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Sing! Sing! Sing!

These days, with the Christmas season approaching, it feels that all I do all day is singing and babies, babies and singing. Of course, babies and families are my work-work, but singing is my play-work and it takes over my life at this time of year. I sing in a choir and I am cast in a musical, and I will be singing for a few church services.

I sing because I love it, but also because I must. I must sing for my mental health, for my creative spirit, but also for my physical well-being. And I believe that singing to your babies is good for their mental health, their creative spirit and their physical well-being. And for yours too.

When you sing to your babies, you tell them that there is nothing to worry about (or why would you waste energy on song?). You master and regulate your breath and this relaxes your body and theirs. You share your feelings with them, joy or sadness.

When you sing to your babies, you expose them to long, often rhyming, rhythmic segments of language. This is such valuable input to someone who is trying to learn to speak! And the abstract words are combined with musical information about the emotions associated with those words. We know about the value of talking to your babies, but when that one-sided conversation starts to be difficult to maintain, sing!

When you sing to your babies, you give them information about their day. In the morning you sing getting-up-and-washing-your-face songs. When it’s time to go out you sing getting-into-your-car-seat songs. At changing times you sing diaper-changing-songs. And at bedtime you sing lullabies. Those musical snippets (Wagner called them leitmotifs) announce change, activities, moods, useful information for a baby who has no control over their day. It’s so much easier for them to go along with what you planned if you give them a little advance warning!

When you sing to your babies, don’t worry about how well you sing. Your enjoyment of and emotional commitment to the song is much more important that your vocal technique. Don’t pass a fear of singing on to your babies. As the days get shorter, and the winter cold keeps us indoors, pull out some old songbooks or cd’s from your childhood. Remind yourself of the lyrics you love and pass on a love of song!

~Eva

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Santa Claus is coming to Mothering Touch!

Mothering Touch is very lucky to be on Santa’s list of places to visit! He will be here on Friday, November 24 from 2 until 6pm and Saturday, November 25 from 2 until 5pm.

We are also lucky to have the fabulous photographer Amanda Haddow this year to photograph all those adorable little ones with Ol’ Saint Nick!

This event raises money for the Young Parents Support Network. So we ask for a donation of $5 which goes directly to them and you get your picture taken with Santa.

About a week after the event, Amanda will post on her website a gallery of all the photos.  You can find yours from this and download one for free. FOR AN EXTRA COST you will be able to purchase high resolution photos suitable for printing directly from AmandaHaddowPhotography.com

On these two days we also have a Christmas Shopping Sale. Almost everything in the store is 20% off, so get some shopping done while you are here!

Don’t call us to try and pre-register. You can only sign-up ON THE DAY. But Santa and Amanda are very quick and no one has to wait very long!

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Navigating Motherhood Gracefully ~Practical Tools to help you Thrive~

Free Workshop for Mothers
Free Interactive Workshop by Therapeutic Counsellor: Theresa Gulliver

Motherhood is challenging and children bring out our best and our worst.

Do you ever wonder:

– How to thrive as a mother and still take care of the needs of your child(ren)

– How to handle your emotions when they are high

– How you can be the best mom possible

What if motherhood was an opportunity to address some of your own personal challenges so they don’t surface in unhealthy ways and negatively impact your family?

 

In this 60 min interactive seminar, Theresa Gulliver, Mother, Step Mother and Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, shares useful information and helpful tools to help you navigate motherhood gracefully.

You will have an opportunity to learn and practise:

– Increased self awareness, self compassion and self love (which can thenbe naturally extended to those around you)
– Tools for effective communication
– The importance of authentic connection
– Positive personal coping mechanisms

 

Theresa’s goal is for you to seize every opportunity to heal and grow and be the best mother you can be – for yourself and for your family!

Register by phone at Mothering Touch
for this Free 60 min Workshop

Sunday, October 15 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm

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Is a Prenatal Class about Childbirth or about Babies?

