Study Recruitment: Perinatal Experiences Study

The Perinatal Experiences Study by Dr. Kristin Reynolds and Dr. Natalie Mota, researchers and clinical psychologists at the U of M, is currently recruiting participants.

There is a lack of research that has explored the impact of traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress symptoms on women who are pregnant and postpartum. There is a corresponding gap in resources (either information or supports) for perinatal women who have undergone traumatic events and have posttraumatic stress symptoms impacting their experiences with routine prenatal medical appointments, labour and delivery, and/or psychological wellness during these periods.

The aim of this study is to better-understand the experiences and post-traumatic stress symptoms of perinatal women, such that we can look to develop resources and supports in subsequent work.

What is involved? Participation involves participating in a 60 minute virtual interview + a brief background questionnaire which takes about 10 minutes. As a thank you for participating, you will receive a $10 gift card.

This study is seeking to recruit women who meet the following criteria, to participate in an individual interview (virtual or telephone).

·       Ages 18 and older

·       Within the perinatal period (pregnant through to the first 12 months postpartum)

·       Have reported a history of one or more traumatic experiences in the past that is interpersonal in nature (intimate partner violence, sexual assault) OR a traumatic experience relating to their pregnancy, labour and delivery or postpartum experience.

Interested in participating? Would you like to learn more about the research study? Contact, Essence Perera (Research Assistant), at the following email address:

Online Virtual Prenatal Classes

Are you looking for an Online Prenatal Childbirth Class that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home? There have been many changes over the past few months due to COVID-19. One of those changes has been the increased use of technology. We are fortunate to be living in a time when staying connected is a bit easier, even if it from a distance and over a screen.

Following the announcement of the pandemic, Bean Family Wellness quickly adapted to fully digitize Prenatal Classes, Specialty Classes, and meetings with families. As of June 25th, 2020, Bean Family Wellness was able to re-open the option for in-person group prenatal and specialty classes for families who prefer in-person education. However, virtual participation continues to be available to all families who prefer online.

Virtual Prenatal Childbirth Classes and Virtual Specialty Prenatal Classes like the Newborn & Baby Care 101 Classes or Breastfeeding 101 Class (plus others) are LIVE, instructor-led, and available online to families in Winnipeg, Rural Manitoba, and Canada-wide. You can choose to participate in a Mixed Virtual class (some participants online, some in-person), or a Purely Virtual class (all participants online).

For group classes, families can participate LIVE from the comfort of their own home or cottage. Families receive a digital resource folder, supplementary class materials, and instruction to prepare them for participating online. Couples are able to ask questions LIVE, participate in group/couple/independent activities with the rest of class, and view the instructor, powerpoint slides, and videos LIVE.

For private classes, families receive the same options but with 1:1 instructor privately with their instructor.

In these unprecedented times, it is understandable that every family has a different comfort level and preference. Not 100% sure about virtual classes but curious about participating in an in-person prenatal class in Winnipeg? In-person group classes have been adapted to ensure physical distancing requirements are maintained, COVID-19 screening is completed for all participants and there are no shared materials during class. Private in-person classes are also available within Winnipeg, Manitoba and 20-minutes from the Winnipeg city perimeter highway. Bean Family Wellness also offers a 2-part private prenatal childbirth class (part 1 online and part 2 in-person).

Visit Bean Family Wellness’ Website to learn more and register for a class!

Visit Pregnancy Winnipeg’s Prenatal Class Page for additional options for classes. Note: some classes are being offered virtually, others have been suspended until further notice.

STUDY: Call for Participants

The University of Calgary is currently recruiting participants who are pregnant to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting emotional and physical wellbeing during pregnancy.

From the study website:

“Who can participate? You are eligible if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are less than 35 weeks pregnant
  • Are 18 years of age or older
  • Can read and write English
  • Live in Canada
  • Have access to a device with an internet connection

What does the study involve?

