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How to Manage Stress as a Mother

Have you been feeling additional stress with your new little one being
born or currently on the way? The beginning of motherhood can be challenging as you begin the adjustment period of an additional family member. According to studies, long-term stress can lead to problematic parenting!

How do mother’s develop stress?

Stress is typically caused by factors such as:

Time Demand– Lack of time to get everything done such as household chores, time to spend playing with kids, time to one’s self, etc.

Finances– The inability to adequately provide all of the basic necessities for your child.

Relationship Demand– When a mother invests the necessary time into their relationship with their children, often other relationships are being neglected, especially when children are young and require undivided attention.

Protective Instincts– Aside from any potential danger a child might face, mothers worry about their children’s behaviour and social development which makes every new stage of growth a challenge.

Self- Doubt– Mothers commonly face a similar fear of not providing enough for their child. They are constantly re-evaluating what they are doing, looking for new insights and trying to stay one step ahead of their child at all times.

Time Alone– Mothers find it difficult to make time and save their energy to care for themselves.

How to manage these stress factors:

  1. Establishing a parental plan: It is important to assign roles to each person in the family to relieve the stress of only one parent taking on the full responsibility.
  2. Sleep when the baby sleeps: Once the child has been put to sleep, take this opportunity to sleep yourselves! This can be implemented during the night by organizing a plan with your partner. When one person is sleeping, the other is getting up to attend to the child and then switch roles on the next night.
  3. Exercise: Exercise is very well known to reduce stress levels in new mothers. An excellent tip is to spread your workout throughout the day in shorter intervals opposed to longer workouts in one sitting. This has proven to show that mothers will stick with the routine much longer.
  4. Spending time with your significant other: It is important to maintain good communication as you are a team working together. Ensure that time is being put aside to spend with one another, whether that is having alone time while the child is sleeping (and keeping the baby talk to a minimum) or going for walks with the child in the stroller.
  5. Reach out to support within your community: If you are ever feeling alone or isolated, reach out to friends and/or family for assistance. Additional support can also come from your community by finding local sites that may help provide resources and other important information.

Written by York University Nursing Students,

Andrea and Julia

Meet Our New Students!

Hi everyone, we are Andrea and Julia, the new 3 rd year York University Nursing students doing our community placement here at The New Mom Project and will be here until the end of March. During our stay, we are planning on covering various topics such as; post-partum depression, breastfeeding, milestones, etc. We would like to collect information about all of these items to gain insight on the different types of moms in the community, and share this knowledge with them. We are hopefully planning to deliver this information through handouts, blog posts on The New Mom Project website or through a welcome package.

If you have any suggestions on topics that you would like us to go into more detail, please feel free to let us know the next time you are visiting New Mom Project. We hope to meet you soon!

Farewell, Happy Holidays!

Thank you from York University Nursing students. We have been greatful, and enjoyed being with you this year at the New Mom Project. During the year we received a lot of feedback from the mothers who came to New Mom Project, and as a community support we have found some solutions for your requests. Thank you all the information you gave us about your experience and about your needs.

What supports would help you more? This question gave us many responses. Mothers we spoke to are looking for housing support, and social groups. To resolve these needs we found options that are offered to the public:



Above are links for child care, housing, health, and education.


While being at New Mom Project we gathered some data about what clients had to say about quality, and availability at New Mom Project; and their experience being a new mom.

  • Mothers rated their experience at New Mom Project from 1-10, and we got an average rating being 9.5
  • Mothers asked that their be more availability of clothing for ages 6 and up, more 18-24 months clothing, high chairs, double strollers, potties, school bags, cribs, and blankets
  • Mothers rated their experience being a new mom in Canada from 1-10 as being 7.5
  • Mothers are happy that the New Mom Project has decided to have an appointment system
  • Mothers would like to see more Jackets, Boots, Gloves, and Hats for the winter season, and earlier in the year
  • Mothers need support finding jobs and financial support
  • Mothers who are immigrants/refugees want more work opportunities

We found barriers regards to education, but having guest speakers can fill that gap. Guest speakers that could come in to discuss breastfeeding, counseling, time management, work skills, and jobs.

