Beasts of Burden

Dangers of Improper Backpack Use

backpackThose last few days of summer are quickly coming to an end and school is about to begin which means that families are gearing up for busy schedules, homework, after school activities and the hectic pace of our second millennium lifestyles.  To insure that your child has a healthy and successful year, it will be important for them to have their back aligned and balanced and on track. Here is some information that will help you. 

Every activity affects the spine.  Contact sports, playing an instrument, sitting down and studying, and paying attention in class are all important for a successful school year and they all require a healthy spine and nerve system.  We take for granted that when our child is sitting in class listening to a teacher that they listen through their ears, process the information in their brain, while a signal is sent down through their spine through their fingers so that they can write, add or draw. If a child is playing an instrument, we often hear the instructor or conductor tell them to sit up straight. This requires a healthy spine with good alignment, clear nerve supply and strong muscles.

When we watch our kids participating in sports we often cringe at the intense beating that their spines take when they are hit by another person or twisted through their activities. Keeping their spine aligned and balanced is crucial for them to be able for them to enjoy a healthy and successful year and have a healthy spine for a lifetime. 

• Children make 775,000 visits to the emergency room each year because of sports-related injuries.  • Every 2 ½ minutes a child is injured on a playground.  150,000 kids are treated in the emergency room for football injuries. Many of these injuries are accompanied by trauma and damage to the child’s developing spine and nerve system.

• More than 40 Million students carry school backpacks.  Backpacks that are too heavy or worn incorrectly can injure your child’s back, neck and shoulders, which can lead to other health problems. • Heavy backpacks, playground and sports injuries can cause non-structural or functional scoliosis, an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine that typically appears in early adolescence. This type of scoliosis is not caused by a structural spine abnormality, but develops as a result of misalignment and pressure on the spine and nerve system. Functional scoliosis often can be corrected by addressing the underlying condition.

Millions of other kids injure their spine and remain symptom free until later on in life when the damage becomes more permanent. This can be avoided with regular chiropractic care.

British medical researchers have found through MRI technology that nearly 10% of children show signs of disc degeneration (arthritis) before reaching puberty.  Disc degeneration is a condition in which a damaged spinal disc wears down unevenly causing pressure on the nerves which can limit activity levels, stamina, and quality of life as we age. We tend to think of this disc degeneration as a sign that we are getting older but this is not the case. It is a sign that the spine has been injured which can happen at any age.

A simple examination can determine if your child’s spine is on track or off track.  Chiropractic care can keep your child’s spine and nerve system healthy and insure your best school year ever.

DianePassionate for babies and belly bumps, Dr. Diane Meyer is a sought after expert in Chiropractic care amongst Mothers to be and their babies. Mom to four fabulous and holistically raised children, Dr. Diane lives the Chiropractic principle that health comes from the inside out.  Dr Diane is the head chiropractor at The WOMB and has been in practice for 20 years.

The Rebirth of Cool:

Barber shops are back, baby!

Cabin Logo Final sm So what’s wrong with a hip, cool, unisex salon? Well, if I’m being honest, nothing, but it’s nowhere as “right” as a traditional men’s barber shop. I’m talking about a men’s sanctuary, a place to check-out, hang-out, clean up, have conversations and be surrounded by like minded guys doing what us guys do, without compromise or apologies. For far too long, we have lost that sense of exclusivity. We were forced to share territory with our lady friends in environments that were less than manly. We lost that place to call our own.

Thankfully, as with most things, we’re on our way to full circle in a trends lifecycle. Men’s grooming shops, traditional barber shops and men’s social clubs are popping up all over the place. Why is this a good thing?

Beyond the obvious, this return to cool helps us guys maintain or improve our appearance, and helps us clean up and stay sharp, which goes far in building confidence, social status and personal presentation. The beauty of this resurgence is we get to do so in our new favourite hang out, our own little secret, a place we can call our own where we can meet up for a coffee, beer or check the game highlights. It’s not a bar or nightclub…it’s local, it’s part of our community and it’s a place to drop in, bring our boys, form friendships and tell lies.

