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.

Be sure to also check out our Travel Blog where you can share and read stories about travelling with the family.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.

  • Tuesday, July 19, 2022 12:12 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    After a long travel hiatus, I finally got to travel again with my kids and my mom! We have done a few other great #LWAB trips to Fern Resort and Sudbury, and they have always been amazing way for the Community Managers to meet and connect, but also to enjoy time with our families.

    This time we were invited to Jay Peak resort in Vermont, and it was amazing. I traveled with my mom, and kids aged 9 & 7. We had not traveled since before COVID as a family and there was a lot of learning curve to traveling post-pandemic.

    My mom and I had our passports, but my kids had their long form birth certificates, and we had no problem at the Queenston- Lewiston border, either entering the USA or Canada, for not having passports.

    A few things that made Jay Peak a great place to travel with kids in the summer:

    Endless Activities

    Jay Peak had so many things to do! They have an enclosed tram that takes you to the top of Jay Peak. I am not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling from heights, but I felt safe on the trip up and down and exploring the top of the mountain. The views were amazing, and there were some fun rock areas for the kids to climb! Both kids found sparkly stones and were convinced they found precious crystals. I’m glad that we were driving so I didn’t have to pay extra to carry the stones on an airplane! We went on the tram twice – the first time we saw our friends as they returned from a trip at the Tram Station, and the second time we went with the friends! The tram driver let the kids and us into the Ski Patrol office so we could see where they wait and monitor the ski hill conditions. We didn’t do this, but some friends took the tram up and hiked down the mountain.

    The next activity for the kids was the Pumphouse Indoor Water Park. We were able to use Cabanas, and it was great to have a place to put our stuff, eat, and connect with the other LWAB families. There were numerous waterslides – some body slides and some tube slides. They had both single tubes and double tubes for going down with kids! They had a kid’s climbing area with mini water slides and activities, and an indoor hot tub.

    We had the chance to try the Double Barrel Flow Rider! This just required completing a waiver at the Wave Surf Shop and get an extra bracelet to show you could ride it (the water park required a bracelet for our stay also). The lazy river was not open during our trip, which was disappointing. 

    Where we spent most of our time though was the swimming pool! The pool had a shallow and deep area, but they were well separated by a wall, so when kids were in the pool alone (and I was sitting in one of the many chairs around the pool) I felt safe that they could touch bottom. There were also lifeguards on duty, and they switched positions often, and did a great check of the pool with a visual scan of the pool as they switched shifts, which as an anxious mom made me feel like my kids were safe. The shallow area had a basketball net, and there were lots of balls floating for the kids to play with. The deep end had a rock-climbing wall – it was great to climb the wall and not need to worry about falling – other than holding your breath! The kids (and adults) loved it!

    Two of the other LWAB families had kids who were around the same ages as mine, and it was so fun to watch them play! With the number of adults we had, we could spell each other off and rest in the cabana or in the lounge chairs!

    We also went to the outdoor pool one day, where the kids played and laughed together! The next day we went to the outdoor hot tub, which the kids enjoyed.

    There was also disc golf, hiking, bike rentals and lots of other things to do! The kids also had a blast running and playing tag around the condos and we were far enough away from the road and our condo was down a private road, so they could play and explore!

    Quiet Place to Crash

    After all the activities, it was great to have a full condo to rest and recuperate in. It was also important for me after the 8.5 hour drive from Niagara and trying to keep up with the kids!

    The condo was great – we had two bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom. The kids and I used that room. My kids loved the dressers and bedside tables and unpacked their clothing and toys into the bedside tables! There were big windows all over, so we could open windows on both side of the condo and get a nice breeze. There was also a great patio – a great place to sit and eat breakfast.

    The kitchen was great – with a full-sized fridge and freezer, oven, microwave, and coffee maker. I forgot to buy coffee grinds, but it worked well for my mom to make tea. Our kitchen was stocked with mugs and glasses, but only 2 bowls. For my snack, I used a gravy boat. 

