Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Sep 15, 2010

THE CHRONICLE – West End Edition
Wednesday February 18, 2004

Innovative video by NDG women helps educate new mothers
By Melanie Porco

With hospital stays shrinking after the
birth of children, parents are often left a little shaky
when bringing their newborn home. Fortunately, two NDG
women are changing that with a series of educational
videos and DVDs.

“I came up with the idea seven years ago,”
says Lianne Castelino of the debut video and DVD, ‘Bringing
Baby Home
‘. “When I was going to my pre-natal classes
at St. Mary’s, my husband and I watched a breastfeeding
video. It was about 15 years old and poorly produced.
We kept wondering ‘Why are we watching this?'” explained

As president of Liandrea Productions,
Castelino founded the company with fellow local broadcast
journalist and mother of two, Andrea Howick in early
2003, aiming to produce educational videos that could
easily take the anxiety out of infant care.

Bringing Baby Home‘ is a 71-minute
how-to guide for new parents, for kids aged from birth
until six months. It includes basics like information
bout a newborn’s size, to the umbilical cord. Aspects
of feeding, hygiene and sleep, along with coping and
the role of a new father are also covered.

“Hospital time is shrinking,” said Castelino,
a mother of two, and expecting her third child in a
month. “You watch the nurses do everything and think,
‘Oh, I can do that,’ but when you get home with your
baby you’ve already forgotten.”

Bringing Baby Home‘ is also easily
referenced. “The information is in sizeable nuggets.
It’s very new-oriented, meaning it gets to the point,”
explained Castelino. “We needed people who were able
to explain simply and quickly.”

Claire Velan, who participated in the
video with her husband and now nine-month-old daughter
Emma, agrees. “It’s good to have something like this
on video because you can go back to it,” she said. “It’s
like a pre-natal class on tape.”

Bringing Baby Home‘ also includes
segments with professionals like Dr. Denis Leduc and
family therapist Vikki Stark, as we as car-safety tips
from CAA.

“I was pretty much scared about everything
when I brought Emma for her one week checkup,” said
Velan, and NDG resident. “The doctor said, ‘I’ll check
her legs,’ and I was like, ‘No! Why her legs? What’s
wrong with them?’ It’s all just stuff that Dr. Leduc
covers in the video that I wish I would have known before.”

Although Castelino began making business
presentations right after the birth of her first son,
the project didn’t get off the ground until last year.
“Everyone thought it was a great idea, but at that time
hospitals were going through major changes in the health-care
system and it just wasn’t right.”
Years later Castelino met Howick. “I needed a partner
who would be interested in what I wanted to do and Andrea
shares that with me,” said Castelino.

As for more in the future from these NDG
women, Castelino said, “We want to do three or four
videos a year. We’re actually going to be starting shortly.
We want to hit different age groups, like toilet training
and your baby’s nutrition.”

Bringing Baby Home‘ is available
through the ladies’ auxiliaries at both the Jewish General
Hospital and Royal Victoria Hospital, in addition to
the Ross Gift Shop at the Royal Victoria. It is also
available at KidLink, 5604 Mondkland Ave., and online.

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