We had a lot of fun! We had a lot of chances to speak publicly to ask mothers about their family. Our time at Jansens Johnsons and Johnson was excellent, and donating gifts to people downtown was a lot of fun. Thank you for having us Janice, Emma, and Gwen. Happy Holidays!


Janice Kienapple and Emma Curtis

We All Want To Learn More!

We will be starting education programs again this coming winter at the New Mom Project with guest speakers from nutritionists, nurses and other professionals!

We want to hear from you! Please tell us any topics you would like to learn more about. For example, Healthy Food, Nutrition, Child Development, Starting School, Sleeping Safety, Recreational programs to attend such as fun classes for your children, employment opportunities etc.

Share your ideas in person at the New Mom Project or send us an email at

Thank you for your input!

Vaccinations for your baby and toddler

Make sure to vaccinate your baby early to make sure their immune system is strong! Vaccinations are important to protect your baby from serious diseases that can be prevented through vaccines. These diseases that can be prevented can cause serious illness and possibly death.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are safe and do not cause any other diseases. Vaccine are weakened or killed virus/bacteria of that disease. Since it is a weakened or killed virus/bacteria the body can easily protect itself and defend the body from that disease. Once the immune system defends this vaccine, the body will recognize this virus and bacteria and will know how to fight it off again in the future, if the child comes into contact with it again.

When to get the vaccines for your child

First year vaccinations

At 2 and 4 months old, babies should receive the following vaccines:

  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenza type b
  • pneumococcal conjugate
  • rotavirus

At 6 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:

  • diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenza type b

At 12 months old, babies should receive the following vaccines:

  • pneumococcal conjugate
  • meningococcal conjugate (Men-C-C)
  • measles, mumps and rubella

Second year vaccinations

At 15 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:

  • chickenpox (varicella)

At 18 months old, babies should receive the following vaccine:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenza type b

Some vaccines require a booster shot which means they have to get another dose of the vaccine to make sure that they are still protected.

It is the Law

It is the law that children who attend school have immunizations against certain diseases. They get these immunizations through the vaccinations they received when they were younger.

  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • polio
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • meningococcal disease
  • whooping cough (pertussis)
  • chickenpox (varicella) – required for children born in 2010 or later

There can be exemptions for getting immunizations and you will have to talk to a local Public Health unit. These kids will be at an increased risk of diseases and they may be removed from school if the disease is present during school.

Your doctor or health care provider will keep a record of all the vaccines, doses, boosters and dates that your child received the vaccination. If you need access to this record, for example to show proof of vaccinations to the school, contact your health care provider or if you are unsure of the status of the vaccinations.


Babies are Always Learning 

Being a new parent can be exciting and stressful! Here are some tips to help you parent your baby during the first few months!

  • Take time to hold and cuddle your baby
  • Comfort them when they cry
  • Learn what your baby needs from their cry- hungry, sleep or play cry
  • Speak in a soft gentle voice
  • Talk to your baby about the things around them- this will allow them to learn
  • Allow them to explore the environment around them- different textures, smells, colours and smells
  • Read stories with them
  • Babies learn through play- dance, sing, play music with your baby
  • Breastfeeding can help you and your baby bond and it gives them all the nutrients they need for the first 6 months

You are your baby’s teacher, how you interact with them will help them learn and grow!

Do You Know How To Dress For the Winter Season?

 BRR!! Winter is almost here! Are you prepared? 

In Canada, temperatures in the winter can reach extreme cold temperatures. Extreme cold is -15°C and -20°C with the wind chill. It is important to check the weather forecast before leaving your home and to see if there is a cold alert.

Winter clothing includes:

  • Hat
  • Mittens/Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Jacket
  • Snow pants
  • Undershirt
  • Thick socks
  • Snow boots
  • Ear muffs
  • Blanket/ Wind breaker over a stroller

 How to dress to stay safe and warm 

Knowing how to dress properly in winter will you you and your children safe during this winter season. Infants and children are most at risk to the cold.