    The kitchen also had a dishwasher, and dishwasher pods, so we were able to run the dishwasher at bedtime and wake up to clean dishes.

    The condo also came with a full washer and dryer. I bought some laundry soap at the General Provisions store on site and did laundry before we came home. It was so great to come home with clean clothes, instead of having to spend a day after travel doing laundry.

    Fill their Bellies (plus coffee for mom)

    Having the full kitchen in the condo was great as we could pack groceries, and not need to eat each meal out. After a day of driving, I was ready for lots of vegetables. We brought food for breakfasts, and dinners such as frozen meals and salads.

    We started each day with going to the General Provisions Store and getting iced coffee for me. It was great to be able to charge it to the room. The first day that didn’t work, and I had to pay with my credit card, but they were able to get it working by day 2.

    For lunch, we ate at the main resort most days. The first day, we had subs from the General Provisions shop, and the kids’ favourite part was the slushy machine where they could make their own mix! The next day, the kids had grilled cheese from the Warming Shelter Snack Bar in the Pumphouse Waterpark. I got ramen noodles from Miso Hungry, and although I was hungry, there was enough left over for my mom to have as dinner the next day (and the cabana had a fridge, so I put it in there to keep it cold!) The Snack Bar became a favourite place for my kids, as they could have unlimited refills on the pop, and they could do the fountain pop on their own! They also enjoyed Dipping Dots ice cream as a snack one day. The cabana was stocked with bottles of water, and lots of towels, and was a great place to enjoy our lunch.

    The Moms of LWAB enjoyed a dinner out at the Foundry Pub & Grille, where we were able to catch up without having to attend to our kids. My mom had also heard about the lobster roll from the Clubhouse Grill, so we picked one up, and brought it back to the condo. She was very happy with it.

    We did go off resort for dinner the final night, with kids and spouses going to The Belfry which was about a 10-minute drive from the resort. The food was great, and they accommodated our 11 people easily.

    Great Memories

    Are the last thing you need for a vacation. On the first morning, I happened to wake up very early, and my son who is typically an early riser, woke with me, and we watched the sunrise over the Vermont mountains. It was gorgeous, and a great memory that we were able to sit on the balcony and watch the start of our day together! (I then went back to bed for about an hour, but he stayed up and played video games – the Wi-Fi was very reliable!)

    There were lots of great places in the condo to play games. We brought a few of our family’s favourites – Spot It, Dominoes, and Uno. Most of our meals we ate at the breakfast counter at the condo, but the dining table was great for the games. The living room was also great for watching movies, and the fireflies exploring in the wooded areas around the condo! There were also some animals we saw around the condo – lots of birds and a few small mammals.

    We will cherish the memory of travelling again after a long hiatus due to COVID, and making memories with our LWAB colleagues, and watching our kids become friends!

  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022 8:30 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    This blog is about attending university, specifically a Masters level program, while being a full time mom. 

    I did my undergrad when I was 25 years old. I then worked for many years at Brock University studying human brain activity. After I had my children, I wanted a different challenge, so when my daughter was 2 years, and my son was 4, I took the plunge. I went back to school to do my MA in Applied Health Science. A few things that helped me are outlined below.

