Integrative Family Health Clinic in Bolton and the Greater Caledon Area
4-22 Simona Drive
Bolton, ON
new parents with newborn

New Mom and New Family Must-Knows

Don’t pick up the baby too much because you will spoil them!

Make sure you lose all your pregnancy weight or it will never come off!

Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep with the baby in your bed!

All these and many more well-intentioned tips from family, friends, and TikTok can be helpful at times, but more often than not, they can increase the expectations of an already overwhelmed new family. 

Welcome, first-time parents, to the postpartum period!

Postpartum is a time of great change and vulnerability. It begins immediately at time of birth for up to 12 weeks. For many, the journey to becoming parents was stressful enough. From the time of conception, to the mental and physical demands of preserving life within the mother’s body, the journey to this point has not been easy, but it’s time to enjoy a life changing experience.

As a nurse practitioner but most importantly, as a mother myself, I know that the care that a woman and her family receives during the postpartum period may impact the rest of their lives.

Postpartum care is not straightforward, it is the merging of care that sees for the health and wellbeing of mother, newborn, and the family unit, all while considering social and cultural influences. Let’s discuss each of these individually.

Must-Know #1: Mother’s Health

This is a period of returning to normal, or better explained, adapting to the new normal. This is a time of great change, with an extensive list of health considerations for the woman. The mother’s health must consider the physical recovery from pregnancy and labor, to the mental and emotional wellness needs related to maternal-infant bonding and changes within the partner roles. The mother is learning and coping with a lot of change, this is a time that requires a lot of love, patience and compassion.

Must-Know #2: Newborn Health

Postpartum newborn care focuses on supporting the infant to adjust to their new world. For the months leading up to the time of birth, the babe had everything it needed to survive at their fingertips. Out of the womb, the newborn’s body is adjusting to a new environment full of harsh experiences. The baby is learning they must cry to communicate their needs, they are learning about feelings of hunger, cold, or need for skin-to-skin, feeling closeness and the need for love. Your new baby is doing a lot of learning and coping with change, this is a time that requires a lot of love, patience and compassion.

Must-Know #3: Husband/Partner (New Parent) and Family Health 

This is a time where families adapt physically, psychologically and socially to their newly established family unit. In immeasurable ways, the new family has forever changed. From sleepless nights, to mental and emotional stressor of uncertainty, confusion and role change, the husband/partner and those close to the new family are learning and coping with change, this is a time that requires a lot of love, patience and compassion.

In essence, the postpartum period is a time when mothers and their new family acquaint themselves with one another while adapting to their changing bodies, environment and roles. Although stressful, we were created for this! We must trust our ability to not only give birth, but to raise families. When considering how dynamic postpartum care is, it is crucial to leverage the support from those around you (the village). We must humbly accept their help, practice self-compassion, prioritize health, sleep and family bonding. Instead of struggling to meet the demands of social media, or a well intentioned loved one, trust that your maternal/paternal compass is working just fine and out of love, do what feels right for you and your family.  

Expanding the Village: How Nurse Practitioners Can Help

Postpartum care is not just the concern of the woman and child, but for the health of those who will play important roles in the care and wellbeing of the family. Nurse practitioners and your healthcare team can help during this period of change by helping:

  1. Monitor physiological postpartum changes including breasts, vaginal, uterine, etc. 
  2. Support with breastfeeding
  3. Provide mental and emotional wellness screening and care

Monitor physical health  milestones, including:

  • feeding
  • length
  • weight
  • reflexes
  • milestones
  1. Assess and support families at addressing health concerns
  2. Provide anticipatory guidance

If you have postpartum or newborn health questions and would like to discuss them in an unhurried appointment please feel free to book a new family appointment with me. If you would like to learn more about how a nurse practitioner can support your family’s health please feel free to book a free 15 minute discovery call.

A healthful life starts here. Book an appointment with our primary care providers today.

Finding Calm in the Chaos

What your naturopath is doing right now.


I’m not sure about you, but for me the days blend together and it all actually feels like 1 long day. The world feels dangerous and the threat is invisible. 

We’ve all had our lives affected by COVID-19 and the fallout is going to continue for some time. Uncertain times, such as now, can always trigger the difficult feelings of worry, nervousness and panic. It can feel as if you are spiraling out and the result is feeling a lack of control; that in turn, sets off the emotional and mental alarm bells causing what we call anxiety.

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Holiday Mayhem

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Merry Stress Management

We’ve all been there. You’re standing in line at a crowded shopping mall, there aren’t enough cashiers, and the line is moving unbelievably slow. It took more than 15 minutes to find a parking spot and now you’re running late but it’s okay because the sound system is blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you,” right?