Remember to:

  • Cover as much exposed skin as possible.
  • Wear waterproof and windproof outer layers
  • Wear a hat
  • Choose warm mittens instead of gloves
  • Wear warm, waterproof boots
  • Choose wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing instead of cotton (these materials hold more body heat)

Babies are different from adults! They need an extra layer of clothing to keep warm! If you are wearing 2 layers a baby will need to wear 3. The extra layer can be an extra sweater underneath their coat

Please, if you have any extra clothing for the winter, or would like to donate new or lightly used clothing we would like them!

During periods of extreme cold, limit your time outside and to take breaks to warm up. You can warm up in your house or city buildings such as recreation buildings and libraries! The City of Toronto recommends that you heat your house to 21°C.

 How to stay healthy in the cold 

Being outside for long periods and not dressing properly can lead to frostbite and hypothermia.

You will first feel frostbite on your fingers, toes and ears. If this happens you have to warm up slowly.

Signs and symptoms of frostbite

  • Cold skin and a prickling feeling
  • Numbness
  • Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
  • Blistering after rewarming, in severe cases

Signs and symptoms of hypothermia

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness

Stay safe and warm this winter! Drink lots of warm beverages! 


Written by: Emma Curtis & Janice Kienapple

Flu Season

The flu season is upon us!

The Flu Bug

It is important to know that the flu is not a cold or respiratory illness. The best way to protect yourself and your little one is by getting vaccinated. The vaccine is free and is available at doctors offices, walk-in clinics and Public Health flu clinics.


Kids are the highest risk of developing the flu. They can easily spread the flu to other kids and family before you see any symptoms. Kids 5 years and younger are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu! Kids can receive the vaccine through injection or in the form of a  nasal spray depending on their age.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should receive the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their baby. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or unsure.

How Does the Flu Spread

The flu virus is spread to others by talking, sneezing and coughing. The flu germs can live on surfaces for many hours. You can get the flu from someone who does not have any symptoms of the flu.

Ways to Stay Healthy this Flu Season

  1. Get your flu shot early
  2. Wash your hands often
  3. Cover your cough and sneeze
  4. Clean toys and doorknobs


  1. Fever infant (37.5 C) , children and adults (38.0 C)
  2. Cough
  3. Achy muscles
  4. Sore throat
  5. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea in children

Benefits of the Vaccine

  1. Vaccines work to protect you from four strains of the flu virus.
  2. Children under 9 years old, after their first vaccine ever need another dose 4 weeks later.
  3. There are two methods, spray and injection.
  4. Delay vaccine if your child is sick, or has a fever, or will visit someone with a weak immune system (within 2 weeks).

Ask your healthcare provider if you have anymore questions, and visit

Written by: Emma & Janice

Meet The New Mom Doulas!

The New Mom Doula Program

For First Time Moms in Canada

Kate and Leah, our Doula Executive Team

Meet Kate and Leah the New Coordination Team for the New Mom Doula Program. We are proud to offer their doula expertise to you! Kate is a mom to twins, an experienced doula and previous educator abroad.  Being a new mom has recently brought Leah to the doula world.  She has had a long career as a social worker supporting at risk and homeless youth.

Our goal is to help new moms (first time birth) in Canada to navigate the Canadian healthcare system. When you are in a new country it can be tough, and having a new baby can be challenging. So, we want to help and support you.

Do you know what doulas are?  As a newcomer in Canada, a doula can be a support person to help you navigate through your pregnancy. We care and our doulas want to give back to their communities, and they want to provide their services for free!

You do not need to do this alone, our Doulas want to assist you in your first pregnancy. They will provide compassionate, and culturally sensitive pre-natal, post-natal, and birth support care. Throughout your 9 month journey, doulas can provide emotional support, physical support, birth coaching, and birth planning. For more support, doulas can educate moms about baby care, prenatal and postnatal nutrition. All the while, they are connected with the New Mom Project and with the community resources to help you have a healthy and safe pregnancy.

There is a new baby on the way! Our doulas visit you prenatally, provide full support during labour, and provide a postnatal check-in. This incredible care will have such a positive impact on your experience becoming a mom in Canada. If you would like to support our great initiative, you can donate to our GoFundMe campaign by clicking here!

This service is only available to qualifying mothers. If you are interested in our program, contact Gwen at New Mom Project to apply, or speak with you family doctor for a referral.

