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.
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:22 PM | Nicole (Administrator)

    This is a list of Perinatal Mood Disorder resources that can be found online.

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    Information and Resources
  • Sunday, July 16, 2017 5:53 PM | Anonymous

    Our summers cannot be complete without our annual trip to The Fern Resort in Orillia, Ontario!!  The boys have been looking forward to this trip ALL YEAR and Fern did not disappoint!

    First off, we LOVE how close to home Fern is for us.  Just a short 1 hour drive and we are at the doorstep of the stunning lake and resort.   Parking is so conveniently located central to the accommodation buildings, so you will be enjoying your vaycay very quickly on arrival.  Remember that check in is at 4pm but sometimes rooms are available sooner.  We called on route to let them know we were on our way and to see if we could get our room a little sooner which they were gracious in accommodating.

    The BEST part of Fern is BY FAR the CHILDCARE available.  My boys (ages 7 and 4) just LOVE going to "kids club".   If they could stay in there all day they probably would, but it does close from 12-1:00 for lunch :)   From the sand pit, to the splash pad, trampoline, crafts and more the childcare options are Fern are second to none.  The amazing staff were experienced and competent in dealing with my autistic child.    They were attentive to his needs and I felt confident that they could handle whatever came up OR that I was just a phone call away if needed.

    The FOOD at Fern never disappoints!   We opt to take the kids to the convenient  5:30 kids buffet and then send them to kids club so that we can enjoy a quiet adult meal :)      The famous Fern honey dinner rolls and coffee are my go-to's and likely the most famous items on the Fern menu!   Be sure to try them out!

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    At Fern, you will NEVER be bored.  There are TONS of activities for the ENTIRE FAMILY and for ANY WEATHER condition.  It truly is a YEAR ROUND resort.   My boys especially love the pool and the giant chess board.   Morning shuffle board tournament anyone? 

    Image may contain: one or more people, basketball court and outdoor  Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

    Business Meeting??   The team at Life With A Baby LOVES the convenient conference facilities that Fern offers.   They conveniently placed our rooms in the same building as our conference room space (The Mara Room) so that we could be close to our families and things if needed.  The meeting rooms come equipped with all your modern day meeting amenities such as drinks, power, TV, coffee, etc. 


    Image may contain: 14 people, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor

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    Tips:  bring your own life jackets or puddle jumpers for the kids at the pool!

    All in all, if you're looking for a fun and relaxing place to take the family close to home, Fern is the place to check out!  Consider the fact that included in the price is your accommodations, 3 meals, entertainment, childcare, programming and activities.   Get ready to enjoy your #SummerAtFern


    /Connie


  • Thursday, June 22, 2017 9:23 PM | Christina (Administrator)

    *Copied from a Facebook Chat. To be notified of future Facebook Chats,  become a Member*

    Thank you for joining us this afternoon as we chat about diet and nutrition for your Preemie. We are lucky to be joined by not only one, but two Registered Dietitians, Kirsten and Karen, from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. 

    K&K:  I'm Kirsten and I have been a clinical dietitian in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital for 18 years and I am Karen, I have been a dietitian in the NICU at Mount Sinai for 2 years, previously in obstetrics for 8 years.

    1.   My breastmilk was fortified with Formula in the NICU. Now that we're home, do I have to continue this? When will I know I can stop this? 

    K&K:
    Often an infant will be discharged with formula in breastmilk or a higher strength formula to support optimal growth.  Reassessment of this plan will be an ongoing discussion with your physician post discharge. As infants get bigger, they get stronger and may feed more effectively so supplementation may be decreased either in number of bottles fortified and amount of formula added. The physician will look at the infant’s growth compared to target recommendations.  Recommendations for weight gain for the first 4 months post term is 20-30 grams/day.  Weight gain above or below this recommendation should prompt reevaluation of the feeding plan. 

    2.   How long should I be giving my child Vitamin D? 

    K&K:
    Your child should be given vitamin D until at least 1 year corrected age and consuming adequate cow’s milk.  Cow’s milk is fortified in Canada with vitamin D.  Other “milk” products are not recommended until 2 years of age.

    3.   When do I know it's time to start the transition to solids? 

    K&K:
    Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada recommend in the Healthy Term Nutrition Statement that solids should be started around 6 months of age.  For preterm infants, this would be six months corrected age.  Your child should be able to sit up in a chair and hold his/her head up on their own to be able to swallow safely.  Around 4 months corrected age, start having the discussion with your physician about what developmental milestones your child should be doing to show that they are ready for solid food.

