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Department of Family and Community Medicine and St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team

Pregnancy - After the delivery

The end and the beginning

After delivering your baby, whether by C-section or vaginally, you and everyone around you begin a life transition. You are now a parent, everyone has to get used to that, especially you.  First and foremost is the newborn, who is also getting used to being outside (breathing air, eating, pooing, hearing, seeing etc.) Taking care of this new life is very difficult, both mentally and physically. Whether you’ve tried to prepare or not, it is impossible not be surprised by what it’s like caring for your first child.  Indeed, every baby is different, so every new addition to the family comes with surprises. 

We are here to help. We can be your tool to decreasing your worries, guiding you as you figure out this new role in life and making sure you and your baby are healthy and safe. Here are a few tips on common issues which arise during this intense time:

Self-care after delivery

Recovering from a vaginal or surgical delivery happens gradually during the first six weeks of the baby’s life. Depending on how intense this time in your life is, this part of you may go completely unnoticed, because you’re so focused on the baby. This is why we put it first on this list. Try to take time for yourself, because caring for yourself makes caring for your baby possible. This is no cliché: your baby and your family need your well-being to thrive.

The muscles of your back, lower belly and pelvis (the muscles between your legs) are all recovering from carrying a growing baby inside for nine months and from the stretching during delivery. If you’ve had a Cesarean section, your lower belly muscles have been cut through. They must now re-attach and gain their strength back. Here are some patient resources for exercises to decrease pain, improve strength and get yourself back.

Feeling bad: the sadness of having a baby

A baby is an injection of love and fear. Parenting is something we feel our way through much more than an inborn talent or something we study for and ‘pass’. Figuring it out takes a lifetime and involves stumbling along the way. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, extreme emotions (good and bad) and even lost. So when is what you’re feeling abnormal? When could you be depressed? When do you need help?

The first layer of answering these questions is this: if you feel that your answer to any of these questions could be yes see your doctor or nurse practitioner and ask their opinion. Diagnosing yourself is difficult, but if you’re worried we should check. If you’re not sure what your answers to these questions are here are a few signs of abnormal depression:

  • Feeling like you can’t sleep even though you’re exhausted and the baby is sleeping
  • Not ever feeling joy during your day with the little one
  • You cannot get worries out of your mind and these thoughts are stopping you from sleeping, taking care of the baby or yourself
  • People who are close to you and love you have told you they’re worried about you
  • Thoughts of harming the baby: these do NOT mean you’re a bad person or a bad parent, they mean you’re depressed and need help to get things back on track

The above is not a complete list, nor do these symptoms have to be there for depression to exist… if you’re thinking you may be depressed let us know.

Here are some resources for support:

  • Partners for Health (East End): 416-469-7608
  • St. Joseph’s (West End): 416-530-6850
  • Our Sister’s Place: 416-486-7432
  • New Parent Support Line: 905-897-6262, open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

New parent resources

The birth of your baby is, of course, not the end of a process. It is a beginning. If you are pregnant with your first baby, you may have heard the message that ‘life will never be the same’ over and over from those who’ve gone through this already. They are, for better or for worse, right. Life as a parent is full of sacrifice and gain. It is the hardest thing to do and nothing else has the same rewards. If you feel overwhelmed, confused or lost you are definitely not alone. Here are some resources to calm the worry and guide you forward:

Childbirth and family life preparation

The Department of Childbirth and Family Life Preparation
Sunnybrook Hospital, M-wing, 5th floor, room 102
Email: prenatal.classes@sunnybrook.ca
Phone: 416-480-5368
Website: www.sunnybrook.ca/prenatalclasses

Toronto Public Health:

  • Downtown Health Area: 277 Victoria St., 416-392-7641
  • Northeastern Health Area: 235 Danforth Ave., 416-392-6958
  • 40 St. Clair Ave. E, Suite 201, 416-392-0962
  • Western Health Area: 1115 Queen St. E, 416-392-0888
  • 2340 Dundas St. W, 416-392-0985