    1.      Manage expectations
    a.      This includes your supervisors, your colleagues, your families, and your own. I knew my supervisor from my previous work and we had volunteered together with a breastfeeding promotion organization. I knew I wanted to work with her to do research on the transition to parenting and I arranged a phone call with her to discuss thesis options. We decided it would be a good fit, but I was also clear from the start that as important as the thesis was, my family was my main priority. She had done some of her education when her children were young, so she was understanding of this.  I also learned during my time, to ask for what I need. Originally we had recurring meetings, then they fell off, unfortunately it was around the time that I was “losing momentum” so it was easy to procrastinate writing my thesis. I should have asked to reinstate the meetings to keep me on track.
    b.      I had to manage my colleagues expectations on the dreaded group projects. I explained that I would work hard and get the work done, but it would likely be at odd hours. What I found worked for me was doing school work during the day while they were in daycare then coming home and parenting for a while, then working after they went to bed. If I had a big project, there were a few times that I would go out to work at a coffee shop.
    c.       I had to manage my families expectations when I had to work through long deadlines, and would spend weeknights and weekends away from them or working while they played. My husband spent many hours driving kids around for their naps and parenting them while I worked.
    d.      I also had to manage my expectations. While I was still a Type A student, I chose to spend less time on individual class projects than I did in my undergrad. I also connected with my professors to ask for extensions on projects if there were too many due at the same time. With the MA, it was mostly assignments, so it allowed me to be able to space out the work on them more than studying for exams would have. My daughter would also wake through the night, and I would comfort her back to sleep. I would then have a hard time falling back asleep, so I would get up and work. I would try not to send emails at 3 am, but did lots of great writing!
    2.      Build your dream team
    a.      This can include babysitters, family, partner, friends, other students and resources available from your school.
    b.      Being a student is a great time to get access to free education opportunities outside of the classroom. I tell the story of when I took an essay writing workshop in my undergrad, and the essay I wrote after the workshop garnered an A+ average which was a large difference from my previous grades (B to B+). That 2 hour work shop helped me to understand how to better write essays, but many people don’t seek out resources like that. My grades were fine before, but the workshop made it much easier to write all (ok most) future essays.
    c.       When I started my MA, I was so lucky to be starting with another student, who was also a mom to young children. We became lab BFFs and could then have someone who fully understood what our days looked like – from having to get kids up and dressed each morning then attending a day of classes. 
    d.      Outside of the school, I had a few friends who had done their continued education while they had kids. We would have regular dinner meet ups to discuss and allow me to vent while getting mentorship from them on strategies they used.
    e.      My husband, my parents and my husband’s parents were great at stepping up and supervising children while I worked. Sometimes this meant going away for the weekend, or us travelling to their places and allowing me to work. I finished writing my thesis while on a cottage trip with my in-laws -  it was great to have minimal wifi while writing, and knowing my kids were making amazing memories, then I was able to connect with them during my writing breaks.
    3.      Push beyond the classroom
    a.      I chose to take an extra year to complete my data collection and write my thesis. I also took an additional course that was outside of my comfort zone. At the start of each class, the professor would ask the 20 students in the class if we had done the reading – however – it was asked without any judgement. If we didn’t, she just modified the way she taught the content. It was brilliant, (as was she) and made us feel like “actual” adults. This was amazing as it was part of my managing my expectations – that undergrad me would have done all the readings. MA me couldn’t fit it all in while prioritizing my family and my thesis.
    b.      As above, there are programs available within your university or outside of the university to help you learn more. These can include specific workshops on skills (including reference management, a prof once quoted “Friends don’t let friends do their references manually, they teach them Mendeley”). It also includes networking and netweaving opportunities that will allow you to connect with likeminded people. Attend conferences using the discounted fees, even better, present at the conference! Find as many opportunities to discuss your research, and you, to help in your future career path.

    Expand your technology horizons. When I did my undergrad, I printed the slides the professors provided and handwrote my notes. While some students still do that, it was not ideal. Use free software like Mendeley or Zotero to create your in text citations and reference section. Use text to speech software. Reading is not my preferred method of learning, and where I did find a better method for me was videos created by other students as projects, and available on the public domain! While I still had to do some text book reading, these videos really helped to corroborate the knowledge.#@#_WA_-_CURSOR_-_POINT_#@#Overall, if you are thinking about going back to school, it is manageable with children! You just need to work to find the resources and tricks that work for you!  

    For full disclosure, that I work at Brock University in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. I also work part time as the Foundation Manage for with Life With A Baby.

  • Friday, April 22, 2022 12:16 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    If you're planning to visit Canada's Wonderland, it's important to know that cash is no longer accepted at the park. You'll need to use a debit or credit card, or a smart device with Apple or Google Pay. If these options are not available to you, there are Cash-to-Card Kiosks in the park that allow you to turn cash into a prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere, with a minimum balance of $5 and a maximum of $500. These cards are not reloadable and do not have any transaction fees. If you don't use all the funds, the can be used as pre-paid debit.