These new shops are not exactly a throwback from the Fifties where you’d be betting the ponies, checking out a Playboy and eating meatball sandwiches. Shops have evolved, environments are typically clad in all things "guy", from the mounted moose head or deer antlers to the retro photos from back in the day…with some fine points of difference. Add in premium grooming products from talcs, lotions, beard oils and razors, to fine lifestyle accessories like socks, ties, cuff links, and in some cases cigars and smoking accessories. If the shop is “all things guy” you could see a line of well curated camping supplies, cool office pieces and even food & beverage products like sauces, marinades, carving knives and scotch tumblers. It’s truly a thing of beauty. Now these are not exclusively men’s clubs. Women are not banned and are welcome to visit, but to be honest not many feel the desire to be part of this guy thing and that’s perfectly fine.

So dads, if you’ve not found your new second home, I suggest you find one, take back the barber shop, stay sharp and keep this tradition alive. You’ll be happy you did. Louie Manzo • Louie Manzo is the marketing director of The WOMB and owns CABIN, a traditional men’s barber and cigar shoppe with its first location opening in September in Port Credit. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit cabinforlife.ca

Birth Without Fear - A Dad’s Perspective

Our first childbirth experience was traumatic. Despite our excitement going into it, my wife and I were also more than a little nervous.

 We attempted to have a natural home birth with just ourselves and our midwife (and no painkillers). As labour got underway, things started to get tense - literally. What started out as slight back labour created fear; was the baby in a bad position? Is this normal? Should we be going to the hospital? Ultimately this level of thinking was the beginning of the end for us in terms of our intentions for a natural home birth. Instead, this only served to create a vicious cycle of fear-pain-tension, more fear-more pain-more tension, and so on. The result was a very slow, painful and stressful labour, and ultimately an unplanned hospital birth with intervention, far from what we had initially envisioned.

The second time around we were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to work with the amazing doulas from The WOMB. In the weeks leading up to labour they helped us to prepare mentally for a calmer birth experience. The plan was to attempt a natural home birth again, but this time with a doula and a midwife. We felt much more prepared and we were confident going into it that things would be smoother this time. However, as soon as labour kicked in, it was game on, and the tension quickly resurfaced. Contractions began to progress rapidly and with great strength, and the back pain began to set in again. Almost immediately my wife’s mental state went right back to the place of fear experienced during our first birth. Within the first hour she was already suggesting that maybe we should just go to the hospital! At that point I also began to become fearful again.

With perfect timing, before these feelings even had a chance to take root, our doula arrived. The instant she entered, the entire mood transformed. Fear was replaced by trust, wisdom, confidence and a sense of calm: trust in each other and in this natural process; wisdom gained from countless birth experiences and knowing that everything would be okay; confidence in knowing this is a natural process and if a mental calmness is maintained, the process can be expansive in every sense of the word and indeed beautiful. Additionally, with our doula present, my wife and I were much more able to focus on just being in the moment and sharing this almost supernatural experience together. Rather than worrying about all of the big and little things, I was able to focus entirely on my wife and working together to make sure she was comfortable and staying in a positive frame of mind. Written by WOMB dad, Evan - dad to two little boys.

"I thought breastfeeding was supposed to be easy”

10 Tips to ENJOYING your breastfeeding experience

“I thought this just happened naturally”.

I hear these sentiments time and time again in the breastfeeding clinics I work as as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. In a society that has instant access to information, to ALL information, we know what is best for our babies. Google, Best Start, Baby Centre – the message bombards us everywhere: BREAST IS BEST. Yes, we know, we know!

TiredMom.jpgSo what if breastfeeding is challenging to the point of wanting to give up? What do we do when the pressure to live up to this expectation to breastfeed makes us feel that we will “fail as a mother” if we don’t?

What if you can feel empowered and like a success no matter what your breastfeeding journey - just through support, information and love?

Because I often am told, “I wish I had known these tips before I had my baby” by moms in our breastfeeding clinic, here are 10 valuable tips that can make your breastfeeding experience more successful and enjoyable.

1) Skin to skin – right after birth and for the first few weeks after baby is born. When your baby is skin to skin with you, your baby will cue to breastfeed more often and you will become familiar with the feeding cues (see below). Mothers who do skin to skin are much more confident. They are able to understand their baby’s needs and therefore are able to respond quicker.

2) You and your baby should not be separated unless medically indicated. There is no need for your baby to be separated from you. Rooming in together leads to increased breastfeeding success for many of the same reasons as above.