Newborn care

Breastfeeding

Children’s aid services

  • Toronto Children’s Aid Society: 416-924-4646
  • Catholic Children’s Aid Society: 416-925-6641
  • Jewish Family Services: 416-638-7800
  • Native Child and Family Services: 416-969-8510
  • Peel Children’s Aid: 905-363-6131, 1-888-700-0996

Child safety

Health Canada

Information and Education Unit
613-952-1014 (Ottawa)

Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (SIDS)

Baby safety development and health

  • Toronto Health Connection:  416-338-7600  
  • Car seats, information standards, rentals, sales
    • Car Seats: 1-800-566-9278, 905-568-8442
    • Consumer and Business Services: 416-326-8555
    • Easter Seal Society: 416-421-8377
    • Ontario Safety League: 905-625-0556
    • Canadian Automobile Association (CAA): 905-771-3170

Circumcision

  • St. Michael’s Hospital – 61 Queen St. E
    • Pediatrics – up to one month old or 10 lbs.
    • 416-864-6060 ext. 6560
    • Can be done at time of delivery
    • $300 - $150 to doctor (cash), $150 to hospital (debit or credit)
  • Michael Garron Hospital
    • 416-469-6580 ext. 6616
    • $250
  • Dr. Aaron Jesin, North York General
    • 4256 Bathurst St. #203, Toronto, ON
    • 416-635-5012
    • Maximum age six months
    • $150 + every four weeks of age by $100

Immunization

Emergency/after-hours care

For patients of the St. Michael's Family Health team, please consult our daytime Urgent Care clinics and the walk-in after hours/weekend clinics. These are described on the posters given to you by your provider in clinic. We are available to look after all of our patients until 7:30 p.m. all weekdays except Fridays, and during daytime hours on weekends. If there is an issue with your child overnight and you do not know if you need to access an emergency room, please call our on call physicians to help you decide whether to wait until the next day, or go straight to emergency.  The number for the on call physician is also on the poster given to you in clinic.

Children after-hours clinics

  • St. Joseph’s Health Centre: 416-530-6611, 30 The Queensway
    Just for Kids Clinic: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; weekends 10 a.m.– 2 p.m.

  • North York General Hospital: 416-250-5000, 1100 Sheppard Ave. East, Suite 100
    Children’s After-hours Clinic: Monday to Friday, 6 – 10 p.m.; weekends/holidays 9 a.m.– 7 p.m.

  • Scarborough Hospital – General campus: 416-439-3424, 3050 Lawrence Ave. E
    After-hours Clinic: Monday to Friday, 5 – 10 p.m.; weekends/holidays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Scarborough Hospital – Birchmount campus: 416-492-6666, 3030 Birchmount Rd.
    After-hours Clinic: Monday to Friday, 5 – 10 p.m.; weekends/holidays 10 a.m.– 10 p.m.

  • Michael Garron Hospital: 416-461-3000, 235 Danforth Ave.
    Children’s After-hours Clinic: Monday to Friday, 6 – 9 p.m.; weekends/holidays 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.

  • MCI The Doctor’s Office: 416-598-1703, 595 Bay St.

Infant emergencies: regional

  • The Hospital for Sick Children: 416-813-1500, 555 University Ave
    Medical Information Line: 416-813-5817

  • Poison Control: 416-813-5900, 1-800-268-9017, 24 Hour Info Line: 416-813-6245

  • St. Michael’s Hospital: 416-864-5094, 30 Bond St.

  • St. Joseph Health Centre: 416-530-6003, 30 Queensway

  • Michael Garron Hospital: 416-469-6435, 825 Coxwell Ave.

  • North York General Hospital: 416-756-6001, 4000 Leslie St.

  • Scarborough Hospital - Birchmount campus: 416-495-2550, 3030 Birchmount Rd.