  • 30-45 minutes to complete the initial survey
  • Brief monthly surveys to follow up about your experience of pregnancy during COVID-19, mental health, coping and resiliency
  • Several optional follow up studies will launch in the future “

Learn more and participate by visiting:

Essential Oils for Childbirth Book – Review & Giveaway

I rEssential Oils for Childbirth Book Coverecently I had a chance to review the book Essential Oils for Childbirth: Using Aromatherapy to Reduce Stress, Alleviate Anxiety, and Lessen Pain with any Birth Plan by Michaela Boldy, RN.

This book is a user-friendly reference guide to educate expectant mothers about the various the health benefits of essential oils, which can be used to improve their childbirth experience. This book has easy-to-understand information on how to safely use essential oils during pregnancy, afterbirth for recovery, as well as extra information for using aromotherapy to benefit your baby and your whole family.

About the Author
Michaela Boldy is a Registered Nurse, a Certified Aromatherpy Practioner, a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, and a Mother to 4. After the author successfully incorporated aromatherapy into her own childbirth, she founded Michaela Boldy Aromotherpy – specifically selling the two labour blends that she had created and used for her own labours.  She was successfully able to introduce the use of aromatherapy by midwives and doulas in the San Franscisco Bay Area. As a result of a small trial, aromotherapy was found to be very effective promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety during childbirth, both of which are very important for labour and childbirth.

Essential Oils for Childbirth has 8 Chapters to help you feel confident to use essential oils to ease your pregnancy and childbirth.  The information that it provides is research-based and includes information about various studies and personal experiences throughout. Don’t have any knowledge about essential oils or aromatherpy? No problem! This book is perfect for people with no background or some existing knowledge. It is also great for mothers, partners, childbirth professionals, or health care professinos.

You will learn about what aromotherapy is, how essential oils work, how to choose quality oils, different ways to use them, along with safety precaustions. Essential Oils for Childbirth also has bonus information about baby massage, little extras to make your baby happier, and even a chapter with research data on how aromatherapy may help to lower the number of c-sections. Essential Oils for Childbirth teaches mothers and partners to use different essential oils to enhance the birth experience, while offering a variety of easy to create recipes you can make yourself for labour and beyond.

Through my experience, I know that many expectant mothers report some level of anxietty and fear during their pregnancy and during childbirth itself. I’ve seem that aromatherapy can be an easy to implement comfort measure for mothers, regardless of their birth plan or birth circumstances. As a birth doula, I have my own list of favourite essential oils that I pack in my on-call bag, most of which are included in this book! I love that this book covers questions that parents often ask about what essential oils are safe / not safe, as well as how to use essential oils safely, which makes it easy even if they don’t have a doula.

Overall, I found this book an easy and quick read. This is a book that I will be proudly adding to the Bean Family Wellness Library.

Do you want to own a copy of this book? Visit your local bookstore or purchase your copy online on Amazon, or enter the giveaway below!


Essential Oils for Childbirth Pregnancy Winnipeg Review & Giveaway

What can you win?
One winner will receive a paperback copy of Essential Oils for Childbirth by Mechaela Boldy, RN

This giveaway will end June 16, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. CST.  Open to residents of Winnipeg only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. Receiving this item did not in anyway affect the information that I shared in this article. All the opinions in this article are my own.

STUDY: Call for Participants

Parenting During the Pandemic is the overarching study from which I will be drawing quantitative data for a sub-study. The sub-study explores the impact of COVID19 on Manitoban families of children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDDs), ages 0-8 years. NDD’s are often apparent at birth or in early childhood and include, but are not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, global delay syndrome, speech and language disorders, motor disorders, Down syndrome, and intellectual disability. 

Once you complete the survey within Parenting during the Pandemic, you will be asked if you would like to participate in future or follow up studies (please check off “yes”). For those that fit the above criteria (highlighted in yellow) and have agreed to participate in follow up studies, I will contact them to arrange an interview to discuss specifically how their access to services has been impacted by the pandemic. A $20 honorarium (Gift Card) will be given to participants who complete the follow up interview. “

Learn more and participate by visiting:

WWW. P A R E N T I N G D U R I N G T H E P A N D E M I C . C O M

Tip: Prepare Meals for the Week in Advance

Planning ahead can make life less stressful when preparing for baby, after baby arrives, or once you have a family in general. Sunday is a perfect day to get a head start on the week and plan some meals or snacks that are easy to eat.