    4.   What is the best way to start the transition to solids? 

    K&K:
    The first food to start with is a food with a high source of iron such as meat or iron fortified cereals.  There are no longer specific guidelines about which type of food to introduce in what order.  Introduce one new food every 3 days in order to watch for signs of allergic reaction. 

    5.   How long is it ok to feed my child using a bottle vs. a cup?  

    K&K:
    As fluids other than breastfeeding are introduced, they can be offered in an open cup. Older infants can be offered water from an open cup along with complementary feedings. At first, they will need help with the cup from the parent or caregiver. The older infant will develop a coordinated sucking action and will begin to hold the jaw in a stable open position as the cup approaches. Older infants can pace their own intake, which makes it easier for them to control their breathing and swallow when they are ready.

    It is common for training cups such as 'sippy cups' to have no-spill valves. An infant gets liquids out of these training cups by sucking, these cups do not support the development of mature drinking skills. An open cup is the most appropriate choice to encourage skill development.


    Encouraging use of an open cup for older infants can help avoid prolonged bottle-feeding. Use of bottles among young children has been associated with the consumption of excess calories and may contribute to the risk of obesity in childhood.

     

    5.   How do I know my child is eating/drinking enough? 

    K&K: If your child is growing and following their growth curve they are getting enough to eat and drink.  Ask your physician to show you at your child’s next appointment.  Offer foods from all the food groups throughout the day to ensure your child is receiving all the vitamins and minerals they require.

    6.   What is important in regards to food groups when it comes to ensuring my child has proper nutrition at 6 months old? 

    K&K: From six months of age, your child’s foods can be many of the same nutritious foods enjoyed by the family. Choose iron-rich meat and meat alternatives, and iron-fortified cereals first. Aside from iron-rich foods being the first foods introduced, there is no particular order for the introduction of other foods or food groups. Vegetables, fruit, and milk products such as cheese and yoghurt can be introduced, between 6 to 9 months, along with a variety of iron-rich foods.

    Encourage the offering of new foods. This ensures a variety of flavours and foods from Canada's Food Guide are being consumed by 12 months. Encourage parents and caregivers to include infants and young children at the family meal table, even if their feeding times do not always align. Meal times provide exposure to tastes, colours, and textures. Family meals create an opportunity for modelling healthy eating habits.

    6.   And 12 months? 

    K&K: It is important to offer your child a regular schedule of meals and snacks, offering a variety of foods from the four food groups every day. Recommend foods prepared with little or no added salt or sugar.  Nutritious, higher-fat foods are an important source of energy for young children.  Infants should not be offered low fat foods.  Continue to breastfeed, or offer 2 cups per day of homogenized (3.25% M.F.) cow milk.  Limit fruit juice and sweetened beverages. Offer water to satisfy thirst.

    7.   Hello, my name is Gabrielle, my son stayed in Mount Sinai NICU for almost 4& a half months than transferred to a level 2 hospital for a bit. My baby was born at 24 weeks 5 days. He is now almost 7months, however 3 months + 1 week corrected. My son is in his early signs of teething(drooling, putting fist in mouth, etc) What are some signs that he would be ready for eating(puree, etc)? I would still be looking towards his corrected 6 months but confident signs are.

    K&K: Some of the key signs that a baby is ready for solids include: ability to sit up (supported) in a high chair), able to hold food in mouth, reaching/showing interest during family meal times.  You are correct to plan to introduce solids around the 6 month corrected age, when your son will likely be showing these signs.  Review with your physician to come up with a plan.

    8.   My 19 month old corrected baby has a g-tube. We would like to wean her off of it. She refuses to take regular homogenized milk or any milk orally. It might be a food aversion. Although she used to be continuous feeding through her g-tube, she no longer requires to be hooked up to her feeding pump during the day. She eats what we eat albeit in smaller pieces and drinks water but for some reason won't take enough milk to help her gain weight or grow orally. As per her dietitian at Sick Kids, she is currently on 300-400mL at night through her feeding pump/g-tube each day. We noticed she's eating more but we are afraid to completely wean her off of milk via her g-tube. However, she's getting more active and would like to remove the g-tube soon. Due to her Pierre Robin Sequence, she is overall small in stature otherwise proportional. She's 19 months corrected but only weighs 17 lbs at most. If we were to wean her off her g-tube, what can we give her to make sure she doesn't lose weight.

    K&K:  As you are already connected with a dietitian and program at Sick Kids, I would contact him/her with this question.  The dietitian would be more familiar with your daughter and her needs.