  • Scarborough Hospital - General campus: 416-438-2911 ext. 6300, 3050 Lawrence Ave. E

  • Rouge Valley Centenary: 416-281-7270, 2867 Ellesmere Rd.

Childcare and Homecare Services

  • Electronic Child Health Network

  • Toronto Community Services – Children’s Services: 416-392-5437

  • Community Information Centre – daycare locations: 416-392-0505

  • Ontario Early Years Centre Info Line: 1-866-821-7770

  • Family Daycare Services: 416-922-9556

  • Visiting Homemakers Association: 416-489-2500

  • Applying for daycare subsidy:

    • Kidsline (for placement of wait list): 416-392-KIDS
    • Children Services Department: 416-392-5437
    • VON – Peel Region only: 905-821-3242
  • 519 Church Street Community Centre – Family Resource Centre: 416-392-6878 ext. 108

  • Gerrard Resource Centre: 416-925-4363, 349 Ontario St. (Gerrard and Paliament)

  • Parent Resources – St. Lawrence: 416-941-9248, 92 Front St. East

  • Regent Park Community Health Centre

  • Parents for Better Beginnings: 416-362-0805

  • Growing Up Healthy Downtown: 416-595-9230 ext. 328

  • Hincks Dellcrest: Growing Together: 416-921-8716

  • School readiness programs

Emergency childcare services

  • Scadding Court: 416-392-0335 x 225, Brenda Morse (coordinator), 707 Dundas St. W

  • The Gerrard Resource Centre: 416-972-1319, 444 Sherbourne St.

Shelters for women with children

  • Robertson House: 416-392-5662

  • Toronto Community Hostel: 416-925-4431

  • Anduhyaun Residence for Native Women: 416-920-1492

  • Nellie’s Hostels for Women: 416-461-1084

  • Family Residence: 416-397-1318

  • YWCA Women’s Shelter: 416-693-7342
  • St. Michael’s Hospital, Social Work Department: 416-864-5090

  • Distress Centre (24 Hours): 416-598-1211

  • Assaulted Women’s Help Line: 416-863-0511

  • Toronto Rape Crisis Centre: 416-597-8808

Specialty services/programs

Bereavement

Multiple births

  • Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association: 416-760-3944
  • Multiple Births Canada: 1-866-228-8824

Parent programs

  • Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program: 416-338-7600
  • Parents Helping Parents: 416-392-7451
  • Metro Mothers Network: 416-487-MUMS
  • Mothercraft: 416-920-3515
  • Visiting Homemakers Services: 416-489-2500

Teenagers

  • Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers: 416-365-1888

Toronto services

  • Downtown Legal Services: 416-978-6447
  • Family Services Counseling: 416-595-9618
  • Toronto Social Services: 416-392-8623

Cultural community agencies

Chinese community

  • Scadding Court Community Centre: 416-392-0335
  • Centre for Information and Community Services: 416-292-7510

Native community

  • Native Women’s Resource Centre: 416-963-9963

Somali community

  • Canadian African Newcomer Aid Centre: 416-658-8030
  • Somali Immigrant Aid: 416-653-8602

Sri Lanka Singhalese community

  • South Asian Family Support: 416-431-4847

Vietnamese community

  • SEAS Centre: 416-362-1375

Useful numbers

  • Birth Registration (Birth Certificate Info): 416-392-7036

  • Community Information: 211

  • Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (Child Tax Benefit): 1-800-387-1193

  • Emergency: 911

  • Employment Insurance Canada-benefits: 1-800-206-7218

  • Health card: 416-327-7567, 1-800-664-8988

  • OHIP: 416-314-5518, 1-800-268-1154

  • Parent Books/ Mother’s Allowance: 416-537-8334, 1-800-209-9182

  • Passports and Birth Certificates: 416-973-3251, 1-800-567-6868

  • Product Safety – Health Canada: 416-973-4705

Parenting resources