We Have Houseplants and/or a Garden, Are There Plants We Should Be Concerned About?

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 12:07pm
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Picture this: It’s a warm summer day; there is a light breeze blowing. You are sitting in a garden of green shrubs and delicate flowers. As you sip at a glass of cold iced tea, you inhale the sweet smell of summer. Does this image make you feel happy or relaxed? Plants, including flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees, can have a positive effect on people and on their surroundings. However, these plants can potentially be dangerous for your baby.

Did you know that even some common plants can make children, adults and pets sick, or even cause death? Just touching some of these plants is enough. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any plant that is not familiar to you and to teach your children to do the same. Remember, infants and toddlers don’t know the difference between lettuce and crocus, and will put almost anything into their mouths.

Here’s a handy list of some of those plants. Print this and do a tour of your home and yard:

  • Angel’s Wings
  • Autumn Crocus 
  • Avocado 
  • Azalea 
  • Black Locust Trees 
  • Bleeding Heart 
  • Buttercups 
  • Caladium 
  • Castor Bean 
  • Cherry Trees 
  • Chinese/Japanese Lantern 
  • Chrysanthemum 
  • Clematis 
  • Crocus 
  • Crown-of-Thorns 
  • Cyclamen 
  • Daffodil 
  • Daphne 
  • Dieffenbachia 
  • Dumb Cane 
  • Elderberry 
  • Elderberry Trees 
  • Elephant Ear 
  • English Holly 
  • English Ivy 
  • Foxglove 
  • Golden-Chain 
  • Holly 
  • Horse-Chestnut Tree 
  • Hyacinth o Hydrangea 
  • Iris o Jack-in-the Pulpit 
  • Jasmine o Jerusalem Cherry 
  • Jimsonweed (Thorn Apple) 
  • Larkspur
  • Laurel 
  • Lily of the Valley 
  • May-Apple 
  • Mistletoe 
  • Monkshood 
  • Moonseed 
  • Morning Glory 
  • Narcissus 
  • Nightshade 
  • Oak Trees 
  • Oleander 
  • Philodendron 
  • Poison Hemlock 
  • Poison Ivy 
  • Poison Oak
  • Potato (eyes, stems and spoiled parts) 
  • Primrose 
  • Rhododendron 
  • Rhubarb Leaves 
  • Star of Bethlehem 
  • Sweet Pea 
  • Tobacco 
  • Virginia Creeper 
  • Wild Mushrooms (all should be considered toxic until known otherwise) 
  • Wisteria 
  • Yellow Jasmine


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Safety: How Do I Make My Home Fire Proof?

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 12:12pm
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Here is a list of basic safety precautions in the case of fire in your home. In addition to the points below, be sure to look carefully around your house for yourself, to see if there are any additional actions you can take to fire proof it for you and your child. But begin by making sure that:


  • There is at least 1 smoke detector per floor

  • If the smoke detector is in the hall, the bedroom doors are kept open

  • Any room with bunk beds has a smoke detector - this is a must because smoke rises and the person in the top bunk will be quickly overcome with smoke

  • Escape routes to leave all areas of the house have been planned



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Breastfeeding While Attending Work or School

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2011 02:48pm
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When you return to work or school you might wonder if you can continue to breastfeed. The good news is that you can – it just takes a little planning!

If you’re lucky enough to have childcare where you work or go to school, speak to your employer or instructors about the times throughout the day when you need to breastfeed. These can often be accommodated easily.

If your baby is not in a nearby childcare centre, speak to your employer or instructors about how you plan to manage breastfeeding, especially if you will need to pump or express while you’re there.

The benefits of breastfeeding are becoming increasingly understood. If you're having problems at your workplace or school, one good strategy is to point out that breastfed babies usually don't get sick as often as those who are not breastfed. This means you will most likely miss less time in the future, which will lead to greater productivity in the long run not to mention that you’ll be a happier employee or student.

Work out the details of when and where you'll need to pump: 

  • Try to pump at the times when your baby would normally feed. 
  • Find a private location with a door that locks. 
  • Wear clothing that makes pumping easy. 
  • Plan for storage; this may mean a cooler with ice.


In the first few weeks of your new routine, ease into it to avoid exhaustion. To make the transition period easier for everyone, try to keep commitments to a minimum and accept outside help when it's offered.


Did you breastfeed while going to work or school? How did you manage? Was your workplace or school accommodating? Share your story with other parents just like you in the comments section below!


More information on breastfeeding »

Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? Our expert, Attie Sandink, is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask Attie a Question!