Pulling out my slow cooker or instant pot isn’t typically what I find myself doing at 11pm on a Sunday night… But recently, I bought a HUGE box of Steel Cut Oats. So I wanted to get creative with some different ways to eat them. What I love about steel cut oats is that they have a slight crunch to them and taste slightly nutty. It’s very different than traditional rolled oats. But Steel Cut Oats have a lot of benefits over the traditional oats. And for those of you who need to be gluten free, I’ve been lucky enough to find gluten free steel cut oats too!

So, last night I decided to prepare breakfast for the next few days – Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal.

I found the recipe over at The Merry Gourmet – a very cute foodie blog. Here is The Merry Gourmet’s recipe for Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal. Tomorrow morning I plan on topping mine with berries and almonds. Then later in the week, I think I’ll treat myself and top it with some sliced bananas and almond butter (one of my favourite ways to enjoy oatmeal).  If you are looking for more ideas on how to top your Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal, visit the Oh She Glows blog for more ideas (and another variation on Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal).

This is a easy, nutritious, and fun meal that is perfect for the whole family. Plus, by topping your oatmeal with the ingredients of your choice it makes it a breakfast that everyone will enjoy!

Have you ever tried steel cut oats?  How do you like them compared to traditional rolled oats or quick oats?  What recipes do you use them in?

Planning to Breastfeed? STUDY looking for participants

Are you a first-time parent? Are you currently over 25 weeks pregnant, or have you recently had a baby within the past 6 months?

A team from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham Region Health Department, led by Dr. Jennifer Abbass Dick, is conducting a study to determine the effectiveness of an innovative breastfeeding educational online resource.

“We are currently recruiting expecting mothers, fathers, partners and co-parents over 25 weeks pregnant all across Canada who are thinking of breastfeeding their baby and are first time parents.”

Feel free to check out Durham Region Health Department’s post on their Facebook page as an example:

Reflecting on the Holidays – Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The holidays are quickly approaching. Do you have a few (or more) family dinner’s coming up? The year I had my oldest daughter was the year that I started hosting family dinner’s for special occasions at my house. I remember that first year, feeling that a mix of excitement, as sort of a rite of passage, but also slight terror!   That first year, we were only hosting  a few people but with a new baby in the house, I remember wondering…what did I agree to?! However, when my daughter was born, I somehow feel like the torch had been passed to me and it was suddenly time to start having more special family gatherings at our place.

That first year was the first time that I had attempted to make fresh cranberry sauce….because what is a Holiday Dinner without it? So, I thought I’d share it with those of you who are attempting thanksgiving dinner this year for the first time this year, or just need a reminder.

What is one food that is a ‘must’ for the holidays in your house?

thanksgiving cranberry sauce
Picture courtesy of prettyinprint on Flickr

Cranberry Sauce
1 (12 ounce) bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup of sugar (more or less to taste)
1 cup of water (or orange juice for an added tang!)
Up for adventure in the kitchen? You can also add orange or lemon zest, or a dash of cinnamon to taste.

Step 1 – Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
Step 2 – Bring to a boil.
Step 3 – Simmer until berries *pop*.
Step 4 – Stir.
Step 5 – Chill until ready to serve.
Step 6 (Optional) – Use a hand blender until smooth; if you are someone who likes added texture to your cranberry sauce, skip this step.
Step 7 (the most important step) – Enjoy with family and friends!

Cyber Monday (Week) SALE at Bean Family Wellness

Bean Family Wellness is hosting a Cyber Monday (Week) sale from November 26 – December 2, 2018.

