Breastfeeding Struggles and How To Avoid Them – Guest Blogger

Breastfeeding Struggles and How To Avoid Them

Breastfeeding your newborn can be a beautiful, convenient, peaceful bonding experience. It can also be a difficult, painful, frustrating, loose-your-mind-trying-to-make-it-work experience. Though breastfeeding is natural, it often doesn’t come natural to moms and babies and there are many potential issues that can arise. I see moms having all kinds of struggles while trying to breastfeed their newborn so I’d like to explain a few of the most common problems in hopes of increasing awareness and encouraging moms to seek help early and often so they can meet their breastfeeding goals.

One of the most common myths about breastfeeding your newborn is that it’s normal for it to hurt. While it may be uncomfortable for the first couple days as your nipples get used to around-the-clock nursing, it should not be so painful you are unable to nurse, and it shouldn’t cause trauma to your nipples, or make them bleed.

Nipple pain is often due to baby having a poor latch. This means that the baby is not positioning your nipple correctly inside their mouth while sucking, which leads to nipple pain and even nipple injury and bleeding. This can be fixed by encouraging baby to open wide while latching and by learning the best way to hold your baby while breastfeeding.

Another common cause of nipple pain and injury is a tongue tie or, less commonly, a lip tie in baby. What this means is that the baby has tight fibres under their tongue which prevent them from properly sucking the nipple. This improper suck can result in nipple pain for mom, the baby not getting enough milk, and mom loosing her milk supply. Tongue ties can be fixed with a very quick, very simple procedure done in our office.

Not having enough milk, or low milk supply, is another issue some breastfeeding moms struggle with. Many things can contribute to this including poor latch and tongue ties discussed above, not nursing often enough, and maternal or mother-specific issues. Maternal issues that can cause low supply include: thyroid or other hormone problems, previous breast surgery, or not having enough breast growth in pregnancy. You can increase supply your by frequently nursing baby or pumping, and we can help by starting prescription medications, called galatogogues, that promote milk production.

Some moms have the opposite problem and have an over supply of milk. This can lead to breast engorgement (over-filling), pain, and even infection. We can instruct you on how to decrease supply slowly and safely to avoid plugged milk ducts, which can lead to infection. Breast infections can make you feel very unwell and need to be treated quickly with prescribed antibiotics.

While the issues discussed above can definitely make breastfeeding your newborn frustrating and difficult, they can almost always be fixed. My goal is to help you meet your breastfeeding goals, whether your goal is nursing baby sometimes for a few months or exclusively breastfeeding into the toddler years and beyond.

I am delighted to see all moms and babies in my clinic. If you are pregnant and wanting to set yourself up for success, are struggling to breastfeed your newborn, are concerned your baby might be tongue-tied, or have any other questions about nursing your baby, I would love to help. You can ask your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant to refer you to Cornerstone Medical Clinic’s Breastfeeding Clinic or you can call (306) 975-1262 to book an appointment.

More information about our clinic, including a referral form for doctors, can be found at

Here for all your breastfeeding needs,

Dr. Emily Sullivan, MD, MPH, CCFP


We have another great guest blog entry from Tanya with My Smart Hands Saskatoon about When you can start using baby sign language with your child. As a parent it can sometimes become frustrating trying to figure out what your baby wants before they are able to speak (and as a mom of a 3 year old, trust me in that even when they are able to speak they don’t always tell you what they want!) and sign language is a great way to develop some non-verbal communication with your child.


am often asked, “When can I start signing with my child?” The answer is never the same for each family, as each parent has their own reasons for using #babysignlanguage  their family.

Based on child development, babies are ready for signing when they start moving their eyes and head to track toys or their parents face. This shows they are interested in learning and ready to start communicating with you! When you start signing, your child may show you many new reactions. This could be a frustrated or confused face, an interested expression, moving their hands in different ways, or smiling. These are all good indications that your child is trying to figure out what you are saying with your hands. Keep using American Sign Language and soon your child will be signing back!

Most baby & toddler sign language instructors recommend waiting until your child is between the ages of 4 to 6 months of age. Children are meeting important milestones during this time including: eye contact, purposeful movement of arms/hands, and beginning to find new ways to engage with their parents such as squealing, smiling, cooing and babbling.

Parents may decide to start signing earlier or later. In fact, we have had children as young as 2 weeks up to 2.5 years of age in her classes. Basically parents can start signing with their baby or toddler when ready!

A key point about signing, is to be consistent! Start signing with 2-5 words, consistently during the day. However, add more ASL in every week as your child is wanting to learn more. Finally, watch your child for signing approximations and when they start signing or moving their hands to approximate a sign, reward them with praise or what they were asking for!