Prenatal Childbirth Preparation for Doctors' Patients

This term we use – Prenatal Class – is confusing, isn’t it?

Some parents-to-be are fascinated by, or worried about labour and birth and are wanting to spend a lot of time talking about it. They come to our 12-hour, six-week Childbirth Preparation classes and are happy to spend most of the time on labour and birth, and practicing comfort measures and coping skills, and find that it’s great that we also spend two entire hours talking about babies and breastfeeding.

Other parents, who are more worried about how they are going to cope with the baby once it is out, feel they would like to spend more time talking about babies and breastfeeding.

It’s for this second group of parents that we have designed the Parenting the Newborn series. It’s a three-week, six-hour series in which a postpartum doula and breastfeeding educator takes you though two hours on baby care and two hours on breastfeeding, and then a First Aid Instructor comes and teaches two hours of Infant First Aid and CPR.

Many of our parents take both sets of classes. And we encourage this by giving parents a $15 discount if they sign up for both classes at the same time. (We also acknowledge that there will be a little overlap between the classes.) Some parents take only one, or only the other.

I would say, that if you take only one, the Childbirth Preparation Class is the one to take. Experiencing childbirth in a healthy and satisfying way takes knowledge and preparation. Labour and Birth happen all at once, in a big storm. There is little time to consider, or problem solve during labour. The learning and considering and deciding needs to happen before labour starts – even though you may change your mind during labour itself – in fact you probably will.

You can learn baby care and breastfeeding over several week and months. Babies are very patient with fumbly parents, and every parent figures out their own way through the challenges of of the first weeks. In fact, the hormones you make (yes, parents of all genders make hormones when they are around babies) will help you be more attentive and respond more sensitively to your baby.

At Mothering Touch, we believe in people’s basic ability to give birth and care for their babies. We want parents to feel well-prepared and well-supported, to feel satisfied with their birth experience and to be able to enjoy the first weeks with their baby. That is the goal of all our classes and groups.

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My Baby Hates the Car Seat! – Guest post by Aliya Khan

“My baby hates the car seat!” Such a common complaint from new parents in our Baby Groups. Recently, Aliya Khan, a regular in our baby groups, offered to write a blog post for us on her experiences with her daughter. As you will see, she has TONS of ideas!
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Caring for an infant can be hard. And having an infant that hates the car definitely doesn’t make things any easier. (I’ll just say it: Having an infant that hates the carseat sucks.)

So what are you to do when your baby gets upset every time you place them the car seat?

For one thing it forces you to reevaluate your priorities:

‘Do I really need to leave the house?’
‘Is that appointment really that important?’
‘Do we really NEED groceries?’
‘Do I HAVE to take auntie Kelly to the airport?’

The answer can’t always be no, and eventually you’re going to have to put your baby in her car seat.
So do you just put up with the screaming? If you’ve ever driven in your car with a screaming baby you know just how insurmountable this task can be.

I’ve been there. I’ve experienced the whole spectrum of feelings from hopeful, to anxious, to enraged and finally defeated (mixed in with some guilt over the rage). Before I had a baby I thought if you couldn’t get your baby to settle down at home then that’s what you did; go for a drive and let the car lull them to sleep. I was led to believe it was the go-to, fail-safe, do-this-when-all-else-fails, sanity-saving method for us new parents. But our baby quickly let us (and the whole neighbourhood) know how she felt about being in her car seat. So I had to either get creative or spend the first few months of her life staying home or going no further than my feet could take us.

I soon discovered, through the ‘new mommy’ circles I ran with, that this is actually very common among infants. And that I wasn’t the only (by far!) that was struggling with this issue. Nor was I the only one who experienced the emotional roller coaster that each trip manifested. Thankfully she outgrew this around her 5th or 6th month and she’s developed into a delightful young traveler, but I could have used this list in those bleary-eyed early days.

