Tag Archives: Ottawa

5 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

Summer is just flying by. Given that my daughter is in the French-Catholic Board, she’ll be back to school on August 26th! Which means I’m starting to think about what we still need to do before summer ends, so that I don’t wake up in October kicking myself for letting the sun and sand pass me by:

1) BEACH DAY. I just can’t bring myself to go to a city beach for “beach day.” I love Petrie Island (given that I live in Orleans), and support my city as much as I can, but until the Province and City of Ottawa clean up our water, I’m totally grossed out. Instead, we will be enjoying the clean and sandy waters out in Bon Echo provincial park!

2) FAIR. There are so many great Ottawa-area fairs, and we are definitely going to check out the Navan Fair on August 9/10th! Although my girls don’t really enjoy crowds, I love that there are many different activities that don’t involve the noisy midway :)

3) FARM. Although our vegetable garden is huge, it certainly doesn’t compare to the greenery at Eco Honey Bee Spa and Gardens. It’s my favourite eco-spa in the Ottawa area, and Deborah welcomes families to come check out her beautiful gardens, doves, chickens and rabbits. And as a bonus, we can take a walk through Kemptville and stop at The Branch for lunch!

4) MOSAIKA. We still need to get my oldest out for the evening sound and light show on Parliament Hill. I think she’ll love it!!

5) POOL. I grew up with a pool, so it’s slightly sad that my kids don’t get to experience daily swimming in the backyard (although I’m not regretting the incredible costs and work associated with a pool!!). So before the summer is over, we plan to crash my friend’s backyard and use their pool to cool off :)

What do you hope to do before summer ends?

Eye Exams for Children

Did you know that eye exams are recommended for children as young as 6 months old? The Canadian Ophthalmological Society urges parents to seek an initial eye exam at this age to help with early detection of vision problems that can contribute to developmental delays, educational setbacks, and behavioural problems in children with difficulty seeing properly.

Well, we didn’t exactly make the 6 month appointment, but I finally got both girls in at 20 months and 4.5 years :) Although many schools and doctors will provide simple eye screening tests, a true eye exam should be performed by a Doctor of Optometry (Ophthalmologists are MDs who specialize in disorders of the eye, and you do not need to see one for an eye exam. However, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist in the event of eye disease or surgery).

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A simple Google search will pull up a number of different optometrists. I screened through several of the websites, and found one that I liked just down the road. Dr. Bender was really welcoming and professional, and made my girls feel right at home.

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The Dr. performed a number of tests, and they related to my daughter’s level of comprehension and verbal abilities. My 4.5 was able to read letters of the alphabet, whereas my youngest is barely talking. I was amazed what the doctor could learn just by using various instruments!

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So far, their eye health is great, with just a couple things to look out for down the road. It gives me comfort knowing that we’ve had them checked out. Most eye disease is preventable, and there are clear signs that doctors can spot during exams that you may not even notice. Just because you can see doesn’t mean nothing is wrong :)

And bonus? Eye exams under 20 years of age are covered by OHIP!

Dula? Doola? DOULA!

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The word doula comes from the ancient Greek language meaning “female servant,” but it has come to mean a labour support person – someone knowledgeable about birth who will support the labouring woman and her partner before, during, and after birth. Anyone can call themselves a doula and often the woman’s sister or friend will assume the role, but professional doulas are trained and some are certified by organizing bodies worldwide. Birth doulas provide information to the expecting woman during her pregnancy, emotional and physical support during her labour, and immediately after the birth. Postpartum doulas work with families in the 4th trimester (the first three months after baby is born) to help encourage, support, and provide information.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what do doulas actually do? Do you need a doula for your birth? What about after baby is born?

Let’s talk about birth first. Birth doulas provide continuous support which has been shown to have many benefits including improved maternal and fetal health. Just how does a doula support a labouring woman? It depends on the woman! Some women need a gentle touch and encouraging words while some need to be left alone; some women like knowing their doula is there for ideas and suggestions; and some need a lot of physical support. Whatever you need, your doula is there for you.

Doulas are really handy when it comes to keeping mom comfortable, whether it’s applying a cool cloth to the forehead, making sure the room is warm/cool enough, dimming the lights, suggesting different labour positions, or keeping mom hydrated and fed. But there are also things that are taught in the trainings – providing pressure on the back for pain relief, the use of a rebozo – a long, scarf-like piece of material – the use of a TENS machine, massage techniques and something called the double hip squeeze. These are only some of the comfort measures and tools we bring to each and every labour.

A doula can help you feel confident and empowered. A doula can hold your space and hold your hand. A doula can let your partner take a break. A doula can make a world of difference.

As for postpartum doulas, we joke that they try and work themselves out of a job. Postpartum doulas are there to answer any question relating to your new baby or your postpartum body. They are often trained to help with breastfeeding and sometimes baby wearing, cloth diapering, and can always find great resources in the community for anything challenging that comes up. They work with you to help you find your new normal, to find your rhythm, and to blossom into your new family unit.

Want to know more? Want to meet some Ottawa doulas in person? You’re in luck. There is a FREE information session Tuesday, July 15th at 7pm at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. You can ask all your questions and maybe find a doula you like.

Hope to see you there!

Kamerine is mom to Little J and Little K.  She documents her life with two toddlers, a husband and a cat at The Life of KKamerine is also a birth doula, and you can find out more about her services at Tiny Feet Doula Services.