Happy Parenting,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor & Parent Educator

We have a great guest blog entry from Tanya with My Smart Hands Saskatoon addressing the commonly heard myth that teaching your baby, toddler, or speech delayed child baby sign language (ASL signs) will delay their verbal speech


While at a trade show yesterday I met many families who have used sign language, were interested in taking sign language classes or my past signing families! I enjoy hearing stories about how signing has positively impacted a family and how they are able to communicate with their young children. The best feedback I received yesterday was how a family can see how their child feels empowered to be able to communicate with her parents!

However, there was many parents who expressed concern that using #ASL signs with their children may delay natural speech and language. The short answer is no! I think the confusion is due to the fact there is often confusion between  speech and language. Here is a great link explaining the difference:  (this blogger is a Speech and Language Pathologist).

When a child is using baby sign language (ASL signs) they are using language, and bridging the gap to meaningful communication! How wonderful is it that a non-verbal baby or a late talking toddler is able to use a true language to communicate their needs and have a sense of empowerment over their environment?

The Mayo Clinic promotes the use of Baby Sign Language stating, “Baby sign language — when babies use modified gestures from American Sign Language — can be an effective communication tool. Teaching and practicing baby sign language also can be fun and give you and your child an opportunity to bond.”

To read full article:

Our classes are also language rich as teach baby sign language through music, signing, movement, sensory activities. we encourage parents to constantly talk with their children while using baby sign language to support and encourage verbal English.

Please feel free to ask me any questions!

Tanya Myrfield-Wofe – BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Instructor, and Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

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“It is vital when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect their hearts” ~Dalai Lama

What is Kindermusik?

We have another great blog entry from guest author Rosemary Stephanson (Miss Rosie), who is an online and in-person Kindermusik Educator for Kindermusik with Kari & Friends. My daughters love going to Kindermusik – even my 10 week old baby – she wakes up the second we get into the building and loves the singing, movement and music. My two year old, who loves to run and be active enjoys herself every week!

Hello, everyone! Happy 2015! I’m excited to return as a guest blogger for the Mommy Connections Saskatoon website. Thank-you to Jennie for this opportunity.

As you can tell from Jennie’s introduction, I’m a Kindermusik Educator. In previous posts, I haven’t talked specifically about Kindermusik. So I thought, hey – a post about Kindermusik is the perfect way to kick off 2015.

The quick answer to the question, “What is Kindermusik?” is this: It’s a music and movement-based early childhood education program for children newborn to seven years old. There’s way more to it, though.

In 2014, I did a Q&A with Kari Soroski, owner of Kindermusik with Kari & Friends. A few of the questions and answers directly pertain to the question, “What is Kindermusik?” so I thought they would be a great resource for this post. If you’d like to read the original Q&A, click here. In addition, Kari and I were conversing back and forth over email the other day, and I asked if she had any closing remarks for this post. Well, she sure does…and they directly pertain to you! *Hint: There may be something about free baby classes for Mommy Connections families… *

And now, without further ado, here’s my Q&A with Miss Kari!

Q: Can you describe the entire Kindermusik experience for Mommy Connections blog readers, starting with Cuddle & Bounce (babies), and ending with Young Child (5-7 year olds)? 

A: Kindermusik is developmentally appropriate. We have a program for every year of life with an overlap of 6 months. This gives children the chance to learn at the level that they are currently at and progress when they are ready. In each age group, we build on musical concepts which facilitate the development of the whole child, physically, intellectually, emotionally and (of course!) musically. For example, legato and staccato in Cuddle & Bounce is explored by moving babies in smooth and bumpy ways. It’s easier to learn a concept when you contrast it with its opposite. For this reason, we’ll choose a smooth movement like rocking and contrast it with a bumpy movement like a lap bounce. When children are rocked, their vestibular system – or inner ear – is stimulated, which helps them to gain a sense of balance. When children participate in a lap bounce, they’re experiencing steady beat, which we use to walk, ride a bike, dance, use scissors, play basketball, etc. The list goes on! While we’re moving the babies, we’re labeling each movement.

Fast forward a few years, and we’re in Laugh & Learn. Children develop a deep understanding of what “smooth” and “bumpy” mean through music and movement games that emphasize both concepts. Lots of creativity is involved, here. “Smooth lions” and “bumpy dinosaurs” are some of the many creatures you’ll come across in Laugh & Learn class!

Finally, fast forward a couple more years to Young Child. The terms, “smooth” and “bumpy,” have turned into their musical counterparts, “legato and staccato.” Children learn to apply these terms to musical expression when they’re playing or singing Kindermusik songs. Children also come to realize that all music has one or both of these concepts – playing music legato or staccato can continue beyond the Kindermusik studio! From Cuddle & Bounce to Young Child, socialization and caregiver-child bonding is built in to every Kindermusik class that we do.

Q: If you could tell current Kindermusik families one thing, what would it be?