    If you have a meal plan it's worth checking which locations accept the meal plan before you get in line to avoid disappointment. You can do this online or through the app, and you can also filter activities and rides based on thrill level and other criteria to help plan your visit.

    If you're visiting from a distance and it's your only trip to the park for the summer, it might be worth considering the Fast Lane option to avoid long lines. If that's not an option, try to arrive early and have a plan for the rides and attractions you want to experience. If you have a season pass, take advantage of early ride times to avoid the crowds later in the day.

    If you have a parking pass, it's a good idea to put it on one of your children's cards rather than an adult's. This will allow anyone taking the child to the park to use the parking pass as long as the child is in the car.

    Top 10 reasons for a visit to Canada's Wonderland

    1. Thrilling roller coasters: With more than 70 rides and attractions, Canada's Wonderland is home to some of the most exciting roller coasters in the world, including the Leviathan, Behemoth, and Vortex.
      For parents with littles, Kidsville and Planet Snoopy is the place to be. 

    2. Water park fun: Splashworks Waterpark is included with park admission and features a wide range of water rides and attractions, including the Lazy River and Tsunami Surge wave pool.  You can go all out or spend time at the splash pad and gentler rides. Whatever your thrill level, you'll ride a ride that works for your family.

    3. Entertainment for the whole family: In addition to the rides and water park, Canada's Wonderland also offers a variety of entertainment options for all ages, including live shows, character meet and greets, and special events throughout the summer.

    4. Delicious dining options: With over 30 food locations throughout the park, there's something for every taste and budget.

    5. Convenient location: Located just outside Toronto, Canada's Wonderland is easily accessible from major highways and public transportation.

    6. Affordable ticket options: With a variety of ticket options available, including season passes and discounts for children and seniors, there's a pricing option that fits every budget.

    7. Exciting special events: Throughout the year, Canada's Wonderland hosts a range of special events, including Halloween Haunt, WinterFest, and Canada Day celebrations.
      For younger kids, the trick or treat days in October is a great ways to experience the fun of Halloween on the weekends before Haunt.

    8. Scenic surroundings: The park is set on over 300 acres of beautiful parkland, providing a picturesque setting for your day of fun.

    9. With four season of activities,  you can use your park for from April to December. Winterfest is a great time to visit with kids whether you want to skate, watch the shows, stroll around in a winter wonderland, or take Santa photos. 

    10. Fun for all ages: With rides and attractions suitable for all ages, Canada's Wonderland is a great destination for families with kids of all ages.

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:34 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Perinatal mood & anxiety resources across Canada



    British Columbia


    Nova Scotia




    New Brunswick

    Northwest Territories




  • Thursday, April 08, 2021 2:25 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Life is all about intersections. Each of us wears a few hats per day, and sometimes per hour! I think of it as a stack. Each time we put on a hat, the others don’t go anywhere. The pile gets taller and taller as caps are added, switched and even replaced, but they continue to affect each other. For instance, if you’re both an employee and a woman, your gender may influence your experience as an employee, such as learning less for the same work. That’s what it’s like being a BIPOC person and parent. The BIPOC part permeates each of those hats. Some of it comes from the inside. Things like culture, language and music influence how we see and move in the world. Much comes from the outside; things like stereotypes, bias and racism. Dealing with those things doesn’t mean you don’t deal with what every other parent is dealing with; those hats remain.

    Instead, it means tackling those things concurrently. It gets tiring sometimes. It’s easier when others get it, because that’s when a slight shift makes significant differences happen. We are fundamentally the same. We all want to be safe, healthy and loved; that doesn’t change just because you don’t look like someone, or they don’t look like you. It’s about not letting anything less than what’s right stand–even when you’re not personally affected. This month, we’re sharing resources to help everyone understand themselves and others better because seeing your reflection in another is the only path to harmony.


    "Right now, among the Asian-Canadian community, many are really living in fear." — Avvy Go.