First- is your baby comfortable: are the straps twisted, is she too hot or too cold, hungry, does she have a soupy diaper, etc…the usual checklist. Rule out any medical conditions by talking to your baby’s pediatrician. If everything seems good and they’re still upset give any or all of the following a try:

  1. Find two or three radio stations that play mainly static and save them to your presets in your car.
  2. Pulse the static radio stations to mimic a heartbeat.
  3. Attach a ribbon to your baby’s window your baby can entertain herself by watching the ribbon flutter in the breeze.
  4. Leave the house at a predictable naptime or just make short trip between naptimes.
  5. This one worked for me the most: the sneaky side boob feeding. Nurse your baby to sleep with they’re clicked into the car while casually, awkwardly leaning into her seat, boob at mouth level. (Please note that this is not comfortable for you in ANY way. This method may not work for all boob shapes. If you bottle feed this will probably be way more comfortable. And it will only work if someone else is driving, of course.) (Mothering Touch Comment: Make sure your own seatbelt is fastened!)
  6. Sing. Sing the whole time. Sing so your baby doesn’t have a chance to start crying. They’ll be busy listening to you sing your butt off (don’t be shy here, it doesn’t matter what you sound like, your baby just loves to hear your voice).
  7. Place a mirror on the back of the head rest so your baby can see themselves and reflections. Maybe they’re lonely back there.
  8. Crack the window slightly. A cool breeze, the sound of the wind, the sudden pressure change in the car might be enough to grab her attention and stop her from crying.
  9. Open and close her window over and over. (Please note this only works if you have power windows.)
  10. Attach something to the car seat bar. In my case it was a luggage tag but a soft toy or something similar would work too. I kept it close enough for her to touch but far enough away so she couldn’t put it in her mouth.
  11. Talk. Talk about anything and everything. Talk about what street you’re on, what colour the car is in front of you, how many trees there are on the road where you’re going, what you’re going to do when you get there. Talk so much that your baby won’t have time to think about crying.
  12. Put up a sun shade over her window. There’s nothing worse than finally getting her to calm down only to get stuck at a stoplight with the sun shining right in her eye and getting her all upset again.
  13. Change, Feed and burp right before strapping her in. An uncomfortable diaper, being hungry or a gas bubble can quickly escalate to screaming when strapped in tight.
  14. Pacifier. My daughter Never really took to a pacifier unless it was in my mouth first and then she’d try to grab it. Then she would either play with it or chew on it. Warning: if the pacifier falls out you may be stopping the car to put it back in.
  15. If all else fails strap her into your carrier and take the bus (or walk if that’s an option.)

These are some ideas that help me 75% of the time. All these tricks can be helpful but if you’re too distracted by your unhappy passenger, pull over.

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We have a new floor!

2015-10-31 18.12.27

On the morning of October 31, Victoria had a record-breaking rainfall. More rain feel within a six-hour period than has ever been recorded since we started recording such things. And some of that rain leaked through the roof of our building at 975 Fort Street and seeped down the inside of the wall and flooded the floor of our Activity Room and The Nest at the back of Mothering Touch.

2015-10-31 18.12.38

The laminate flooring had to be ripped up and discarded, and big fans had to be brought in to dry up the walls and the concrete floor. The Saturday Childbirth Class still ran, on a slightly soppy floor. The Sunday and Monday classes ran at alternate locations (our house and that of my parents-in-law – Thank You Murray and Eleanor!) By Tuesday we had the foamy floor we use for the Baby Fair set up in the Activity Room, and we brought some of the large rugs from our house to make the room seem a little less cavernous. Childbirth Preparation Classes and Parenting the Newborn kept running, but Yoga and other activities and the Baby Groups could not run in the room as it was.

2015-11-13 16.28.32

Yesterday and today, a new vinyl-plank floor was installed. We still have to do some work on the walls and the baseboards, but the Activity Room and The Nest are functional again! I am so grateful for insurance and for restoration professionals, and for our lovely landlord who is being very supportive. I am grateful also to our customers and clients who have been understanding and patient with us as we went through this ordeal.