    9.   What is the formula in relation to body weight to calculate the amount of ml of formula we should feed?

    K&K: This is a difficult question that would be different for every baby’s unique situation.  In the unit we estimate fluid and feed requirements based on body weight and a pre-calculated volume that will meet their needs.  A healthy baby discharged home is typically encouraged to be fed on an on demand schedule, allowing baby to determine his or her own needs.  In some situations a baby may be on a prescribed volume when they go home in order to support growth.  If this is your situation your doctor/NP and dietitian should work with you and provide you with specific guidelines.

    Thank you so much to Kirsten and Karen, for taking the time to join us and for your expertise. It has certainly been an informative session! 

    Thank you to all the parents who participated live and via email/private message. We hope you all learned a lot and look forward to seeing you in July for our next 
    #PreTermChats!



    #PreTermChats #Preemies #PreemiesAreAmazing #PreemiePower #PreemiePowerCanada #PrematureBabies #Diet #BabyNutrition #NICU #InfantNutrition #PreemieNutrition #PrematureNutrition #WhatDoIFeedMyPreemie 

  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 8:28 AM | Christina (Administrator)

    Checking into Emerg with my now 4 year old was tough. She had been fighting what was obviously a stomach flu or a travel bug. Easy, right? Check into ER, get a few tests and some medication, check out, head home to continue on with life. If only it was that simple. Why? Well… it’s those darn triggers.

    I sat in the waiting room of the Hospital, in the same area that houses the RSV clinic. TRIGGER.

    They sent us into a screening room and advised that she would need to do some blood work and have an IV to bring her levels back up. TRIGGER.

    The sound of the heart rate monitor, thermometer (of all things), the smell of the hand sanitizer. TRIGGER.

    The sound of the hand wash stations and the paper towel ripping. TRIGGER.


    Does it ever get any easier? Do the triggers ever go away? So far, in 4 years, the answer is not for me. We spent 91 days in the NICU when she was born. Of her 4 years of life, it’s still a large percentage of her life.  It is part of who she is. The NICU experience is part of who I am as a Parent and it has made a permanent imprint on my life. For the better? I’d say so.

    I am also reminded of all of the Health Care Professionals past and present that are of have been in our lives that have helped along the way. For whom I will be ever so thankful.

    Although these triggers bring up  the past emotion and pain, it also sparks some memories. First, First bath, First time she took a bottle, First time she wore clothes, removing the NG tube, Her Home Coming.  When I think about it with a fresh perspective and a positive attitude, she arrived in the world 3 months before expected, but I was also lucky to of gotten to know her 3 months sooner. When she came home, we had a bond. I knew her. She knew me.

    When I sit down, cuddling her after the IV went in, comforting her and wiping away her tears, I’m reminded of all of the progress she has made since that moment she was born at 28 weeks.  She is strong enough to fight the nurse who had to put the IV in this time. I am a strong enough person now that I didn’t shed a tear, but stayed there strong for her.  She is a person full of life, personality and sassiness. That history has made her who she is today. It has made me who I am today. You can’t change the past, but you can look back at it and look at the progress. Look forward into the future of all the possibilities in their lives and be thankful that they are here with you now.

    So here’s to the past that has molded us. To the present full of love and life. And to the future full of possibilities because, as we know #PreemiesAreAmazing.

    #PreemiePowerCanada #PrematureBirth #Prematurity #Preemie 


  • Monday, June 19, 2017 9:40 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Every so often I look at space in my house and feel like it needs a change. I run through all the things I want to do to freshen up the place. I’m not talking a major home reno project because with both of us working full time and 2 kids in the house, there isn’t the time to deal with a full blown renovation. More like some cosmetic changes to make the house feel fresh again.

    Painting is generally at the top of my redecorating list but hubby says not until the little guy turns 6 because it's a waste of time and money since the little guy likes to touch everything. Next up: a new rug for the floors? Yes, that's easy, doesn’t have to be expensive, and while we’re at it, some new curtains to make the room feel fresher. Then there are the bigger ticket items such as new appliances. I was pregnant with the now 5-year-old when we were purchasing appliances for our home and I not knowing what I was getting into I bought stainless steel fridge.  Total rookie mistake. I thought the stainless steel was pretty and would give the space a clean, sleek look. I remember telling the salesman that I didn't want the one with ice dispenser because I had seen my four-year-old playing with one while at the store and didn't want to have ice and water all over my floors. I can say now that was a REALLY good decision on my part (and probably the reason newer models have lock buttons on that function and / or hide it inside the fridge just above where a small child can easily reach). The one thing I didn't anticipate what that my fridge would look like this! 



