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Preparing your Perineum for Birth

Many pregnant people we connect with often ask about how to prepare for birth. We thought we’d share a few of our tips about how specifically to prepare your perineum for birth! 

 

A lot of people are concerned about vaginal tears during birth. These are extremely common, especially for nulliparous women (women who have not previously given birth). 

 

The good news is, there are some simple techniques that you can practice at home to reduce your risk of tearing and reduce the need for an episiotomy (when your care provider makes a small cut along your perineum to help baby birth safely). 

 

Perineal massage, which is the process of gently stretching out your pelvic floor muscles before birth, has been shown in studies to reduce the likelihood of perineal trauma (mostly episiotomy) and ongoing perineal pain. 

 

We have a handout for perineal massage and you can find it here. We provide an overview of its benefits, and how to perform it!...

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Pregnancy and Postpartum...you are not alone!

postpartum pregnancy Jul 02, 2020

Pregnancy and being a new parent can be amazing, but also really hard!

 

There are so many changes both inside and out…your body changes, your hormones are running wild, you have new responsibilities, priorities change, communication with your partner is often more strained.

 

But guess what? You are not alone! You do not need to ever think that you are the only one who is struggling….

 

Dr. Sarah and I care for 100’s of new families every year and the issues women talk to us are often centred around a few core issues! There are more of course, and not everyone’s journey is the same…but here are the most common concerns women and their partners raise with us!

 

Sleep - during the end of pregnancy and the first few months postpartum sleep is like a unicorn that is an elusive dream!  The lack of sleep means not only are we tired, but we also don’t have the patience for those around us that we normally do…and this...

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Tummy Time...How to make it fun for you and your baby!!!

Uncategorized Jun 10, 2020

Tummy Time…why is it so hard????

 

This is a question we get all the time!! Why does my baby cry every time I do tummy time? 

 

Well, let’s talk more about tummy time.  Why we do it and how we can change it up to make it more enjoyable for babies and parents!

 

What is Tummy Time?  Why is it important? 

 

Tummy time is part of what we like to call Active Play.  Active play incorporates activity (which helps to strengthen your baby) with fun interaction!  During the first few months, this primarily focuses on Tummy Time.

 

Tummy Time focusses on increasing the strength of your baby’s back and neck, to help them when they get older with all the activities required to do the next stage of developmental progressions including rolling, sitting and eventually crawling and walking. 

 

The problem with tummy time is that it is hard for new babies!  Much like an adult going back to the gym after a long...

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Lightning Crotch and other pelvic pains of pregnancy!!!

Uncategorized May 27, 2020

Pregnancy is an amazing time, but can also be a challenge!! And you can certainly have some strange aches and pains you may have never experienced before!!! Here are the most common Pains in the Pelvic Region that some people may mistake as labour! 

  1. Lightning Crotch
  2. Varicose Veins in the Vulva/Labia
  3. Ligamentous Pain
  4. Growing Pains of your Uterus!
  5. Braxton Hicks
  6. Gas Pains. 

 

Let's dive into each of these a little bit!

 

Lightning Crotch:

This is a sharp pain, lasting from seconds to a minute or so, that feels like your baby is punching you in the Cervix….Well guess what?  They probably are! Or kicking, or headbutting!

 

Most of the nerves (pain receptors) in our uterus are centred around the cervix, which is the part of our uterus that opens up during labour...but right now is hopefully closed and thick to keep your baby in! 

 

Pressure on your cervix can be pretty uncomfortable, and can sometimes even take your breath away! ...

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Thyroid in pregnancy: hypothyroid, hyperthyroid and what we can do about it.

postpartum pregnancy May 20, 2020

Thyroid in Pregnancy:

Thyroid problems in pregnancy affect about 3-5% of women in Canada.  

Check out our podcast here: 

 

Thyroid hormone is produced in the thyroid and is known as T4.  T4 is then released into the bloodstream and is turned into T3, which is the active form of the hormone, in the organs which use it, including the thyroid.   

 

Both T4 and T3 are bound by proteins in our blood, and only a very small amount of it is unbound or Free in our blood.  This is so that if our levels dip, hormones can quickly be released to normalize it again.   