    TVO's The Agenda talk to Avvy Go and Dr. Gina Wong about anti-Asian racism - and what you can do to help.


    "Not only does racism impact you as a parent, it can also impact how you interact with your children." A comprehensive guide on taking care of yourself from the American Phycological Association:

    Racial Stress and Self-care: Parent Tip Tool

    "Children of colour need to grow up experiencing the world as a place where they feel included, not invisible." Raising Kids of Colour


    Many times, dealing with discrimination, racism, and violence transcends generations. Read about how that's happening right now in the Asian community from The New York Times.In a Role Reversal, Asian-Americans Aim to Protect Their Parents From Hate

    I thought a loving home would be enough for my biracial child

    🎥  I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu

    🎥  No, You Cannot Touch My Hair! | Mena Fombo


    Knowing is half the battle. Get to know the terms from this simple definitions list from Holland Bloorview:

    Racism can be defined as: race prejudice that is supported by social and institutional power; a system of advantage based on race; a system of oppression based on race.

    Anti-Racism refers to actions and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race.

    Anti-oppression challenges the systems and systemic biases that devalue and marginalize differences.

    Diversity & Inclusion have to do with the acknowledgment, valuing, and celebration of difference.

    • From Today's Parent:  "This may be uncomfortable to hear, but racism is ingrained in all of us. It’s no longer enough to teach kids not to “see colour”—in fact, it’s harmful. Here's how to take action." This is what it means to raise an anti-racist kid.

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021 10:04 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Thursday, January 28th is Bell Let's Talk day and every single social media post that includes both the #BellLetsTalk and #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth hashtags matters!  

    Why does this matter? 1 in 5 moms will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, including postpartum depression and anxiety, and maternal suicide is a leading cause of death in postpartum women. The more we talk, the more women know they are not alone. Please lend your voice to bringing awareness to the need for a national strategy for mothers in Canada. Read my story on the Bell Let’s Talk page here.

    Not sure what to say? Below we’ve put together some sample tweets and social media messages, as well as some key messages and facts for you to use:

    @lifewithababy has joined forces with #BellLetsTalk to highlight the fight to support maternal mental health. Use #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth to show you care!

    Today on #BellLetsTalk Day, we embrace those navigating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. We’re in this together.  

    Check in on a new or expecting mom today. Just hearing your voice can make a difference to someone dealing with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders including depression, insolation, or anxiety.  
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Some won’t even know it. Let’s change that. @lifewithababy offers resources, events and activities near you. 
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Know a new parent? They might be dealing with more than sleepless nights. A call, a meal, an invite for coffee or a walk, or to watch the baby for an hour can go a long way to help. 

    It takes a village to raise great kids - and it starts with supporting parents. Check in, follow-up, offer help. We’re in this together. 

    What does maternal mental health mean to you? Have a story or advice to share? 

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders but may be too afraid to ask for help. Let’s change that.  

    Research shows peer support reduces social isolation. New parents often struggle with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in silence. Let’s change that. Check in, follow-up, offer help. 

    Key Messages

    Today is #BellLetsTalkDay and we need to talk but we also need to do more for new moms. Maternal Mental Health is linked to positive child health outcomes. #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone but there is help. Thank you @serenawilliams for sharing your #PPD story @voguemagazine #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Research by @CindyLee_Dennis shows peer support can PREVENT #PostpartumDepression by 50%! Peer support works #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Find online resources for #PMADs here: #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    We compiled a list of resources for Manitoba if you know of others please add it in the comments #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources available in Ontario. If you know of more please add in the comments #BellLetstalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in British Columbia. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Saskatchewan. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nova Scotia. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Yukon. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Newfoundland. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in PEI. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in New Brunswick. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in the Northwest Territories. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nunavut. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Alberta. Please share & add more to list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Quebec. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PostpartumDepression can happen to anyone @Adele experienced it too #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    When we share we break down the stigma and help another mom. Thank you @chrissyteigen for sharing your story @glamourmag #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Life With A Baby (LWAB) is a peer support system whose goal is to provide ongoing practical & emotional peer-based support for parents of children up to the age of six. For more information click here: #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Thank you for joining in the conversation your voice will make a difference

    Claire & the LWAB Team 

  • Wednesday, December 02, 2020 10:18 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    So, it's time to prepare for the holidays, said the lady on the TV. I'm pretty sure that without her announcement, I would have missed it! 