    No one told me that kids would have all this artwork that they would feel very proud of and that they would insist that needs to be displayed on the fridge so that everyone can admire it. So there you have it; thousands of dollars for a sleek, clean look and you’ll never see it because it’s covered in tape and artwork. We could have gone with a non stainless option and put magnets and you’d see the same amount of fridge. Chalk that one up to inexperience – and call it a lesson learned.

    Now, you'd think that was the biggest form over function mistake I had made in my kitchen. But you would be wrong. The biggest regret I have, believe it or not, is my kitchen sink and faucet. Other than the fact that I knew I wanted a double sink in my kitchen, I paid very little attention to this detail. Having children is a great way to be reminded that you really should have considered function before choosing any items for your house. There is nothing wrong per se with the way the old faucet looked, it was sleek and stylish. However, it was not functional for us as a family. When the kids who are now 10 and five were helping out with the dishes (yes, they do the dishes) they made a mess because the faucet head was too close to the sink. Because the faucet head itself was low, it was hard to get one of my big pots in the sink to fill it with water, I could use the extension to get the pot filled up but it was awkward for me and next to impossible for the kids. Plus, after I had used both sinks it was a pain to easily wash the sinks out without hitting the faucet head. 


    The new Huntley Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with SelectFlo fixes this problem and has some awesome extra features. Firstly, it’s high enough that even my biggest pot fits underneath it. Secondly it’s easier to use because you’re pulling the faucet to you instead of trying to twist things to fit under a fixed height faucet. Finally, it allows the user to select different flows according to the task at hand – so you can direct a jet of water onto some burnt on food to help get it off the pan. As a bonus, it’s also super stylish and completes my kitchen perfectly. It was just the little change that I needed, and the pull down feature alone is worth it for my family because it makes it easier for the kids to do the dishes without adult assistance. When something looks this great and makes everyday tasks easier because of built in functionality, it’s easy to love. And I definitely love my new Huntley faucet.

     


    I was provided with the faucet in exchange for my honest review, as always all opinions are my own. 

  • Friday, June 02, 2017 10:24 PM | claire (Administrator)

    It's June, that means it's the time of the year when parents are frantically looking for summer camps for their kids. Do you feel like you left it too late? Believe it or not, most parents tend to book camps in June for the summer months. There are usually a few programs that you absolutely wanted  and were in high demand so you registered early for; but with 8+ weeks of summer vacation, there are always a few weeks that are still up in the air until June. That's what it's like in my house every year. I was talking to a friend about summer camps the other day, that I am so far behind and that I wanted to get my daughter in a STEM camp this year. She responded that kids are already using tech more than we ever did, why would I want to sign her up for a week of being on the computer?


    Here are my top 5 reasons for wanting her to be engaged in STEM early on and why I'm putting my daughter in Level Up Kids camp this year.





    1. While I know we usually think tech when we hear the term STEM; technology is only one component. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  Those are skills that I want my kids, and especially my daughter to be engaged with early on. I love that the programs at Level Up Kids will enable her to experience all aspect of this. And the best part? They are not on the computer all day. They have outdoor time, team building exercises, and hands on group activities. 

    2. On the whole, girls need to feel like they belong and the earlier they are exposed to STEM the better. Our daughter has been participating in some type of engineering or science camp since she was four and she was often the only girl in the program. At first, she didn't really notice the difference, but now that she is almost 10, she has mentioned that it would be great to see and be around more girls in these classes. I love that Level Up Kids offers a girls only class where the girls can learn together. While I think that overall, it's always good for learning to be co-educational, having a week where she sees lots of others girls who are into STEM will be great in reinforcing that she does belong in these classes and she is not the only girl with these interests.

    3. They have programs all across Canada. I will be visiting Ottawa this summer to spend time with my mommy, and I love that I will be able to continue the program in Ottawa for the week that we are there.

    4. Minecraft, Programming, Robotics, and Raspberry Pi, oh my! Those are just some of the things she'll be able to learn and explore during a week of camp. The range of activities is quite impressive and seeing that her dad is a geek (and proud of it), he couldn't be happier with the selection of learning materials. I think it's the first time he looked at an STEM-based program and was actually impressed with the offering.