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Breastfeeding When Mom is Out

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2011 02:52pm
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When you start breastfeeding you might worry that it will be impossible to go out for an evening or return to work or school while you’re responsible for feeding your new baby. Many moms know that breastfeeding is best for their child’s healthy development and they want to breastfeed, but they worry that doing so won’t be possible with their commitments or lifestyle.

The good news is that you can continue to provide breast milk for your baby even when you can’t be there. With some preparation and planning it’s possible to make breastfeeding work even when you aren’t always available.

“Many women want to continue breastfeeding their baby and they should,” says Kris Langille, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “Continuing to breastfeed your baby during periods of separation helps to keep you and your baby close. Also, it helps to keep him healthy, which can mean that you’ll be less likely to miss work, school or an evening out because of a sick child. And, of course, breastfeeding saves money, which is always tight when you’re a new parent!”

When you’re planning to be away from your baby for a few hours you want to prepare for the separation. Continue to breastfeed your baby whenever you are together. This includes feeding just before you leave and when you return. Breastfeed as often as possible on days you are with your baby to help to keep up your milk supply.

To provide breast milk for your baby, even while you're away from him, you'll need to do the following:

  • Express or pump milk from your breasts. As long as you continue to breastfeed, if you express or pump regularly, your breasts will continue to produce milk.
  • Safely store the breast milk in a cooler or a refrigerator. 


Langille recommends that, if possible, you allow yourself a 2-week head start, not only to learn how to pump easily but also to give your baby time to adjust to a new way of feeding. Your baby also needs to adjust to having someone other than you giving him milk. This lead time also allows you to build up a reserve of breast milk that you can store in the freezer. Breast milk can be safety stored in a deep freezer for 6-12 months, in a two door fridge/freezer for 3-6 months and in a 1 door fridge with freezer compartment inside for up to 2 weeks.

This is also a good time to get your baby used to the new feeding routine, as long as your baby is over 6 weeks old. You need to be sure that baby is successfully feeding on the breast before offering breastmilk by another route. Offer at least one of these feedings a day, preferably during the time of day that you expect to be away. Don’t be surprised it your baby isn’t thrilled at first. It takes some babies awhile to adapt to a different feeding method.

Whoever will feed your baby while you’re away will need to know your preferred feeding method, as well as how to prepare breast milk by thawing it, for example. Keep in mind that some advance preparation time gives you the opportunity to go over the details and practice the feeding method with the caregiver.

Whether it's Dad, a relative or an outside-the-home caregiver, everyone should feel comfortable and confident about the new feeding arrangements. The best way to do this is to acquaint your baby with other feeders before you are gone for long periods of time. He needs time to get comfortable with the new arrangement, too. Remember you're asking your baby to make three big adjustments:

  1. Your baby must start drinking breast milk in a whole new way. 
  2. Someone else will be feeding your baby. 
  3. Mom will be away for long periods of time. 


The number of times you’ll need to express or pump milk depends on the amount of time you will be away and the age of your baby. Usually, you pump or express as often as you feed. Choose a place where you are most comfortable; the more relaxed you are, the better the milk flows, sometimes having a picture of your baby with you will help. Once you've mastered pumping, and if your pump allows, try pumping both breasts at the same time. This will help to cut back on your pumping time. Don't worry if there are daily differences in milk supply; this is normal.

Langille explains that while hand-expressing breast milk is great for relieving engorgement, most moms prefer to use a manual or electric pump. These take less time and you'll have more success getting sufficient quantities of milk. There are a wide variety of pumps available on the market, some better than others and some more expensive than others. Renting a breast pump is another option you may want to explore, especially if you only plan to pump for a short time.

Some things to consider: 

  • Manual pumps require more hand strength and dexterity.
  • Electric pumps will provide an electrical outlet which may or may not be in a convenient location for you to pump.
  • Portability if you plan to take your pump with you, to work or school, for example, you will need a pump that’s easy to transport.
  • If you're busy, shop for a pump that's easy to use and quick to clean.
  • Once you have expressed or pumped breast milk, make sure you store it properly. If you are at home, store it in the fridge or freezer. If you are out, use a cooler with ice or store it in a refrigerator at work or school. 


Check information you may have received from your doctor, midwife, healthcare provider or breastfeeding classes which contain clear instructions on how to safely collect and store breast milk, pumping and expressing breast milk. Other good sources of information include a Lactation Consultant, the breastfeeding clinic or the LaLeche League. Learn more about breastfeeding support options. 

And take a look at our article about Breastfeeding While at Work or School for information on how to deal with this common situation.


What method did you use to breastfeed while you were away from your baby? What worked best? What problems did you have? Share your story with other parents just like you by leaving a comment below.


More information on breastfeeding »

Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? Our expert, Attie Sandink, is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask Attie a Question!



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