    We're already in the midst of the strangest holiday yet. I've decided I'm not going to sweat it, and I don't think you should either. Instead, I'm trying to remember that the most important thing is family. My hope for the holidays is that I remember that simple, yet profound fact. 

    Here's our new mantra: Do what you can.

    If there's ever a year to use the cheat codes, it's this one. Go ahead and decorate to get into the holiday spirit, but be kind and patient with yourself, and the kids. Order online where possible and make things if you are so inclined. Week by week, put aside or do a few things to prepare–it adds up to more relaxed season. Offer the kind of gifts that don't come with price tags, such as watching a toddler while mom deals with a newborn (in your bubble, of course). If you are buying, practical gifts are where it's at this year; think grocery gift cards or delivery for new parents, or take care of yard clean up for the grandparents.

    Our most precious asset is always time. Be generous with it among those you love, give it freely to those who need it most, and be sure to protect it - especially your own.

    We created this year's holiday guide with the do what you can spirit. And because we know that finances are tight for many this year. We've focused on value for money with all but one item under $100.  Download our guide here 

  • Monday, November 23, 2020 1:23 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We want first to acknowledge the inherent privilege built into Canada’s medical system and its administration by countless dedicated and knowledgeable healthcare workers and practitioners. It is not our intention to suggest maternal mental health isn’t a complex challenge, nor that its challenges are solvable through a single body of research. Canada is a country long focused on ensuring its citizens have access to the primary medical care we believe should be afforded to all. However, even within a beautiful system, there is room for improvement, innovation and growth. Rigorous introspection allows us to set a blueprint for continually striving to be better, more effective, and to have support and treatment pathways become accessible to more people. This act of introspection acted as the catalyst to commission this report.

    To answer the question posed at the beginning of this journey, whether Canada as a country is doing enough for maternal mental health support, in short, the answer is no. First, our healthcare system resources are not equally accessible, distributed or even available. What is standard in one province may be entirely unavailable in the next; resources may be abundant in one municipality, while less is offered just a few kilometres away.

    Based on the enclosed research, the sage advice, research and analysis of our partners and friends, and our experience as a peer support network, we believe a top-down, bottom-up strategic approach is necessary to improve maternal mental support across Canada. National attention and action, coupled with grassroots initiatives advanced by organizations, individuals, teams and groups, will mean a tangible progression in the right direction.

    A myriad of possibilities exists for how such an approach may work, and indeed, collaboration will be the path to improvement. Once and for all, we believe there needs to be a Federal focus on creating a national perinatal mental health strategy to address gaps in the framework and execution of maternal mental health prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support. Ideally, the Federal Government then equips provinces with the mandate and funding to design a universal perinatal support strategy in their region. This action would trickle down to referral pathways, to the regional and municipal bodies whose responsibility includes first-contact and day-to-day patient care.

    Second, grassroots action fuels the bottom-up strategy. There are thousands of dedicated individuals, advocates, practitioners, organizations, hospitals and clinics, collaboratives, and coalitions whose sole reason is to support maternal mental health. By working in concert with those within and outside the province, we’ll increase our collective ability to close gaps in care and increase the number and access to referral pathways.

    We hope this report acts as a catalyst for all of us to work together to improve maternal mental health support in Canada.  

    Download your copy of the report here Maternal Mental Health Support in Canada_ A Review.pdf

  • Tuesday, October 06, 2020 11:54 AM | Mercedes (Administrator)

    A peek outside reveals a grey sky, a few raindrops. You think, "it's a perfect day to stay right here, with that book I've been neglecting. I'll make some hot…" A crash in the kitchen below jolts you back to reality. Oh yeah, you've got kids, and a rainy day means keeping boredom at bay and their hands out of each other's eyes. Look no further because we've collected 12 activities to keep kids and parents happy - right from the comfort of home. 