3) Nurse your baby frequently – a baby who nurses frequently (at least 8 times in 24 hours) will help you develop a good milk supply. Your baby will also gain weight and avoid things like jaundice and low blood sugar.

cupfeeding

Your newborn’s stomach is very small (think of the size of a chickpea) and cannot hold a large amount of milk. So your first milk (called colostrum) will be produced in small amounts chalk full of vitamins and immune factors that protect your baby. Because of that your baby will want to eat quite often (usually every 1-3 hours).

Even if your baby is not interested in latching, knowing how to hand express your colostrum and giving it by hand, cup or spoon will help your baby.

4) Learn your baby’s feeding cues – know the difference between an early feeding cue versus a late feeding cue. Responding to your baby's early cues will help you have a more peaceful, joyful feeding experience.

Early cues (“I’m hungry”) include

• stirring
• mouth opening
• licking lips
• turning head and seeking/rooting

5) Watch your baby, not the clock – There doesn't need to be any restriction on the length or frequency of feedings. Babies eat just like we do. Some feeds will be meals while others may just be a snack. If someone told you that you could only eat or drink every 3 hours and you had to eat the same amount every time, you wouldn’t be too happy, so why should we expect our babies to eat this way? Feeding babies on demand makes for a happy, healthy baby.

6) A good latch and comfortable position – it should never hurt to breastfeed. Please don’t let anyone tell you it’s normal to be in pain or that your nipples have to “get used to it”! If it hurts, something is not right. A good latch makes breastfeeding comfortable for both mom and baby, and ensures good transfer of milk from breast to belly.

A lactation consultant can show you what “transferring” milk looks like while your baby feeds. When transferring milk is not effective, you may notice your baby may never be satisfied and will want to eat all the time. Thus when your breasts are not emptied, feedback is given to your body that there is too much milk not being used and this can cause a decrease in your supply.

laidbackbreastfeeding

There are many breastfeeding positions, so find a position that is comfortable for you. I prefer the Laid Back Breastfeeding or Biological Nurturing position where every part of your body and baby is supported especially your shoulders and neck. You will feel more relaxed and your tension will be reduced. And even better, in this position, most babies will self-attach!

7) Signs your baby is getting enough – this is the #1 question I always get, “how do I know my baby is getting enough to eat?” Weight gain is a good sign that breastfeeding is going well. All babies lose weight after birth and most will regain their birth weight by 2 weeks. Then babies typically gain between 15 to 30 grams/day. But you can tell from day to day if your baby is getting enough by diaper output. What goes in has to come out! If your baby is having at least 6 wet diapers and frequent bowel movements (1-3/day) then your baby is getting enough.

Other questions to ask yourself: Do your breasts feel softer after a feed? What is your baby’s mood like after a feed? Is your baby content, quiet, sleeping, happy to just play? These answers will tell you that your baby is satisfied.

8) Growth spurts and cluster feeds are normal – your baby will go through certain periods in the first few months when he/she will want to feed more often for a few days. This increased appetite is normal and will not only satisfy your baby’s growing needs but will also increase your supply to meet his/her growing needs.

You may also experience a period in the day when your baby will want to feed more often. This is called cluster feeding and it is normal. It does not mean you have low milk supply.

9) Get help/support – If things are not going well, please seek out help. There are various forms of support available for you. There are peer support groups, support from other breastfeeding mothers, friends and family, La Leche League, Public Health and private lactation consultants such as The WOMB. Challenges are easier to fix, if dealt with early but we are ALWAYS here to help you. We welcome you into a safe, loving and supportive environment where you will feel empowered to meet your breastfeeding goals.

10) Enjoy your baby – breastfeeding is about so much more than just feeding your baby. It is a special and intimate relationship that creates a special bond between mother and baby.

Want more information and tips on how to do all this? Get more at a prenatal breastfeeding class! Join us at The WOMB for our next class on August 10th, 2015. For more information or to register, go online or call 905.842.2434,

Anita Arora is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at The WOMB: The World of My Baby and sees clients in their homes privately and in clinic Mondays and Wednesdays. Anita’s aim is to help mothers reach their breastfeeding goals in a non-judgmental, accepting and natural approach. Anita lives in Oakville with her supportive husband and her 2 wonderful children.

