thank you for the opportunity to volunteer and be apart of an amazing group of people that do so much for others.

    If you are interested in helping, please send me an email at info@lifewithababy.com.
    Thanks so much!!!

    1.       Become a LWAB community ambassador by creating a group that you will actively manage by providing resources, hosting social events and workshops.  Maybe you already have a group and want to invite more moms to join you.  For more info contact info@lifewithababy.com


    2.       Take our pledge to reduce social isolation and host one event this year.  See more info here


    3.       Join a committee – if interested send an email to claire.zlobin@lifewithababy.com and specify if you are interested in the Event planning committee, the fundraising committee, or the advisory committee.


    4.       Volunteer with us.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization! We could not do this without the support of our volunteers, to join our volunteer team join the chapter that is closest to you. Don’t see a volunteer group near you? Email us.

    ONTARIO

    Simcoe Region volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/609464679242425/

    Greater Toronto Area volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/761916110493007/

    Peel Region volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1863958983915476/

    Waterloo Region & Guelph volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LWABWaterlooGuelphVolunteers/

    Ottawa volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1609802436013009/

    New Tecumseth/Tottenham volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1975429859346597/

    London & Middlesex volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/128599374586277/

    Windsor & Essex County volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/763709783660480/

    Saskatchewan volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LWABSaskatchewan/?ref=br_rs

    Newfoundland volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LWABNewfoundland/

    Alberta volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LWABAlberta/

    Manitoba volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LWABManitoba/

    Nova Scotia volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/148780065753176/

    British Columbia volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1260393957399197/

    New Brunswick volunteer group

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/139850323399532/

                                                   

    Let’s continue to work together to make our community one that is supportive, non-judgmental, and sustainable.

    With love & gratitude from my family to yours.


    Claire
    Founder and Executive Director


  • Thursday, March 15, 2018 8:00 AM | Christina (Administrator)

    Life With A Baby is turning 10. To celebrate, we are excited to share with you insights from 10 different Moms, answering 10 questions honestly.  


    Desiree

    Desiree is a first-time mama to a beautiful toddler and the creative maker of beautiful things over at Dezign Creative - When she's not Cricut-deep on a project, she loves spending time with her family, searching for the perfect cupcake, and taking time to stop and smell the roses.


    1. How would you describe yourself before having a baby?
    In some ways, I miss the person I was before having a baby. Energized, active, able to travel freely, available to spontaneously change my plans on a whim.

    In most ways, I don't miss that person at all. It was as if I was constantly chasing the next thing, instead of being present. Of absorbing the moment I was currently in.

    Of appreciating my surroundings and my ground instead of constantly trying to fly to new territories.There's a giant void that's been filled by becoming a mother. I feel complete.

    2. How would you describe yourself after having a baby?
    As mentioned above...I think the word is Complete.

    Becoming a mother has taught me endless lessons about patience, perseverance and courage... it has humbled me in more ways than I can count, and it has shown me how rewarding it can be on a daily basis. The love of a child is unlike anything else on the planet.  The motivation to succeed and overcome and grow with her by our side is the ultimate motivation to get out of bed every morning.  Our baby brings balance, calm, curiosity and energy that I've never experienced before. We're better people because of her.


    3. What is one thing you miss about your pre-baby life?
    Being able to get a full night's sleep. And I don't mean to sound cliché, but it is really true what they say that once a parent you never 'sleep' the same way again.

    Every little noise in the night, every minor turn and twirl, I hear it. Even if she sleeps through the night peacefully, I could spend hours watching her through the monitor, on guard.

    And I believe even if we had the night off, or took a trip without her, I wouldn't be able to sleep properly wondering how she's doing! Our life's mission is her happiness and safety.

    Not to mention once she's a teenager and out in the middle of the night I can completely understand why parents lose so much sleep over their kids no matter the age! Hehehe.


    4. What is one thing you wish someone prepared you for when it comes to Motherhood?
    The complications of birth. I don't think anyone can truly paint a picture for you without completely scaring you into not having a baby. But... in hindsight, I think there are a few things we could have been better educated on as to how to interact with the medical system and push for the answers we needed to be able to have a less traumatic birth journey.

    5. How has Motherhood changed you?
    So much...in so many ways. I feel I am a better wife, daughter, sister, woman...because of being a mother. It is now, as a mother, that my own mama and I are closer than ever.

    We understand each other as women, we share a common understanding of what it means to be a 'mother' - I relate to her in ways I could have never dreamed of.  Years of misunderstandings or feelings of resentment cleared up overnight once I realized the filter of parenthood guides so many decisions in our upbringing. 

    I feel that even within my career and my work life - I am more patient and understanding, I choose calm before anger, and I try to do my best to encourage others to learn and share and discover new things.. just like our toddler would. My new mantra since she was born has been 'If I wouldn't say this to my toddler....why say it at all?' and I have found my conversations lead with kindness, grace and patience because of this. 


    6. Do you feel like you have “balance” in your life and why?
    Silly word. Balance. I feel that we are perpetually on a quest for balance. It changes, like a tide. It takes different forms and shapes.

    I think the most important thing about finding 'balance' is defining what that means to you. And accepting that the definition will evolve over time.

    To me, in this moment - balance is having the opportunity to creatively pursue what fuels me while making the time to be present for my family and its growth.


    7. What helped get you through the postpartum transition into Motherhood?
    Learning as quickly as possible that you need a tribe. That it does take a village. That you don't need to do it alone. It can become a really lonely place very quickly if you allow yourself to think that way.  I was diagnosed with pretty intense PPD and high anxiety after the birth of my daughter - and looking back now, without the support of our Doulas, the Healthy Babies program of Peel, and the Women's Mental Health program along with endless support from friends, families, and other mamas going through the same... it wouldn't have been the same.


    8. Motherhood is hard. What gets you through each day, day after day?
    Seeing life through my daughter's eyes. Her curiosity. The things that spark her interest. Seeing her appreciate the little things. Making something out of nothing. She inspires me to look for creativity in unconventional places. She pushes me to get out of my own funks and keep going. She brings out the best version of myself. Can't imagine life without her.


    9. What makes you grateful about motherhood?

    The incredible gift that is having been chosen to be her mommy - and watching her grow and fulfil her dreams to become whatever she decides to be.

    10. What is one thing you would tell a new or expecting Mother?
    It gets better. No really, it does. And the second you ask for help, we'll all be there to support.  You're never alone in this. 

    It's okay to not feel okay about it all sometimes - but it's even more okay to accept that you need your village behind you to get stuff done!

    The reward at the other end of the rainbow is absolutely beautiful.  To your child, you are perfect.





    #LWAB #HonestMotherhood #MomTruth #MomTruths #Motherhood #IAmMom #LifeWithABaby #MomConfessions

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