Here are the information resources we have found most helpful for new parents who are expecting a baby in Toronto:
Book: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING By Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg & Sandee Hathaway, B.S.N. This pregnancy guide is part of a whole series that goes from conception well into childhood. It is continually putting out new editions as new information becomes available, but even an older edition will be a ‘pregnancy bible’ that covers all the concerns of mothers and fathers to be, in an honest, reassuring and easy-to-read way
Happy together by milena mihaylova
Website: Babycenter.ca This website allows you to sign up, creating an online profile with your baby’s expected due date. Every week, you’ll receive an email that fills you in on what’s going on inside the womb that week, plus articles on every conceivable (no pun intended) pregnancy-related topic, from swollen ankles to what to take to the hospital to getting enough sleep.
For great message boards where you can get advice and share experiences with other expectant parents, try Canadianparents.com.
Education: Mother Risk (416.813.6780; www.motherrisk.org) With one phone call, the experts at Mother Risk will answer your pregnancy questions such as ‘What medication is safe to take while I’m pregnant?’ and ‘Am I eating too much tuna?’ They’ll even calculate your expected due date for you.
Medical: CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION COMPLETE BOOK OF MOTHER AND BABY CARE, Dorling Kindersley Ltd. Is the medical bible for how to care for both mom and precious cargo; for an online resource with topics ranging from immunizations to circumcision, where the best experts and doctors weigh in, visit the Canadian Paediatric Society.
Babies don’t come with an instruction manual! Fortunately, many people have thought of that and made sure there are plenty of guides and resources that deliver answers to new parents. Here are some national and Toronto resources to get you started on the right track when you bring baby home from the hospital.
Free samples (significant amounts), online guides & information, special offers and magazines: Enfamil, Nestle Baby, Shoppers Drug Mart V.I.B., Johnson’s Baby Canada. All require you to fill out a simple online registration form.
Breastfeeding: Toronto Public Health (416 338 7600) or Breastfeeding Centre for Families at Toronto East General Hospital is Toronto’s only drop-in breastfeeding clinic where no appointment is required and you don’t have to have had your baby at that hospital. The clinic is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every day save Wednesdays and Sundays; drop in (you will need your baby’s temporary health card number to register for the clinic) or call 416 469 6667; La Leche League Canada (416 483 3368) has monthly meetings for breastfeeding mothers offering support and its experienced group leaders are available by email in between meetings. You can also visit the website of the International Lactation Consultant Association.
Medical: They’re a great resource whether you just burned yourself on the stove or you’re not sure if your baby should be pooping like that: Good old Telehealth Ontario, at 1 866 797 0000. Nurses are available 24/7 to answer your health questions; be prepared to wait up to an hour for a call back from a nurse, as they are extremely busy. The Children’s After Hours Clinic at 416 461 3000 offers paediatric care after other clinics have closed for the day. Wondering about your child’s speech development? Call the Toronto Preschool Speech and Language Services at 416 338 8255.
Postpartum Adjustment: It’s normal to feel the blues after delivering your baby – hormonal changes alone will ensure mood swings, not to mention the fact that you’ve lived your entire life without children, and suddenly you have to live for someone else, on their schedule (which probably conflicts with yours, unless you are a bat). However, if the depression persists or seems unusually serious, contact the Postpartum Adjustment Program at 416 469 7608 for a free education & support group that even includes free childcare for other little ones. Groups are held at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre.
Have Baby Will Travel is your online destination for hotel reviews, trip reports, destination information, useful articles, travel tips and packing lists, all geared to those traveling with babies, toddlers, and small children. By parents for parents, Have Baby Will Travel wants to help you get away with your baby!
Everybody can take a picture, but if you want really great shots to remember your kids' early years, you may try calling up one of the professional baby photographers in Toronto. Here are some of the best:
Beverley Daniels specializes in fine art portraits of maternity, newborns, babies, kids and families. Beverley has been capturing life's precious moments since January 2006. Her style is spontaneous and fun--capturing life, love and happiness. To book a session, call 416-458-6254 or e-mail at beverley[at]beverleydanielsphotography.com"
Shannon Echlin's work is beautiful - with depth and "naturalness" and darkness and light. Her children's portraits are so artful and so elegant - they're for people with great taste. Shannon specializes in capturing unposed, candid moments that reveal aspects of the child's personality.