 

Thyroid hormones, in adults, have a big influence on our metabolism.  In fetuses, thyroid hormones play an important role in brain development.  

 

Thyroid hormones are made up of quite a bit of iodine, and so it is important in pregnancy to increase foods rich in iodine.  These include seaweed, eggs, cod, shrimp, Lima Beans, dairy and...

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Top 5 Symptoms in Early Pregnancy!

Top 5 symptoms in early pregnancy

 

Congratulations on your early pregnancy! And if you're thinking about getting pregnant, we're excited for you too!  We are glad you're a part of our community! Here are 5 of the more common symptoms that women worry about in their early pregnancy.

 

Fatigue

Fatigue is very common in the first trimester of pregnancy, and can start for some women as soon as they are pregnant!  Fatigue is mostly caused by progesterone, the hormone which increases dramatically to help support the early pregnancy. 

 For most women, fatigue is like nothing they have ever felt before!! It is important to rest while you can if you have a toddler, figure out some games you can play while lying on the couch!  It’s okay if you can’t get out to exercise like you normally can, now is a time to let your body adjust to all of the changes it is going through!  

Do the best you can, most women start to get their energy back...

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Morning Sickness: The low down on Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy!

 

 

Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), which usually starts between 5 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, is quite common; up to 80% of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting at some point in their pregnancies and between 3-6% of pregnant women experience severe nausea and vomiting, which we commonly refer to as hyperemesis gravidarum. The symptoms usually peak around 9 weeks and typically improve by weeks 16 to 18 of pregnancy. Unfortunately for some women these symptoms actually persist through pregnancy (up to 20% of women have symptoms until the third trimester and for 5% of women their symptoms persist until delivery) But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s something that women just have to deal with, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

 

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can significantly impact your quality of life, your mental health; it can increase anxiety and worry about how it’s affecting the fetus, how...

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Pregnancy Care during Covid

Pregnancy care during Covid:

 

We know a lot of you are seeing way less of your maternity care provider than you usually would in “normal” times and you may be wondering... Is this safe?  What should I be watching for?  

 

So let's take a few minutes and go through what the recommendations are and what you can be doing to keep yourself and your baby safe!!!

 

Schedule of Visits:

 

Normally we would see you every four weeks until 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks and weekly until your cute baby is delivered.  During the times of Covid, we are still checking in with you this often, but some of these will be done by phone or by video chat! Our clinic, Grow Health, has adapted the following schedule as per the recommendations of our governing bodies and the World Health Organization. 

 

Visit 1: Phone/Video: 8-10 weeks. Get to know each other! This is usually a chit chat visit learning a little bit about each...

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Swaddling My Baby: Is it safe?

newborn Apr 15, 2020

So mamas......lets talk about swaddling!!

Back in the day almost all babies used to be swaddled, and in many cultures this is still universally practiced...however over the past few decades people have been trying to reduce the risks to babies and encouraging safe sleep practice.  The safety of swaddling has been hotly debated over the years…

We are here to give you the evidence around swaddling, benefits and risks so you can make a decision that is right for your baby!! We are going to talk about the effects of swaddling on crying, pain, preterm babies, hip development, risk of SIDs, breastfeeding and the most precious commodity of all......SLEEP! 

If you want more details about what WE did when our babies were wee check out our YouTube video as we talk about our experiences with swaddling but we'll summarize the evidence below: 

Crying: For babies that cry excessively, swaddling is more effective at decreasing crying than massage in infants. 

Pain:...

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Update: COVID-19 Pregnancy and Delivery

We've been getting lots of questions about coronavirus, or COVID-19 infection, in pregnancy so we put together this blog post to address the TOP 5 questions we've been getting. And if you're more of a video kind of learner, check out our new YouTube video shared today where we touch on the same content! 

 

 

Should I delay trying to conceive? 

 The short answer is we don’t know. 

There is NO definitive evidence that covid-19 infection is associated with increased risk of early pregnancy loss or fetal malformations, though we do know that elevated temperatures in early pregnancy can be associated with fetal malformations, so there is that possible risk. 

 The Canadian Fertility and Androgony Society have released a statement indicating that they are recommending suspending all ART procedures (ovulation inductions and IVF) until further notice. 

Additionally, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has also issues a similar...

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