Written and edited by: Janice Kienapple & Emma Curtis

New Mom Project Wellness Series: Healthy Breakfast

Why is a healthy breakfast important for both moms and growing kids?

Breakfast, literally in the word, it is the meal that helps break our overnight fast during sleeping and helps us kick start our day. For such an important meal, it is crucial that we ensure that our breakfasts are healthy and nutritious. A healthy breakfast is important to provide us with the energy to start our day. It also helps provide us with many important nutrients that we may be deficient in if we skip it. For our little ones, it has been found to be directly related to their school performance and gives them the nutrients their growing brains need. However, it goes beyond that and can influence our and our children’s future risk for cardiovascular disease as it has been related to total cholesterol levels and obesity! Healthy breakfasts have a large impact on our health and ensuring a balance breakfast will give us the best start to our day.

New Mom Project presents the second of the four-part workshop series: Healthy Breakfast, where the importance of healthy breakfast and healthy breakfast ideas were shared with new mothers.  Our goal as an organization is to promote health and well-being to the members of our community, particularly to families in need.  This workshop has helped parents provide quick, affordable and healthy breakfast to their children and themselves through tips and education provided by our guest speaker, Linda Tommasino, who is a professional certified nutritionist.







From left: Linda Tommasino (Certified Nutritionist), variety of healthy breakfast options Linda brought to sample.

We were grateful to have Linda Tommasino, certified nutritionist, for an informative and helpful seminar held on November 2, 2017.  She has shared these tips for a healthy and balanced breakfast.

Linda’s Tips for a Healthy Breakfast

Balanced breakfast is important for both moms and kids to start the day:

  • It balances blood sugars for the rest of the day
  • It kick starts our metabolisms (which is good for weight maintenance and loss)
  • It prevents us from being famished at lunch, where we might have the tendency to reach for more refined sugars

A balanced breakfast has a combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber.

  • Carbohydrates: includes grains and fruits and vegetables
    • TIP: Look for items with whole grain (which is not the same as whole wheat!)
      • When reading the label, the first ingredient should be whole grain wheat, not enriched wheat or flour.
    • Some examples: oats, quinoas, barley
  • Proteins: includes dairy, cheese, nuts, seeds, eggs
  • Fats: nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter
    • TIP: look for nut butters that have roasted nuts as the only ingredient, as the typical nut butters on the shelves have a lot of sugar
  • Fibre: fruits, vegetables, whole foods, oats, flax seeds

Combine as many components as possible for a balanced breakfast!

Some examples include: whole grain wrap with nut butter and fruit.

  • Whole grain toast with avocado
  • Chia seed puddings with fruit and nuts





From left: Our moms try Linda’s ideas for healthy breakfast, Linda talks about healthy breakfast with our moms

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide!

  • Good nutrition is important for all ages, it not only helps you feel your best every day, but helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.
  • How to eat well with Canada’s Food Guide:
    • Choose foods from the four food groups at each meal
      • ½ plate of fruits/vegetables
      • ¼ plate of grain (for example: brown rice, whole grain pasta)
      • ¼ plate protein-rich foods (ex. Dairy, chicken, fish, beans)
    • Pregnant and Breastfeeding women
      • Require a multivitamin containing folic acid
      • Pregnant women should ensure that their multivitamin also contains iron
      • Please consult your health care professional about what vitamins are appropriate for you.
      • Also require more calories, include an extra 2-3 Food Guide servings each day.
      • For example, having a fruit or yoghurt for snack or an extra slice of toast at breakfast!
    • Children learn from their parents, help be good role models for eating.
      • Children tend to have smaller appetites, so several smaller nutritious meals and snacks are appropriate
      • Offer a variety of foods from all food groups


“Awesome” – New Mom A.

“The breakfast foods were very tasty” – New Mom K. 

“I learned a lot” – New Mom J.



Dietitians of Canada. (2017). Planning Meals using Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (p. 1). Retrieved from

Health Canada. (2016). Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (pp. 1-2). Ottawa: Publications Health Canada. Retrieved from

Nicklas, T., O’Neil, C., & Myers, L. (2004). The Importance of Breakfast Consumption to Nutrition of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. Nutrition Today39(1), 30-39.

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