I look forward to seeing you all at Baby Groups next week. Yoga classes will begin again on Sunday morning. Dads’ Group is back on too. Life will be so much more fun and animated around here!

Have a good weekend! ~ Eva

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Buying a Home on a Budget

On March 20th Patricia Kiteke, a Realtor in Victoria, will be hosting a FREE presentation at Mothering Touch about buying a family home. Her passion is working with families and here is what she has to say to you:

 

buying a home

If you feel that buying your family home is challenging or daunting then we need to talk.

 

I believe that our homes are the foundation from which we grow, thrive, and develop. From family dinners to arts and crafts to discovering wonders in the backyard, your family home is the place where first memories will be made.

 

Join me Friday, March 20th at 7:00-8:15pm where we’ll unravel the top 3 challenges new families face when buying a family home on a budget:

 

1) Navigating strata age restrictions

 

2) Understanding mortgage lending rules

 

3) Balancing monthly affordability with buying in desirable neighbourhoods

 

After years of working for a Master Builder, I decided to focus my real estate background to working with families. I guarantee that you will receive the full benefit of years of high-level real estate experience tailored to your family’s needs!

Contact Mothering Touch for registration for this FREE presentation!

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Diaper Rental Kits

Cloth Diaper Maintenance Kit

We know that you are going to love using cloth diapers with your new baby – there are so many benefits to your baby, and the environment – but with so many different types of cloth diapers available today, figuring out where to start can seem overwhelming!

Now you can test out a variety of our most popular cloth diapers for a month to help you choose the best solution for you and your baby. Mothering Touch is pleased to introduce you to our Cloth Diaper Sampler Rental Kit Service!

Click here to learn more!

Cloth Diaper Maintenance KitMothering Touch Cloth Diaper Rental Kit

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Monday is Massage and Relaxation Day

Big Brother Daniel giving Baby Hannah a massage.
Big Brother Daniel giving Baby Hannah a massage.

Starting on January 6, 2014, Monday is going to be Massage and Relaxation Day!

Registered Massage therapist, Sylvie Gilbert, is going to be offering Prenatal Massage in The Nest (our cozy back room) on Mondays between 10am and 5pm. She is going to bring her massage table and her prenatal pillow which allows tired, achey pregnant moms to lie on their tummies. You can book appointments with her (1 hour for $85) through our front desk.

From 11:30 to 12:30, on Mondays, Sylvie will take a break from massaging mommies, to teach Baby Massage to new parents. Babies LOVE massage. The best age to start is sometime after 6 weeks. Babies who get regular massage from 6 weeks or so, will love to be massaged for ever. But babies who have never had massage, may not be interested if you introduce it after they learn to crawl – they are too busy! So our class is best suited for babies from 6 weeks to 8 months.

From 5:15 to 6:30 on Mondays, Sylvie, who is also an experienced HypnoBirth teacher and doula, will be teaching a drop-in Self-Hypnosis and Relaxation for Birth class. Learn how to control relaxation and ease tension and pain through visualization and self-hypnosis for childbirth techniques. Tension, shallow breathing, stress and fear all create chemical reactions in our bodies via the sympathetic nervous system. This creates an unproductive fight or flight response that elevates our perception of pain and decreases our natural sedative endorphins.

Learn easy and simple methods to control stress and tension during childbirth. Reduce the risk of complication and prevent excessive pain while promoting the release of endorphins and oxytocin.
Enjoy guided visualization techniques for a full body relaxation. Each week you will learn to master your own ability to meditate, breathe and relax during childbirth. Become efficient at responding to stress and pain with effective visualization techniques. Take what you learned and practice at home or drop in weekly.

Imagine how chill and relaxed we’re going to be on Mondays from now on!

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Sunscreen Should Be Safe!

