Caring for Your Baby, and Your Self








The following attachments contain information from a variety of sources.
Information is updated on a regular basis.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact Jules at  jules.atkins@gmail.com

For some short inspirational messages by new mums, go to:
My favourite message:  "Google doesn't have kids!"

One of the best websites for researched, evidence-based information is:

For breastfeeding information and links to good sites and videos, please go to the page on Breastfeeding. 








Caring for your Baby

Skin-to-Skin Care for ALL Babies

No matter how or where you birth, ALL babies - and mothers and fathers! - benefit from skin-to-skin contact.  The research on the benefits for babies is clear.  Even premature babies and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit - in fact ESPECIALLY these babies - do better with skin-to-skin care than with care in an incubator.  Demand skin-to-skin care. 
A good website for more information on skin-to-skin is:  http://www.kangaroomothercare.com/birth-kmc.aspx


New guideline for Eye Medications for Babies
At long last there is a new guideline (2015) from the Canadian Pediatric Society regarding eye medications for newborns.  In a nutshell, eye medications have been recommended to prevent infection from gonorrhea and chlamydia.  However, most women do not have these infections, so most babies are not at risk.  Furthermore, the eye medications being used (erythromycin ointment) are not effective against chlamydia.  And the eye medications can be irritating to babies' eyes. The new guideline suggests that women be tested in pregnancy for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and if negative then eye medications do not need to be given.  Here's a link to the guideline:  http://www.cps.ca/en/documents/position/ophthalmia-neonatorum

Cup Feeding Your Baby
If you are unable to breast feed your newborn and need to supplement, but would prefer not to use a bottle, you might want to consider cup feeding.  This is a video that shows you how to do it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZCm_MhP39M


Sleep, Precious Sleep - for you and your baby!
There are many 'sleep training' books and resources out there.  Some work, some don't.  Some advocate letting the baby 'cry it out', others try to work with the baby's natural sleep cycles.  If you're interested in the 'no cry' approach, take a look at this website:  www.nocrysolution.com    Two pamphlets from this author (Elizabeth Pantley) are also in the documents below.  Good luck!  And remember, newborns ALL wake up to feed in the first weeks and months.  It's just the way it is!

And here are two sites all about sleep - and how you can get more of it:  https://www.tuck.com/pregnancy-and-sleep/ 


The Microbiome: Optimizing Your Baby's Health Before, During and After Birth
The "microbiome" is the collection of bacteria, fungi and other organisms that live in and on all of our bodies.  A healthy microbiome is critical to overall good health, and in particular to a healthy and effective immune system.  We know that the pregnant woman's microbiome changes during pregnancy to prepare for the sharing of 'good' bacteria with her baby.  This starts happening as soon as her waters break, and continues to happen as the baby passes through the birth canal, is placed skin-to-skin with its mother, and breastfeeds.  We are now beginning to understand that some of the interventions we use, including C-section deliveries, separation of mothers and babies after birth, formula feeding, and the administration of antibiotics can all interfere with the healthy transfer of the mother's microbiome to the baby.  To understand more about this and what you can do to ensure your baby gets the best start possible, check out this website:



Caring for your Self

Getting back to Normal after baby
Beth Berry's blog is a refreshing look at why women don't just 'bounce back' after having a baby:   http://revolutionfromhome.com/2016/08/we-arent-meant-to-bounce-back-after-babies/

Your Pelvic Floor Matters!
Mama on the Mend is a good website about the benefits of physiotherapy and exercise:   www.mamaonthemend.com/blog/lets-make-seeing-a-pelvic-physical-therapist-after-giving-birth-our-new-normal

PHYSIOTHERAPY AFTER THE BABY - PROFESSIONAL HELP WITH INNER CORE PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTH 
Inner core and pelvic floor muscle strength in the postpartum (period after the baby is born) and right on through your life - is very important to your health and well-being.  Too many women suffer needlessly from problems associated diastasic recti (a separation of the abdominal muscles), incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, or have surgeries to 'correct' these disorders (which often aren't successful).  It doesn't matter whether your baby is born vaginally or by C-section - or whether you've had a baby at all!  What matters is the strength of your inner core and pelvic floor.  Kegels are not enough, and may actually be part of the problem (if done correctly or if not enough attention is paid to relaxing the muscles).  
I recommend all women see a pelvic floor physiotherapist about 4-6 weeks after they've had their baby - to make sure their core and pelvic floor muscles are strong enough to engage in other activities without injuring themselves.
Here are some links to pelvic floor physiotherapists in the Lower Mainland area of Vancouver B.C.  You can take a look at what they have to say.
        Gillian McCormick   http://synergyphysio.ca/synergy-team-gillian  
                located at #307  267 Esplanade W.,  North Vancouver,  phone 604-986-2777
        Marcy Dayan   http://www.dayanphysio.com/the-team/marcy-dayan.php    
                located at 750 W. Broadway in Vancouver,  phone 604-739-3133
        Diane Lee   http://dianelee.ca/about-diane-lee.php  
                located at #102  15303  31 Avenue, South Surrey,  phone 604-538-8338 


CONTRACEPTION - YES, YOU WILL GET THERE!
You may be surprised how soon you are ready to have sex again after your baby is born - but at the same time, don't worry if you just don't feel like it for months.  Everyone is different, and what feels right for one may not feel right for another.  Until you stop bleeding, it's recommended that you use a condom for penetrative sex.  You may find that the hormones associated with breast-feeding also increase vaginal dryness, so you may want to use a lubricant.
It's a good idea to think about contraception BEFORE you start getting your sex life back.  Please be aware that exclusive breast-feeding is NOT a reliable form of birth control.  It does seem to work for some women, but not for others.  
The SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada) has just created a great website with clear, concise and up-todate information on contraception: https://www.itsaplan.ca


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