    Indoor Camping

    Whether you love to commune with nature or can't stand the outdoors, everyone can agree that indoor camping is tons o' fun. Anyone can create an indoor oasis to rival a campground setup. If you have a tent or sleeping bags, save them from the vacuum bag, and it's instant camp! If you don't have gear - great, you get to use your imaginations instead. Grab blankets and sheets to make into tents by draping over furniture or using household items to prop them up. Be generous with the ground cover with all the pillows, blankets and stuffed animals you can fit. Once you're set up, read stories by flashlight or watch a show or movie while snuggled under the covers. You can even go all the way by making some authentic campfire food - S' mores bake just as well in the oven! You're welcome.

    Baking Challenge

    Baking is a straight path to Zen. Plus, children love to get involved; we’re sure it has nothing to do with bowls full of sugary goodness, perfect for little fingers to sneak a taste. A rainy day is ideal for losing yourself in an activity that results in something delightful. Choose a recipe based on the age of your kids. Muffins and cookies are great for little ones, while you can get more creative with older kids. Add a little friendly competition to make it fun, with the best position being the judge (duh). 

    Dance Competition 

    Need we say more? Dancing is the ultimate kids activity! Throw on a playlist of your favourite tunes and take turns proving you could have been a Tina Turner backup dancer if you wanted to. It’s giggle-fit-inducing; it’s listening to glorious music, a.k.a, the automatic mood booster, and it’s excellent exercise. Win-win-win. 

    If you’re super-stuck, check out these 101 Fun Activities for Kids for guaranteed winners.

    Community Jigsaw Puzzle

    Here’s an experiment to try. Pull out a gigantic puzzle, the more challenging, the better. Leave it out in a common traffic area like the dining table. Let everyone know it’s there and challenge them to add at least two pieces every time they pass it. As the puzzle comes together, something magical happens - you’re working together toward a common goal and it’s hilarious. Plus, you may have a secret puzzle-solving phenom on your hands. 

    Scavenger Hunt 

    This idea takes a little planning, but it’s still easy! Scavenger hunts are never-ever NOT fun, especially when the treasures rock! Adjusted for age, hide a few items around your home. Trinkets or small toys, books, treats like candies or packaged snacks - throw in a few things you know your kids love. Quick tip: make sure you record where the items are because, um, you might forget. Once you’ve gathered everything, write out the ‘clues’ for the kids to follow to treasure. This is an excellent chance to sneak in a few teaching moments. Try adding math or language problems to the mix. For older children, make it so they have to Google and do a little research about a subject they’re not familiar with or are already covering in school. Add a few family history questions as a cool way to learn more about the family tree is. Now sit back and watch the theatrics while you sip on your favourite beverage from a “Best Parent Ever” mug.

    Pamper Party  

    Why not bring the spa to you? Create a relaxing atmosphere by trading a little pampering with your progeny. Facials and masks, massage, a mani/pedi, hairstyling (sans scissors!) - whatever makes you feel even a few moments of bliss - do it. You can either use the products you have or try making it! Many masks can be made with ingredients you have in the kitchen right now - honey, avocado and yogurt, just to name a few power players. You might have smudged nails at the end of this process, but since it’s a guaranteed good time, so we’re pretty sure you won’t mind. 

    Board Game Bonanza

    When’s the last time you flexed your game brain muscle? Break out the board games for an instant party. Commit to playing a couple rounds of each person’s pick. For an extra challenge, pull out a couple more obscure choices, you know, the one collecting dust, and see if you can figure it out once and for all - who knows, some games are sleeper hits!

    Lip Sync or Karaoke Battle 

    This is another choice that requires nothing but time! If you live in a house of real or wannabe songbirds, try a karaoke battle. Did you know that many cable and streaming services have a karaoke channel? Take a look through the catalogue and off to the stage! If you don't have access to voice-free music, its Lip Sync all the way! Adding costumes takes these from fun to fabulous and honestly, make dance moves mandatory - trust us. 