    5. I took her to an intro session, and she LOVED it and couldn't stop talking about it. Loved that she learned new Minecraft hacking tips, loved that she was able to connect with others who loved coding too, loved that she was able to make a little robot and talk to dad about it. This is the same kids that made us put her in Mathnasium three times a week because she wanted to improve her math skills, so learning excites her, and I'm glad that we found something that is fun and educational at the same time. I don't even think she considered it learning at all - it was pure fun.

    And guess what? You can win a week at any Level Up Kids location across the country!  Comment below to enter.  Please make sure you put the location you are interested in.   Contest closes June 16th. The winner will be chosen randomly. 

  • Wednesday, May 31, 2017 12:00 PM | Christina (Administrator)

    *Posted from a past Facebook Chat. To be notified of future Facebook Chats,  become a Member*


    Thanks for joining us for our 
    #PreTermChats about Milestones, on Facebook.

    We're very lucky to be joined by Dr. Jennifer Young who is here to answer your questions. She is a Neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She also works in the Neonatal Development Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital.


    Michelle asks: How can I work on improving "low muscle tone" for my 3 month old (adjusted)?
    DY: Tummy time is best to help core trunk tone and improve overall development.


    Tim asks:
    Should motor development correlate exactly to the corrected age or is it sometimes delayed longer?
    DY: 
    Motor development is correlated to the corrected age but there e is always a range for development to emerge.


    Desiree asks:
    What is the average age for speech to start becoming more evident in my toddler? How can I help her have a better understanding of words? I often worry that our two-language household (spanish and english) can confuse her and slow down her development.
    DY: language is not just expressive but do remember the receptive component. Language development starts very early on even at the very early stage baby will hear sounds and acknowledge your sounds, with the toddler we hope that by a year that they are having good sounds and starting with a few words . By 18 months up to 20 words is normal.
    D:
    Thanks for this. She is very alert and responsive when it comes to listening in either language and following the action being requested, so I guess it's just gonna be a matter of words starting to come into play sooner than later!


    Julie asks:
    When should I be concerned for walking? My twins are 16 months corrected and can pull themselves up with the aid of furniture and cruise along holding on but cannot stand independently nor walk (albeit they've attempted steps with walkers).
    DY: If they are pulling to stand, then walking is likely to emerge soon.
    J: Thank you Dr. Young for your insight! Just wanted to thank you and your team as one of our twin girls, Emily, was in your care from birth in the NICU at Mount Sinai before being transferred to Sick Kids where she stayed for 101 days - Emily was born with multiple birth defects including Pierre Robin Sequence.
    DY: You are welcome. I wish you all the very best.


    Fabiana asks:
    What are some red flags in terms of motor development we should watch for the first few months after discharge?
    DY: Red flags of gross motor development may include your baby has not developed good trunk control. This is enhanced by tummy time
    F:
    In that case, should we start Physio. And how early is too early to start?
    DY:
    there is no exact time when physio is started. the baby should be assessed and the need determined. However if it’s overall motor development, floor time is best for baby to help with motor development.


    Christina asks:  What is the best way to do tummy time? And what types of toys or techniques should I be using to encourage them?
    DY: Tummy time is done in small short segments about a total of 20 to 30 mins per day.   You get down to interact with baby, at face level. A rattle or simple toys will do.  You can even coordinate [tummy time] with diaper changes.


    Dana asks:
    At what point should my child be sitting up? Everything I read says Preemies bones are under developed and may develop slower. And a what age should I be concerned if it hasn't happened yet?
    DY: Sitting usually occurs around 6 to 8 months corrected age. If no attempts to sit are made by 8 months,  I would be concerned. 


    Robin asks: My son is starting JK in September. As far as I know, he's caught up as Follow Up isn't concerned. Should I still disclose his prematurity to the teachers?
    DY:
    Thanks for the question Robin. I would suggest that you disclose this info as it may be helpful in the future should he require any help in the school system. This may be beneficial for the teachers who can pick up subtle learning issues that can be as a result of prematurity.


    Thank you so much Dr Jennifer Young and all the wonderful Preemie Parents for joining us today. If you have any more questions, please contact your NICU Follow Up Clinic.


    See you next month for another 
    #PreTermChats



    #PreemiePower #PreemiePowerCanada #LifeWithAPretermBaby #NICU #Milestones #PreemieMilestones #PrematureBirth  #PreemieParents Prematurity Premature Birth  CPBF Mount Sinai NICU Sunnybrook Dr. Jennifer Young


  • Tuesday, May 02, 2017 6:52 PM | claire (Administrator)


    Experts are telling us that both that postpartum mood disorders are on the rise and that the causes for this are unknown; however it’s becoming clear that while a single cause is unknown, there are many factors that can contribute to postpartum mood disorders. It is our hope that by raising awareness of the factors that contribute to postpartum mood disorders (ranging from the baby blues to postpartum depression to postpartum psychosis), and opening the dialogue on the subject, more women will feel that they can ask for help and tragedies like Florence Leung’s suicide can be prevented.