Confessions of a Doula: What does Mother’s Day mean to me?

Skip the store bought scarves and pretty soaps, I prefer moments...

Home made glitter and glue Mothers Day Cards...
Re-gifted presents from home, wrapped in tissue paper...
Lovely warm little hugs...
A day to celebrate the love that surrounds me from my children and partner, and to spread it to every mother around me, including my own.

As a Doula, Mother's Day is the special privilege of sharing countless beautiful moments between mothers and their babes... 
The intimate and unique opportunity to show new moms ways to care for their babies through... breastfeeding, gentle candle lit baths, essential oil massage…
Showing a mother and her family that she needs to be loved and cared for too so that she can continue to love and care for her family... 
Quietly helping with a feeding session before helping a baby go down for a nap... 
The little hugs I get when caring for little ones... 
The satisfaction of knowing that I’ve helped a new mom and family get through the tough moments just a little more ease.

In return and unbeknownst to them, they gift me all the beautiful warm moments between their child and themselves - reminding me of the magic when my two children were very little.

I’m so in love with being a Mother and also being able to “Mother” my clients - as they start their journeys of motherhood.

Happy Mother's Day to us all who Mother our own and Mother those around us who need us.

Daniela Simone is a Birth and Postnatal Doula with THE WOMB: THE WORLD OF MY BABY. She empowers women to find their labour style, find strength in their choices and appreciate the amazing experience of giving birth in awareness. She loves being a wife to her supportive husband and mother to her two wonderful children.

Courageous Parenting: Embracing the Joys and Challenges of Parenthood

8 Guiding Principles from an Intuitive Counsellor

Being a parent is one of the most challenging, exciting and rewarding decisions that anyone can make. Yet, parents are often unprepared for the frustrations, disappointments and stress that come from being a parent. Remembering the following guiding principles will help you embrace the joys of parenthood as well as to accept the challenges.girlanddad

1. Effective parenting is a learned skill. Taking parenting courses is a great way to learn healthy parenting and coping skills.

2. People parent their children in a similar manner to which they were parented. You get to choose how you want to connect and interact with your children. It may or may not be in the same way your parents interacted with you.

3. All learned behavior, ways of interacting and ways of communicating can be unlearned.

4. Negative and self -limiting thoughts, ideas, and patterns can be changed, cleared and replaced with more positive thoughts, ideas and supportive patterns.

5. There is no such thing as “perfect” parent or a “best” way to parent. Some parenting styles are more effective depending on the desired outcome. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to parent.

6. Conscious parenting requires an ability to change, grow, and be vulnerable, open, human and forgiving.

7. Each and every child is unique. Each and every parent is unique.

8. Children need love, support, choices, acceptance, respect, clear communication, and healthy guidelines.


sandracoutsSandra Couts MSN, RN, CHTP is an Intuitive Counselor and Healing Touch Practitioner at THE WOMB: THE WORLD OF MY BABY. She incorporates her training as a Certified Parent Coach into her counseling sessions. She values the important role that mothers and fathers have on impacting the lives of their children in a positive and healthy way.

Osteopathy for HEALTH: Pregnancy, Paediatrics & Beyond

BEING HEALTHY, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

As Osteopathic Manual Practitioners we believe as the dictionary defines it: a state of being free from illness or injury. But we don’t stop there. What is even more important is to understand its old-English, Germanic origin which refers to health as a WHOLE. This suggests that we have to look at the whole individual if we want to really understand someone's health, or health issues.

Being healthy means that one is feeling Whole. All the parts that compose the whole are working together in harmony. A healthy person should feel physically strong, energized, in good spirits, capable to adapt to life situations, and be able to find naturally or with minimal effort his/her way back to health.

Andrew Taylor Still, the man who created Osteopathy in the mis 1800's, understood that principle. He dedicated his life to the understanding of the human body and its relation to health.

Osteopathy is a manual therapy that aims to restore this self-healing and the self-regulating mechanisms that keep your body healthy or free from any ilnesses or injury. By using gentle, precise manipulations of the tissues, we assess and restore their optimal function and relationships.