    Make a Meal together

    Instead of wandering into the kitchen alone to battle with the fridge and pantry, why not make a thing of it and bring the kids in to help? Find a recipe using ingredients you already have in the house, divvy up the tasks, pack a little patience and higher tolerance for mess, and have at it. Not does this activity result in a meal, the kids are more likely to actually eat it. As the final bonus, over time they'll have learned valuable skills they'll use forever. 

    Movie Marathon 

    Sure, you could just watch a movie, but what if you really went all out? Our advice is to go all in to create an experience as close to the real thing as possible. We're talking popcorn and candy in individual bowls (helps stave off fighting), throw pillows, and fuzzy blankets. Darken the windows, activate your surround sound speakers or choose the most dramatic setting on your TV sound options. It's just more fun when you make a thing of it. The best part? Cash in your pocket and extra snuggle time. 

    DIY Obstacle Course

    You've already got everything you need to create the most epic obstacle course your household has ever seen. Do you have toilet paper and rolls, pool toys, gym equipment, blankets and scarves lying around? String, boxes, furniture - listen, the possibilities with the stuff lying around your house right now are endless. They're just waiting to be used to their full potential in an obstacle course. Let the kids build it (automatic busy time), and when they're ready, you act as the course time official. Kids always surprise us with what they come up with for this activity, and the execution is a riot!

    Balloon Fun

    We finally found a way to use those leftover balloons from grandma's party last year. Little kids love balloons; all you have to do is present one to a toddler to watch joy unleashed. So, if you're stuck inside, pull out some balloons for an instant party (and a way to keep them occupied for a while!). Besides throwing it up in the air and having them try to catch it, things like balancing it on their foot or in the palm of their hands helps with hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. Ask them to hold it on their heads as they walk the length of a hallway or kick it around the living room. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture those ear-to-ear smiles and giggles. 

    Go Outside

    Yup. When's the last time you sang or danced in the rain? Splashed in a puddle? If it's not too cold or miserable, a walk in the rain is a great time—nothing like some fresh air to make you ease the tension. Remember, when you have kids, you get to be one, so go ahead and make your inner Toddler proud. 

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020 12:53 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Breastfeeding. When I was pregnant, everyone said breastfeeding is going to be natural. It was kind of just assumed that I'd be good at it, I mean, it's the natural thing to do, right? Unfortunately for me, it didn't come naturally. I struggled. I struggled with the bleeding and sore nipples, the latch, the discomfort of it at first. Eventually, it got better once I saw a lactation consultant, but I still wasn't msaking enough and needed to increase my supply. 

    I needed a pump, but there were so many to choose from, my lactation consultant recommended Medela and a few moms had recommended the Pump In Style®. I liked it because it came with a cute travel bag for when I had to go for meetings. It made it easy to pump when I was out and the motor was powerful. I had previously used the hospital grade pump and I felt like the Pump In Style® had a similar feel to it. 

    Four years later, I had my son, and my Pump In Style® was still going strong. I changed the pumping parts and shields, which was easy to do since they sell the kits at most drugstores. 

    Fast forward 9 years and my friend recently had her first baby and having very similar challenges. She asked me what brand of pump, I think she should get, and because I used Medela and liked it, that's what came to mind. She tested out the new Freestyle Flex™, and these are what we loved about it. 

    • It's tiny but strong. 
    • It's quiet. 
    • The personal fit breast shields make pumping comfortable.
    • It's easy to bring around, even fitting in some pockets.
    • USB-chargeable battery means you can pump anywhere even from your computer while watching your fave show. 

    I checked out the new line of pumps, and they've come a long way. The reliable Pump In Style® is still around, now it's called Pump In Style® MaxFlow™. It looks like they've made it sleeker and quieter, too. 

    Even though it wasn't the easiest or the most natural, I'm glad that I was able to get the tools and resources that helped in my breastfeeding journey. 

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