    What are postpartum mood disorders?

    Scientifically speaking, the term postpartum mood disorder refers to any mood disorder that comes on in the year after a woman gives birth. Current estimates show that up to 85% of new mothers experience the mildest form, known as the ‘baby blues, which typically appears in the first week after birth and lasts a few weeks. However, for between 10 and 15% of new mothers, it either does not disappear at all, or does but then returns and intensifies between two and six months after delivery - this is called postpartum depression. An additional 0.2% of new mothers will experience the most intense form of postpartum mood disorders – postpartum psychosis.

    What are the symptoms of postpartum depression?

    Maternal postpartum depression is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual for medical professionals as displaying one or more of the following symptoms lasting for at least two weeks.

    • Feeling restless or slowed down

    • Feeling sad most of the day

    • Loss of interest or pleasure in all or most things, including the baby

    • Extreme irritability, frustration, or anger

    • Feelings of hopelessness

    • Trouble sleeping even when the baby is sleeping

    • Loss of appetite or eating too much

    • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

    • Crying for no reason

    • Overwhelming feelings of guilt, worthlessness or inadequacy

    • Scary thoughts about harming your baby

    • Anxiety or panic attacks

    • No desire to be with friends or family

    • Excessive worrying about your baby’s health

    • Suicidal thoughts or frequent thoughts of death



    What are the risk factors for postpartum depression?

    There are a lot of different risk factors for postpartum depression. Like all mental health conditions, there is no single cause for postpartum depression, there isn’t any one thing a mother can do to prevent it from occurring, and having postpartum depression is not a sign of weakness or being a bad parent. Postpartum depression is a complication of childbirth not a moral failing. Risk factors for postpartum depression include:

    • A traumatic pregnancy or birth

    • Experience with emotionally painful or stressful experiences around pregnancy, childbirth and/or early parenting

    • A history of domestic violence, sexual or other abuse

    • A traumatic childhood

    • Stress

    • Lack of social support

    • Personality traits – such as competitiveness and perfectionism.

    In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easier than ever before to access information. While this access to information is great for finding out things like where to go to get support if you’re feeling depressed, it is a double edged sword because we are bombarded with stressful and negative images from around the world on a daily basis. Social media is great for connecting us with friends and relatives from around the world, but it can put pressure on new moms to keep up appearances and make them feel like a failure when their experience doesn’t match what their friends are living. The perfect image of a blissfully sleeping baby in a tidy house while mom cooks a nutritious dinner from scratch for a happy toddler? That is the exception rather than the rule and five minutes after the picture was taken the toddler probably threw a tantrum, refused to eat dinner, and woke up the baby – but we don’t see that and in a sleep deprived new mother those pictures can be yet another sign that she’s doing something wrong.

    What should you do if you think you have postpartum depression?

    First, take a deep breath. Recognizing that something isn’t right is an important first step. Other things you can do include:

    • Talk to your doctor, midwife, or other medical professional. Be honest about your feelings, and explain how they are affecting you.

    • Seek support. Find other new mothers either through in-person meetings or online groups or both. Having a support network of people who empathize and understand can be a huge help.

    • Ask for help. Maybe you need someone to watch the baby for an hour so you can do a yoga class and have a shower. Maybe you need someone to help you cook meals or walk the dog. Maybe you just want someone to hold the baby for a few minutes. Whatever it is you need, ask for help – and when people offer to help, let them.

    • Try to get some exercise and enough sleep. This is easier said than done with a newborn, but if you can, get your partner to take a shift between feedings while you nap. If you can’t get away to an exercise class, take a walk with the baby around the house or around the block if you can manage it.

    • Remember that it IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You are doing the best you can and that alone makes you a good mother.

    Postpartum depression is not some mystical disease – it is a complication of childbirth and the more we talk about it and normalize it, the better we can support mothers who are suffering.



  • Friday, April 28, 2017 12:22 PM | claire (Administrator)

    May 1st to 7th is Mental Health Week in Canada. Will you walk, run, or ride with us to support maternal mental health?

    Did you know that according to the Canadian Mental Health Association 76,000 moms in Canada are at risk of Postpartum Mood Disorder this year? That means that this hour 8 women will get postpartum mood disorder.

