First-time pa...

First-time parents be warned: that newborn doesn't come with a manual.

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VANCOUVER PROVINCE
Sunday March 28, 2004
By Lynn Mitges, Staff Reporter

Vancouver – First-time parents be warned:
that newborn doesn’t come with a manual.
New parents often find prenatal care the sole focus
for so many months that when they do bring home their
new baby, they feel overwhelmed at the checklist of
new duties that await.

Layne Christensen was lucky. She had her
mother-in-law stay with her when she and her husband
Michael Brennan brought home their daughter Olivia,
who is now five months ago. And Christensen, a 37-year-old
journalist, did a lot of research on her own before
Olivia was born. “Still” she says, “I don’t think anything
can prepare you for when you bring home your baby.”
Christensen felt comfortable bringing home a newborn
but says it was still a totally new routine. “It took
some getting used to holding her and bathing her. My
husband is very helpful and he’s a natural with a baby,
so he bathed her for the first few weeks.

A new video is now available for all parents
– the confident, the nervous and inexperienced alike
– who face this new routine. The video, Bringing Home
Baby, was created and developed by two Montreal-based
journalists who wanted to take some of the anxiety out
of infant care. Company president and co-created Lianne
Castelino said the video was sparked by her own frustration.

“While taking pre-natal classes for my
first baby, I was struck by how poorly produced and
outdated the instructional videos were,” Castelino said.
“I felt compelled to try to come up with a step-by-step
visual guide that would educate and empower parents.”

So she and partner Andrea Howick enlisted
the expertise of Dr. Denis Leduc, vice-president of
the Canadian Pediatric Society and other medical and
child-care experts to address common areas of concern,
such as understanding what your baby’s movements and
language mean, breast-feeding and bottle feeding, plus
tips for bathing newborns and advice on post-partum
care for moms.

The video contains more than 60 minutes
of demonstrations and interviews on how to care for
a baby from birth to six months. First-time mom-to-be
Kristy Ngieng is due in June and says the video is a
good start. “It’s a good tool to have on hand – and
it’s designed for people like me who don’t have a clue
yet.” Ngieng says the information on breastfeeding was
particularly helpful and the format is ideal. “It’s
nice to have a visual aid rather than a book,” Ngieng
said. “It helped me feel relaxed and reassured.” Ngieng
said the explanations are clear and concise and she’ll
probably end up viewing it again and again as her delivery
date nears.

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