Save 15% on many of Bean Family Wellness’ Services including:
– All Prenatal Childbirth Classes, including Group Classes or Private In-home Classes
– All BLS Provider CPR / AED Training (including Private In-home CPR Classes for Parents)
Birth Pool in a Box Rentals & Elle TENS Machine Rentals (all rentals include FREE home delivery and pick-up)
– All Imagery by Bean Photography Sessions

Services are offered in both Winnipeg and Rural Manitoba areas.

This promotion is exclusive to online reservations. Please use code CYBERMONDAY18 when you reserve online

Terms & Conditions: Sale valid Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2018. Reservations subject to availability. Not applicable for prior reservations. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Save 15% off many Bean Family Wellness Services reserved November 26 – December 2 (Code: cybermonday18)

Interview with Certified Reproductive Reflexologist – Gloria Laing

Today I’m very excited to introduce you to a local Manitoba Registered Reflexologist who is also a Certified Reproductive Reflexologist and the owner of Gloria’s Reflexology.

I have been following Gloria Laing for quite awhile now on social media and I love hearing all of the ways that she is helping families, and also helping to make families a reality for those who are having a difficult time in their reproductive journey. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share her business and her knowledge with you.

  1. A lot of readers are probably wondering…What is reflexology and how does it work with the body?

Reflexology is an ancient holistic therapy that, by applying strategic pressure to reflexes, removes communication barriers between your brain and organs/systems/cells in your body so that your body can regain it’s ability to heal itself and ward off disease and dysfunction. While there any many different types of Reflexology (reflexes are found on every inch of the body, much like fascia), some of the more common types are Foot Reflexology, Hand Reflexology, Ear Reflexology, Face Reflexology and Indian Head Massage.  I have certification in Foot, Hand, and Indian Head Massage Reflexology. Most commonly I work on the feet, and while the treatment feels like a delicious foot massage, its really so so much more.


  1. How did you become interested in helping families with their fertility journey, as well as through pregnancy, birth, and afterwards? 

In my previous life (as I jokingly call it), I was administration mixed with a bit of sales andmarketing. My last position in that career was in administration to a team of Midwives in

my region. As a late 30’s woman, I was suddenly exposed to things that I never knew existed! As far as I knew, if you got sick you went to the doctor, got a prescription and the sick went away. I didn’t know there was a whole preventative side and a wholistic treatment world and a natural approach to birth that didn’t immediately deem it a medical emergency. I was excited and inspired and I knew my next career would be in somehow helping women become the best versions of themselves naturally! Reflexology seemed to be that “way” for me and serendipity just led me down the golden brick road to Fertility Maternity and Birth Support Reflexology.


  1. I also read that you offer reflexology for babies! How does reflexology help babies? 

It’s true! Along with my Maternity and Birth Support Reflexology training, I learned special protocols that help babies with issues such as colic, constipation, shoulder dystocia at birth, precipitous birth consequences (i.e.: musculoskeletal trauma due to very fast birth), sleep issues etc.. the treatments for babies are significantly less time than for an adult, but no less effective. And I always show the parent how to perform the treatment at home to their baby so the healing can progress more rapidly and with less trips to my studio. Afterall, who LOVES taking baby to appointments.


  1. What is your favourite aspect of your job as a reflexologist?

I love the challenges that present themselves each and every day. While my specialties and passion are Women’s Health Issues, I see clients with stroke consequences, Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome, Anxiety and Stress Disorders.. I just love working with each client to help solve their puzzle and watch their symptoms reduce or resolve completely.


  1. How can families find you?

On the web I can be found at I’m also on Facebook and Instagram.

Physically my private home studio (yes it’s absolutely private to the rest of the house) is located just South of Landmark MB. An easy 20 minute drive south east of Winnipeg.


Learn more by visiting Gloria’s Reflexology website today!

A big thank you to Gloria for participating in this interview. Thank you for sharing more information on what reflexology is all about and how it can help families through conception, birth, the baby years, and beyond!  I look forward to having a chance to talk with Gloria more in the future and share her knowledge with families in Manitoba. Have a question about reflexology and how it relates to some of these topics? Email and I will try to include it in a future post!

Have you tried reflexology before? How did it help you or your family?