    Sadly, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of mortality in postpartum women. We need to do something. When Moms Thrive Babies Thrive.

    You can help us help more moms and their little ones.

    This year we are running a campaign on Canada Helps during Mental Health Week in Canada we want to raise funds and awareness for Maternal Mental Health and prevention and support for Postpartum Depression.



    You can join a team, participate as an individual, or donate.

    To create a team. You pick the date and time that works for you anytime during mental health week. You can walk with your baby, with friends, with family or you can engage others to meet with you at the same time and do an informal walk.

    You would then post about your walk and why you walked with the #MpowerWalk2017 hashtag

    To participate, please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/healthy-start-healthy-future-inc/MPOWER/

    Why should you support the life-saving work LWAB is doing?

    According to The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), Maternal depression is a significant risk factor affecting the well-being of young children. It threatens two core parental functions: fostering healthy relationships and carrying out the management functions of parenting. The result, long tracked in child development research, has been linked to demonstrable reductions in young children’s behavioral, cognitive, and social and emotional functioning.

    The impact of depression varies by its timing (maternal depression during infancy has a bigger impact on a child’s development than maternal depression later in childhood), its severity, and the length of time it persists.

    We DO need your help financially to help more moms. As a registered charitable organization any financial contribution over $20, will receive a charitable donation receipt.

    Whatever you give – Please Give Something. This will ensure that this program is available for the next birth club and then next and eventually our children when they become parents.

    Together we CAN make a difference in the lives of mothers.

    Register or donate ahttps://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/healthy-start-healthy-future-inc/MPOWER/

    We have partnered with Canada Helps so that you will receive a donation receipt automatically after donating.

    Huge thank you to Team Pink Piglets, the team that raise the most funds so far https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/healthy-start-healthy-future-inc/MPOWER/team/pinkpiglets/

    Read the amazing testimonial from a mom entitled Help Other Moms Like Mehttps://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/healthy-start-healthy-future-inc/MPOWER/team/pinkpiglets/member/mailtoryokogmailcom/

    Below are some of the local walks happening your community

    Thornhill : 

    https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/healthy-start-healthy-future-inc/MPOWER/team/jillfranks/

    Vaughan : 

    www.lifewithababy.com/event-2530803

    Waterloo Region : 

    https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-2537028

    Niagara Region : 

    https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-2517820

    Barrie : 

    https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-2531435


    Do you want to host a walk in your area? Send us an email to info@lifewithababy.com

    Thank you,

    Claire & the entire LWAB team.



  • Friday, April 21, 2017 2:28 PM | claire (Administrator)

    If I had to choose just one place to recommend all Canadians visit it would be Newfoundland. Newfoundland's beauty cannot be summed up in a few words. You will feel the strength of the Long Range Mountains, and the depth of the fjords. You will breathe in the rugged beauty of the water crashing against the rocky shores. You will soak in the bustle of St. John's and sigh as you walk along Jelly Bean Row. But most importantly you will feel at once at home wherever you are in Newfoundland and with whomever you speak. Because at the core of what makes Newfoundland such an amazing place is it's people. If what you are looking for is relaxation go somewhere else but if you want adventure, to explore something new and exciting, to see mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, to stand in the spot where Canada begins & ends all at once. Go to Newfoundland.




    This was our crazy Itinerary, we only 7 days and wanted to see as much as possible. I'd recommend 10 days if you were doing this trip, or if you are adventurous and your kids are good travelers you can do what we did. 

    With this itinerary, you're hitting several of the top tourist destinations without having to spend too much time driving each day. It also helps to be staying in the one area for more than one night so you don't always have to pack up and leave again!

     

    Day 1 - Exploring St. John's

    We stayed at the beautiful Sheraton St. Johns, which had some great restaurants, walking distance to one of the largest kids playground and splash pad I've ever seen, and a great pool.  This was the view from our room.   Stunning, yes?


    Begin the day with brunch at one of the many local restaurants with kid friendly menus like Bagel Café, Blue on Water, or Smitty's. 

    Visit some of the main tourist attractions the oldest City in North America has to offer like; Signal Hill, The Rooms Museum, The Basilica Cathedral, Commissariat Provincial Historic Site, Johnson Geo Centre and the Railway Coastal Museum, or the MUN Botanical Gardens.  We chose Signal Hill. My recommendation is to go in the later part of the day so you can view stunning sunsets.  