For many, the winter holidays mark a festive but also difficult time. It seems like everything demands our attention. Work deadlines to end off the year, pressure to buy well-received gifts, financial stress, unwanted conversations with family and not to mention the regular regimen of eating healthy and exercising. It’s a unique time because after the holiday season, this stress will go away. It’s the same stress that is also a predictable stress that we have the power to manage. In a survey conducted by Healthline in 2015, 62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays, while 10% reported no stress whatsoever. Great for that 10%, but what can the majority do to thrive this holiday season?

…62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays…

1. Making a list, checking it twice

Whether you are naughty or nice, make a list of what needs to be done. By writing it down you effectively declutter your mind and ensures that you don’t forget key tasks. Having your to-do list swirl around in your head will inevitably ensure that random tasks will pop up at the wrong time when you are already doing a million things or when you’re trying to catch some z’s. While pen and paper works the best, you can also use a notes app on your smartphone.

it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit.

2. Channel kind Grinch vibes

The Grinch vibe is to say no. Despite what you are told, it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit. In plain terms, you can say no to obligations/responsibilities. Yes, it is possible to say no from a kind place, unlike the Grinch. Adding obligations to your plate might seems like a good idea to channel the holiday/Christmas spirit, however the spirit should not be draining you or stop you from doing the things that you truly enjoy. This time more than any other time you should protect your valuable time and energy.

Ways to say no:

  • “Thank you for thinking of me. I have this project that I am working on right now.”
  • “I am fully committed to doing this task before I can take on anything else.”
  • “Thank you for inviting me, unfortunately I can’t make it out to the Christmas party this year.”

3. Family time

If it’s uncomfortable to be around family because you may be avoiding some members and/or conversations, then keep in mind that the holidays are a time for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Stick to activities that you can jointly enjoy and/or areas of conversation that are of interest to both parties. Be mindful of your words and avoid combative language. Keep in mind that you can have a conversation someone without having the same perspective. Accept that you may not change the other person’s mind which will ease the tension in conversation. When all else fails, you can end a conversation before you see it turning hostile and change the topic to something you do agree upon.

For some people the holidays mark a sad time when there may be missing family members who have passed away. During this time, gift yourself some TLC without isolating yourself. While you don’t have to force yourself to be happy, you can take a walk, get some air, acknowledge your grief and talk to a trusted friend or family member.

4. Deck the halls with self care

Because the holiday season requires us to take on more responsibility than usual, our brain goes into overdrive. It may be acceptable for us to let go of personal health habits to complete other activities (ex: skipping exercise because of late working hours). Your daily routine is how you take care of your mind and body. It may include things such as physical activity, a cup of tea, journaling, getting to bed at a decent hour. Does it make sense to let go of your routine during the most stressful time of year? During the holidays you can keep your mental and physical stability by continuing your self care routine. Things may shift around a bit and you may skip some days but don’t toss your routine out of the window completely.

5. Presents under the tree

Are you also a well-deserving? YES! Be kind to yourself and give yourself a gift every day!

Self care gift ideas:
  • Take some time off of work to do something you enjoy
  • Sleep in for one day
  • Learn something new (ex: new recipe, new way to wrap presents, etc.)
  • Reminisce about good memories from the past year
  • Reflect on the passing year and make some goals for next year
  • Laugh! Watch a comedy show
  • Take advantage of your health benefits before the year ends

Stress around the holidays can come out in different ways. For some it can be difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, feeling angry, irritable or out of control, experiencing headaches, poor energy, or body aches and pains. Pay attention to your stress signals and take care of yourself.

Happy Holidays!

[/bt_text][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSmallSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][bt_row_inner][bt_column_inner width=”1/1″ align=”center” cell_padding=”default” vertical_align=”inherit” highlight=”no_highlight” background_color=”” opacity=”” el_class=”” el_style=””][bt_button text=”Stress Management Starts Here – Work with WHW” icon=”” url=”https://wildflowerhw.janeapp.com/” target=”_self” style=”Outline” icon_position=”Inline” color=”Accent” size=”Medium” width=”Normal” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_button][/bt_column_inner][/bt_row_inner][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSemiSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][bt_dropdown title=”References” dd_content=”American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-conversations.aspx
American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/holiday-stress.aspx

Havard Medical School: http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/holiday-stress-and-brain” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_dropdown][bt_hr top_spaced=”topSmallSpaced” bottom_spaced=”bottomSemiSpaced” transparent_border=”noBorder” el_class=”” el_style=”” responsive=””][/bt_hr][/bt_column][/bt_row][/bt_section]