A recent article on Mothering’s site sums it up pretty well when they say…

"Summer is here and many of us are thinking about how we can keep our kids safe in the sun.  The first line of defense for most parents is to grab the sunscreen and make sure the kids are properly covered.  But who wants to slather on a cream that contains potentially dangerous chemicals?"

A few years back, I came across a fantastic resource – The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an environmental health research and advocacy organization.  Their mission is to, "serve as a watchdog to see that you get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so you can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment".  Knowledge is power and this website puts a whole lot of power in your hands.

The EWG gathers data on everything from make-up to shampoo and everything in between, then they rate the products based on the potential hazard they may pose to your family’s health on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being the safest and 10 being the worst.  For each product, they describe all of the ingredients and their potential risks.

Every summer, the EWG also puts out a Guide to Sunscreens… for parents being bombarded with warnings from every direction, this guide is invaluable.

You may be surprised to find that most of the popular commercial brands of kids and "baby-safe" sunscreens on the market today rate around 7 (high hazard!).  Year after year though, one brand seems to rise to the top, with an average rating of 1 – Badger!

Badger SunscreenBadger is a small, family-owned and family-friendly business; they blend organic plant extracts, exotic oils and butters and beeswax to make their healing balms, safe mineral sunscreens and other personal care products that work and feel remarkably good… and we’re super stoked to now carry Badger here at Mothering Touch!

Check out the links above for more information on the EWG and Badger, then come on down to Mothering Touch to see what we have in store!

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Breastpump Inservice

 

Breastpump Inservice

Thursday, May 30th

7 – 8:30pm

The Mothering Touch Centre

975 Fort Street

It’s about helping Moms.

 

When it comes to pumps and pumping, what’s new & old?

What are some issues moms need help with?

What are some helpful tips?

 

Come and share your experiences with such things as:

      • Transitioning to home with baby
      • What’s available in the community
      • Use and care of various pumps

Light refreshments provided by BfM-svi.  Please let us know you are coming to help us prepare.  Call Audrey  (778)678-0747

Click here to download a PDF poster for this event.

 

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MotherFest!

MotherFest – Friday May 10, from 2-7pm!

mom

For those who may not know yet, MotherFest is our annual Mothers’ Day Extravaganza!  This is the third year that we are running it, and it has grown into a great, fun, busy, chatty, but also strangely peaceful and relaxing event.

Well, the store is busy and chatty and the big meeting room at the back is dim and quiet and relaxing.  Most of the hands-on practitioners are in there and moms can go and have an acupuncture treatment or a little massage or reflexology treatment in a quiet, relaxing environment.  There is a belly-painter for the moms-to-be who want to show off their beautiful baby-bumps, and a photographer to immortalize the artistic creations.  And for the less adventurous, there are manicurists and an esthetician doing eyebrow threading.

Meanwhile, in the store, there is a sale going on and there are practitioners running information tables about their services.  There is live music (my son Simon and his friend Gabe and also our friend Avram McCagherty) and lovely snacks from Patisserie Daniel.  Many of the doulas in town come to hang out and help with holding babies and making everyone comfortable. And our store manager, Janice, always arranges for some lovely give-aways.

To give you a preview of the services and information that will be available tomorrow, here is a list of our participating practitioners:

Amie McColl – Registered Massage Therapist – Aria Health-Wellness Clinic
Amie has been supporting Victoria moms during their pregnancy for the last 6 years.  She has a passion for women’s health, and loves to assist in the nurturing and growth of mom while she is pregnant.  You’re going through so many changes – massage can ease some of those discomforts and encourage rest and relaxation.

Christina Chan – Registered Acupuncturist – Heart and Hands Health Collective
Heart and Hands Health Collective is a grassroots social enterprise located at 851 Cormorant St.  The core service is community acupuncture; high quality sessions provided in a supportive group setting at sliding scale rates.  The goal is to increase accessibility so individuals can receive care as much and as often as they need to get well and stay well.