Often people come to Osteopathy because of one major complaint. As they improve, they also realise that some secondary tensions are progressively disappearing, they globally feel better. This is what happens when YOUR HEALTH is taking care of You. The Whole you is getting better.

Osteopathy is for the whole family, from babies to elderly. It can help you with musculo-skeletal problems, sports injuries, digestive issues, during pregnancy, babies after birth, children during development, people suffering from chronic conditions and much more.

Osteopathy and your Baby

During life in utero (inside the womb) and the birth process, your baby may experience difficulties that may affect his/her comfort or quality of life. They may have experienced prolonged compressed positions in the pelvis, the cord around their neck, or distress during birth as a result of forceps, vacuum, or caesarian procedures.

 

Your baby may experience:

• Digestive issues such as colic, constipation, regurgitation,
• Latching and breastfeeding difficulties
• Mouth breathing
• Torticollis, Plagiocephaly, limited neck mobility
• Sleeping disorders, confusing day and night sleeping
• Ear, throat, and nose concerns such as otitis/ear infections
• Specific needs babies and children

By gentle, thorough assessment and treatment, Osteopathy in most cases can help alleviate those symptoms by addressing their causes. The Osteopathic Manual Practitioner uses cranio-sacral and myofascial techniques to restore normal mobility of the musculo-skeletal system in order to facilitate a balanced nervous system and flow of the circulatory, lymphatic and cerebro-spinal fluids.
We also take care of other developmental stages in your child’s life as they grow such as dental-orthodontal procedures (braces, etc.), sports injuries, postural problems, and difficulties focusing or concentration at school.

gaelLuciaGael Gaudeau and Lucia Orsini are Osteopathic Manual Practitioners at THE WOMB : THE WORLD OF MY BABY. They have specialized training in paediatrics and pregnancy, and sometimes they like to practice their skills on their dog-child, Mellow .

Catch Gael at Momstown Milton's event on Wednesday March 4th, 11am at FirePower Kids.

Mother LOVE

Love. It's funny how love changes with age. I used to think I knew what love was. It was the comfort and warmth of my parents arms, my brothers letting me play tag with them, our family dog snuggling with me by the fireplace. 
 
Love felt natural and engraved into my everyday. It just happened. It was part of everything. Love felt good. Little did I know, love got so much better. 
 
I feel like love is continually changing - constantly surprising us. Love is what makes you tolerate the stench of a grown man's hockey gear that has never been washed or see past all the things you would do differently because you've never felt as good as you do with the one you love.  It's a conscience choice to look beyond all the imperfections and love wholely - accepting it all. Love changes into patience and understanding. Even if that means sacrificing a $200 knife because it was used as a screwdriver.
 
With out first baby, I learned it was possible to love a heartbeat. The warmth spreads through your soul over a simple heartbeat. Love becomes more complex. It's no longer just love in the moment, but love and excitement for ‎what's to come, for how it'll change your family. Even when labour ends up in an emergency c-section after an undiagnosed breech baby ( at 10 cm I might add) , it all melts away when those fingers climb up your skin, when their wet hair rests against your chest, when your body that gave life to a baby then feeds that baby! Love can come instantly in that moment and it changes you. Love makes you protective, instinctual and selfless. 
 

The truth is, when the going gets tough - love keeps you strong. It morphs into this power, a strength that, although wavering, prevails! When you add a second baby to the mix and you wake up so often you feel like you could walk into oncoming traffic without knowing, it's what keeps you from losing your marbles. When 
husbands step in and baby wear all night so you can sleep, or remind you to lean back when breastfeeding,  or when big sisters squish little sisters when they hug them too hard or the gummy smile of the infant you swear is a terrorist warms your heart - that's love. 
 
It turns out, I know what love is. Love is what keeps me loving.
 
Pamela Vieira is a Birth and Postnatal Doula with THE WOMB. She is also the mother of two beautiful daughters who keep her on her toes and in love.

"Unexplained Infertility" Explained!

“Unexplained Infertility” Explained! 

By Dr. Sinead Dufour, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist and Mom to two amazing kids

In viewing a recent “Health Matters” segment where my amazing colleague Dr. Erica Robinson was interviewed regarding ways to improve fertility,  it occurred to me that she, myself and the rest of our expert team at the World of my Baby (WOMB) are addressing aspects of fertility every day that are often categorized as “unexplained infertility”. 

