Prenatal & Postnatal Leisure Guide Programming for the New Year

The city just released the Leisure Guide for Winter 2013, which lists programming  for the first few months of 2013. A couple of prenatal/postnatal items caught my eye:

  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Baby Bootie Camp
  • Baby & Me Aqua Fitness (for various age ranges)
  • Zumba Babies & Moms
  • Mom & Me Yoga
  • Prenatal Bootie Camp
  • Baby & Me Abs, Butts & Thighs
  • Stroller Fit Fusion
  • Box Fit Mom & Baby Bootcamp

Tons of great options at reasonable prices. To find them all, go to and click the Course Catalogue tab, then Active Living – Adults – Adult Fitness – Pre-post Natal for Adults. Be ready to register on Wednesday, December 12th!

HSC Women’s Hospital Update

An interview with HSC’s CEO Dana Erickson in today’s Metro sheds some light on the status of the new Women’s Hospital being built at HSC:

“Across William Avenue at the corner of Sherbrook Street the latest phase of construction of the new 300,000-square-foor [sic] Women’s Hospital has started, and two tower cranes will move in next month to start work on the building’s foundation slab.

“Manitoba’s growing… and the province is responding to that need,” explained Erickson, noting the old Women’s Hospital building built in 1950 is just 70,000-square-feet.

The new Women’s Hospital, expected to be finished in 2015, will have 173 beds and 54 private rooms with private bathrooms, up 25 per cent from the old building.”

From what I understand, the new Women’s Hospital will include a NICU. At present the two areas are about half a kilometer apart, which is not great for mothers or their critically ill babies. All in all, sounds like the new hospital will greatly benefit the thousands of Manitoba women who give birth at Women’s Hospital each year.

Volunteers Needed for Baby Clothes Sorting Event

Just heard about a volunteer opportunity for a great cause.

“You Can’t Spoil A Baby is hosting a family-friendly event on Wednesday November 28th from 10am-12pm to encourage families to volunteer together. Adults and youth will be invited to help sort baby clothes and children can either decorate greeting cards or take part in story time.” The event will be held at John Black Memorial United Church (Robertson Hall) at 898 Henderson Hwy.

You Can’t Spoil A Baby is a local project that aims to provide low-income Manitoban families with various sizes of baby clothes for the first year.

For more info, visit

Birth Centre Celebrates One Year (plus Open House Details)

Today, the Birth Centre celebrates one year and 112 babies – 12 more than their goal for the first year. I caught an interview with Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald on CBC’s Up to Speed this afternoon and was dismayed (not for the first time) at how the media manages to turn even a milestone worth celebrating into an attack, claiming the money spent on the Birth Centre is hard to justify in light of the overcrowding at HSC and St. B. I thought Minister Oswald did splendidly, correcting and clarifying each negative statement and question into something confident and positive.

It’s a well-known fact that Manitoba does not have enough midwives to meet demand (lately articles have been saying that 70-75% of women seeking midwifery care are turned away due to the shortage), but I was heartened to hear that the province has hired 11 additional midwives over the last year, and Minister Oswald has said that “the number of midwives in Manitoba could double virtually overnight if the college revised its admission criteria regarding internationally trained professionals.” (see Free Press article below).

I toured the Birth Centre during its grand opening and also once attended an educational/discussion session there. It is a beautiful space that is already making a huge impact of the lives of women and families in Winnipeg not only because it’s a natural, supportive, non-clinical birth setting, but also because it offers so many other services and program of interest to a women in a wide variety of life stages. I am as confident as Minister Oswald is that the popularity and use of the centre will only grow with time.

There is an open house scheduled at the Birth Centre for November 24th from noon to 3pm. If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit this amazing facility, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to do so! And I extend my sincerest congratulations to everyone involved with the birth centre for their vision and hard work – it is already paying off in spades.

Here’s some local media coverage of the anniversary. I’ll add video news clips later if available.


Brand Name Used Kids’ Clothing Sale – Saturday November 24th – CANCELLED

Update Nov 24: I just went to the church to visit the sale and see that it has been cancelled.

A pair of lovely ladies from my neighbourhood has organized the “From Ours to Yours Brand Name Children’s Clothing Sale” at Gordon King Memorial United Church at 127 Cobourg Ave, taking place Saturday, November 24th from 12 to 3pm!

Admission is just $1 (children are free) and the proceeds of admission and table rentals goes towards the church’s children’s programs.

For those interested in selling their used clothing, baby gear, etc., tables rentals are just $25. See the sellers guidelines and application form here. For more info, email organizers Tamara and Ceannmhara at

$5 Yoga at the Birth Centre

Got a notice earlier today from Women’s Health Clinic – they will soon be offering $5 yoga which includes prenatal adaptations. According to the notice, this is a 6-session series that takes place on the following days and those interested are welcome to come to individual or all classes:

All sessions: 12:05-12:50 pm
Thursday, November 15
Tuesday, November 20
Thursday, November 29
Tuesday, December 4
Thursday, December 13
Tuesday, December 18

Pre-registration is recommended as space is limited – email or call 204-947-2422 ext. 324. Participants should bring (and sit block, straps, small/thin blanket if available) or inquire about equipment loaners. Cash payment required before the start of each class.

Sounds great – hope they get a good turnout!

New Study on Mother & Child Health in Manitoba

The U of M has just released the results of a study, Perinatal Services and Outcomes in Manitoba. The study found that our province is generally on par with the rest of the country but could use improvement in certain areas. Some interesting findings from the news release:

  • Compared to the Canadian rate of about 28 per cent, Manitoba had a much lower rate of cesarean birth at approximately 20 per cent in 2008/09.
  • The number of births by a midwife grew throughout the study period from 2.5 per cent in 2001 to 4.7 per cent in 2009 when the number of registered midwives in Manitoba peaked at 40.
  • Rates of vaginal births for women in Manitoba who had a previous cesarean birth (known as vaginal birth after cesarean or VBAC) remained relatively high.
  • “One of the most notable messages in this study is that as mothers’ social and economic circumstances declined, the health of newborns declined as well.” – lead researcher Maureen Heaman
  • Manitoba also had a high rate of teenage births – between 2007 and 2009 about nine per cent of children born were to teen mothers. The Canadian average was under five per cent.

The Full Report and Summary are available at from U of M.