Christina Cheply – Professional Face & Body Artist – Danger By Design
Danger By Design provides creative services ranging from pregnancy belly painting, maternity henna designs, pregnancy body casts, custom paintings, illustration & portraits, graphic design, window painting, murals and much, much more!

Corrin Adams – Thai Massage Therapist – Living Art Yoga & Thai Massage
Corrin is a 25-year practitioner and teacher of Yoga. She is a certified Doula and Mother. Corrin is a certified Thai Massage Therapist and also teaches pre and postnatal Yoga.

Heather Minielli – Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist & Certified Doula – Birth and Beyond
Heather has practiced as a doula in the community for the past 12 years and has recently achieved the designation of Clinical Hypnotherapist.  As a clinical hypnotherapist, Heather is trained and interested in helping to address anxiety, fears/phobias smoking cessation, weight loss, PTSD, sleep issues, emotional healing and pain management.  Heather is strongly dedicated to helping women achieve a more positive birthing experiences through hypnotherapy and teaching self-hypnosis.

Jesse Hlady – Photographer – Jesse Hlady Photography
Jesse has been specializing in portraiture for 10 years.  Since the arrival of is own son in 2009 Jesse has turned his focus to Maternity, Newborn & Families Portraits.  His aim is to provide something unique and artistic that captures the emotional connection between a mother and her unborn child.

Jodi Ganton – Registered Physiotherapist – Lifemark McKenzie Physiotherapy
Jodi is a registered physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction.  She has particular interest in treating post-partum moms and helping them regain their fitness after baby and prevent future problems with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Julia Young – Homeopathic Practitioner (DCHM) – Julia Young Homeopathy and Labour Support
Julia is a certified homeopath and doula focussing on services for women and families.  Her interest in homeopathy began with her years working in natural medicine and was highlighted with the birth of her children.  It was here she experience the great benefits of this safe, gentle and effective form of medicine.

Kate Shelton – Spa therapist/aesthetician – Tonic Spa-Tique
Kate is the owner of Tonic Spa-tique located in Fernwood Square.  The spa has a focus on quality aesthetics, pure plant based products and a walk-in brow and lash bar.

Maria Korpecky – Esthetician – Homespunspa Mobile Spa
Maria is a licensed esthetician and owner of homespunspa mobile spa.  Maria has a passion for everything spa and enjoys helping others relax and feel better by providing healing facials, manicures, pedicures and massages to people wherever they live in the Victoria BC area.

Michele Powell – Pleasure Activist – Tellmia
A trained counsellor and group facilitator, Michele now focuses her energies on her passion of encouraging and supporting people towards more fulfilling and exciting sex lives.  Her dynamic and comfortable approach to sexuality is refreshing and always a lot of fun.

Michele Mork – Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist- West Coast Reflexology
Michele has been certified as a Foot Reflexology Therapist since 2010.  Her maternity clients have found her treatments to be relaxing and rejuvenating, relieving constipation, nausea, fatigue, back pain and insomnia.

Ranjit Sharma – Esthetician – Grace Esthetics
Tanjit has been working as an esthetician for ten years and opened Grace Esthetics, a home-based esthetics service, two years ago.  Grace Esthetics offers a full range of aesthetic services, but threading is a speciality.

Sheila Hobbs – Registered Massage Therapist – Modalities Massage Therapy
A RMT for nine years and a mom for 4, Sheila appreciates the challenges and joys of balancing motherhood with self-care.  "I can only care for others if I care for myself."

Stephanie Curran & Rachelle Goulet – Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – Elements of Health Centre
Stephanie and Rachelle are both mothers and licensed practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine; they both have a special interest in treating women’s health issues and have completed extensive training in the treatment of fertility and obstetrics.

Stephanie Gillett – Registered Massage Therapist – Elements of Health Centre
Stephanie has a special interest in treating women and women’s health issues.  Stephanie takes a holistic, preventative approach to massage therapy, she believes health care is collaborative; together, you can work with her to identify both immediate and long term health care goals.