    In the evenings the Ghost of the Hill Series run, where you can join the dashing Lieutenant Ranslaer Schuyler by lamplight inside the historic Queen’s Battery Barracks on Signal Hill. Step inside, take your seat, and prepare for the thrills and chills as local lore and legends unfold.  At the end of the stories the cannons go off. We walked around the area, the other lieutenant that was outside told us some history of the area. I recommend the full activity for families without little ones, but the modified version worked really well for us. 



    About 10 minutes away from Signal Hill is Petty Harbour, where you can visit the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium which has several touch tanks so the kids can actually hold many different sea creatures.  This is a small aquarium but it is worth the visit. The best part is that all the fish are caught in the spring and then released back to the ocean in the fall.   Have you ever seen a blue or gold lobster?  We did! 



    After Petty Harbour, continue driving until you reach Cape Spear which is the most Easterly Point in North America.  Standing in the spot was such an amazing feeling. I think the best part was that we did it as a family.  The weather changes quickly here so you'll want to have your winter stuff in the car just in case :).  When we left St. John's we were in shorts. 


     

    Day 2 - The Irish Loop

     

    The boat tours in Bay Bulls or Witless Bay is said to be one of the best whale watching and puffin viewing areas in the Province.  We did a tour with O'Brien's Whale and Bird Tours. Matthew was our guide and he did a fantastic job of keeping us entertained throughout the tour.  We didn't see any whales but learning about the puffins and seeing them up close was awesome! They were much smaller than I anticipated. 

    In the afternoon we visited the Cape Race Lighthouse which has one of the most powerful lights in the world.


     

    Day 3 - Trinity Bay

    We drove approximately 3 hours (270kms) Northwest to Trinity
    where we visited some of the local historic attractions like the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Cooperage, the Green Family Forge, The Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site, The Mercantile Building Provincial Historic Site. It's a very small village but was worth the visit, as we wanted to explore as much of Newfoundland as possible.

    On our way we saw a sign for Dungeon Provincial Park, how could we not do a detour.  We spent much of the time exploring the area which is fascinating. If you are lucky the horses will stop by and visit you.  



    After exploring around the park we went drove around the air and visited the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse - Provincial Historic Site. 




    We rented through Airbnb for our accommodations as there are only a few Bed & Breakfasts in this area and they were all sold out. 



    Day 4 - Twillingate

     

    We really wanted to see icebergs so we drove  about 4 hours (310kms) to Twillingate (The Iceberg Capital of the World) just in case there were any sightings, but alas they were all melted.  

    Even though we didn't see any icebergs it was absolutely worth the drive though because this area is stunning! Very rugged and beautiful.  The food was amazing! Some of the freshest fish and chips and other fish dishes I ever had was from here. 

    In the evening we took a blanket and dinner down by the beach (mostly rocks) and listened to the water crashing against the shore.   We rented through Airbnb again and I cannot tell you how accommodating and lovely our hosts where.  They set up a bonfire for us on the beach. My daughter collects seaglass and when the host found out she gave my daughter her collection.  


    There is lots to do in this small town such as the Beothuk Interpretation Centre Provincial Historic Site, the Long Point Lighthouse, the Moreton's Harbour Museum, the Twillingate Museum, or any of the local walking trails

    If you are able to, consider taking a day trip to Fogo Island and Change Islands (this is where you will see the Newfoundland Pony Refuge), it's only an hour drive east to Farewell where you can catch the ferry.  


     

    Day 6 - Gros Morne National Park

    Our last leg of the trip! We drove about 4.5 hours (426kms) to Rocky Harbour which is at the beginning of  Gros Morne National Park.

    We spent the afternoon taking the spectacular Western Brook Pond Boat Tour through the glacial fjords in the Park. This is a must!  



    Some other options in the area are: the Bonne Bay Marine Station, the Cow Head Lighthouse, the Jacob A. Crocker House, the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, the Mattie Mitchell National Historic Site, etc. OR visit some of the local sandy beaches along the coast (some options include Shallow Bay near Cow Head or the beach located in Trout River - which happens to be located next to an excellent seafood restaurant)

     

    Day 7 - Gros Morne National Park / Corner Brook

     

    We spent the morning exploring the  Tablelands Trail (this trail is very easy for beginner hikers and children as it's only 2 hours to complete and isn't extremely elevated), it's one of the most unique trails in the Park

    We spent the rest of the day relaxing and preparing to head to Port Aux Basque where we would board the ferry and make out back to to Nova Scotia.

    Newfoundland, we cannot wait to see you again. 







 

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