As someone who has been personally impacted by this frustrating label, I wanted to share both my personal story with infertility and shed some light on some key features of fertility that have very clear expectations, provided you go to the right source.  

In the months before I turned thirty my husband I decided it was time to grow our family, we had been married for almost three years, were very much in love and both wanted children.  It was time!  It soon became apparent that it wasn’t time after all.  Month after month there was so sign of conception and the “baby making” that had once been fun and exciting became mechanical, draining and at times bordered on unpleasant. This devastated me.  My whole life I held a philosophy that hard work and following the rules garnered thedesired results.  My whole foundation was shattered. 

 

Finally, about a year and a half after “trying” I succumbed to the realization that I needed help.  I had heard fabulous reviews of a reproductive endocrinologist (aka fertility specialist) who was practicing within 15 minutes of where I lived.  I finally got the nerve to call and make the appointment only to be told that there was a five month wait list.  More frustration.  For anyone who has been through the agonizing process and grief associated with not being able to conceive, you can appreciate that “waiting” becomes the Bain of your existence.  You wait until ovulation is approaching, you wait until you can do an accurate pregnancy test, you see the dreaded single line on the test and the waiting starts all over again.  

 

I will say that when I did meet this doctor the wait was worth it.  I adored her and within 7 months of being in her care I was pregnant.  However, there is more to the story with respect to the “unexplained infertility” piece and this is important for women to understand so please keep reading. 

 

Through all my diagnostic work up with my fertility doctor my husband was diagnosed as possibility having low sperm count, maybe? It was never clear on that end.  I was diagnosed as simply having anovulatory cycles.  So, even though my periods were regular I didn’t consistently ovulate.  The fix?  Clomid.  On my first treatment round, lowest dose, I had a “fabulous response” two fully mature eggs, “the response to treatment could not have been better”.  Wow, I thought, this fertility help is pretty easy, why on earth did I wait so long to sign up?  I am sure you can guess that I did not conceive that month.  Furthermore, I will also say having a nurse call you to inform you of a negative pregnancy result in many ways is worse than seeing the single line on your own self-administered test.  More waiting. 

 

My treatments went like this for 4 more cycles using two medications…great response, no pregnancy.  Finally the nurse at the fertility clinic said to me “there are so many people like you who just have unexplained infertility”.    Unexplained? As a health care provider and researcher (I was half way through my PhD as this point in my life), that answer or reason or whatever you want to call it was simply not good enough.  Unexplained by who? Unexplained by what?  The answer is – unexplained by the allopathic medical model.

 

So, I sought out a naturopathic doctor in town who had a great reputation.  When I met her and she reviewed my history and “explained” a number of reasons why I would likely be having difficulty conceiving.  Estrogen dominance, elevated cortisol levels and luteal phase deficiencies were all aspects of fertility that she discussed with me and she had various options in how we could address those issues.  She “explained” that a system that is nutritionally and hormonally out of balance is less receptive to conception.  I took a two-month breath from my fertility medication to work on restoring the capacity in my system through my NDs advice.  However, I still didn’t get pregnant. 

 

After two months of no fertility treatment I decided to combine the insights of my two doctors (MD and ND) and this is when the magic happened – I found out I was pregnant that month…hallelujah!!  It gets better…a few weeks later I found out twins were on the way…truly amazing! 

 

This whole process in addition to some issues I experienced after having twins, steered me to become specialized in Women’s Health in my clinical practice.  So now, together with my team at The WOMB, I help women who have “unexplained infertility” to conceive and it is the most rewarding part of my practice.  Many conditions that cause pelvic pain, such as endometriosis, interstitial cystitis and pelvic congestion syndrome have also been connected to infertility and the synchronized intervention by physicians and physiotherapists is becoming increasingly more necessary for successful outcomes.  I use a combination of evidence-based manual therapies, neuro-modulation techniques and exercise prescription to optimizing the health of the pelvic region for enhanced receptivity for conception.  

Women need to help women.  Please, if someone you know has been told they have “unexplained infertility”.  Please send them to www.thewomb.ca where they can get help and learn how a variety or professionals can assist with conception – “unexplained infertility”finally explained.  


Get in touch! Give us a call at 905.842.2434, or click here to send us an email.