A: Be present with your children while you are at class. Pretend that you and your child are the only ones that exist in the room at that moment. Life is so busy and little people need your undivided attention. Just five minutes of focused play a day will decrease your power struggles with your child by 50 per cent! That’s amazing! It will also make you a happier, more relaxed parent.

Q: If you could tell prospective Kindermusik families one thing, what would it be? 

A: Kindermusik is the best money you will spend on your child ever!! I know it shouldn’t always be about the money, but it’s not easy to be a young family these days. Cost of living is high and often both parents have to work to make ends meet. Kindermusik has great value because it not only develops your child’s musicality, but it also develops social skills, emotional intelligence, literacy, spatial awareness, co-ordination and connects your child’s brain in ways that nothing else can! It’s fun and it makes memories that last a life time! Can you tell that I love it? I’m choking up as I’m writing this!

Q: Yes, I can totally tell that you love it. Well, we’d better wrap this Q&A up now. Any closing remarks?

A: Yes. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mommy Connections families. It’s been a fun, rewarding process, and it’s inspired me to try something I’ve never done before. If you’d like to keep the Kindermusik experience going beyond Mommy Connections, myself and my team would love to have you! So, if you have a baby (newborn – walker) and you’d like to try Kindermusik classes at one of our studios, you’re welcome to come for free to as many of these Cuddle & Bounce classes as you like until the end of January:

SASKATOON – Wednesday @ 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursday @ 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

MARTENSVILLE – Thursday @ 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Also, if you come to a free studio class, love it, and decide to enroll, I’ll give you $10/month off for 3 months.

We hope to see you at one of our studios soon!! Take it away, Miss Rosie!

Thanks, Kari!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post about Kindermusik. If you have questions about anything mentioned in the Q&A above, please feel free to email Kari at or contact us on one of our Facebook pages Saskatoon Facebook page; Martensville Facebook page  and either Kari or myself will get back to you.

What topics would you like me to cover about music in early childhood? Please leave your requests in the comments section below. I want to write about what’s important to you!

Musically Yours,

Miss Rosie






We have another great guest blog entry from Tanya with My Smart Hands. As a parent you often hear that sensory play is important for your little one, but why? Tanya has answered this questions below:

Sensory play is important for a child’s whole wellness and development. Sensory play allows a child to learn through their 5 senses (often taste is not included). However, children learn from touch, sight, hearing, sound and taste.

Often, when parents here sensory play they immediately think of messy, dirty, and hard to clean up activities. While, these types of bins are included in sensory play there are ways to incorporate this type of play without the added mess.

In one of our Tiny Tot Sensory classes, we placed red, yellow and/or blue paint into ziplock bags. As quiet and calming music played in the background, parents encouraged their children to squeeze, squish, mush and touch the closed ziplock bags of paint. This allowed the children to feel/touch the cool and squishy paint, see the original colours and then see a new colour being created before their eyes! Prior to this activity, we learned many American Sign Language signs to promote learning and exploration.

My Smart Hands Saskatoon brings in many whole child development activities in their classes to promote a learning, education, language rich environment that is fun for parents and their little ones.

Happy Signing,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe- BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor, & Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

Cell: 306-202-9345306-202-9345

“It is vital when educating our children’s brains that we don’t neglect to educate their hearts.” – Dalai Lama

We have another blog entry from Tanya with My Smart Hands Saskatoon on the benefits on Sign Language on a child’s development.

Does Baby & Toddler Sign Language Promote Whole Child Development?

My Smart Hands Saskatoon is a program that teaches parents how to communicate with their children by using American Sign Language (ASL) signs. Our classes use ASL signs, as the research studies indicate that using a true language has more benefits that making up signs or gestures. We also, believe that ASL is a true language, and why not borrow this language’s signs to communicate with your child? Technically, you are teaching two languages. How neat is that?

Each week in our classes we cover a new and exciting theme! One of my favorite themes is ‘toys and objects’ as this week we play, explore and play some more. However, in all of the weeks, parents and children will be introduced to child development activities. Whole child development is very important, and is a key focus in our baby sign classes.

The whole child activities that we include in our classes focus on: physical, intellectual, social, emotional and language development. Here are some examples of how we promote child development and whole child wellness while maintaining the premise of ASL signs.

Physical (fine and gross motor skills)

Fine Motor:

In our ‘opposite’ theme we will bring out sensory boards and bins. These boards help children explore their world through various textile items. Parents are encouraged to sign, ‘touch’, ‘feel’, ‘look’, ‘rough’, ‘soft’ and much more.
Gross motor skills:

In our “animal” theme we will be going to the zoo and move as animals. This song and activity is a wonderful way for parents and their babies to move around the room, dance together, act like specific animals, and sign to the sounds each animal makes! Movement and music do promote a special bond.

Social Development:

A child’s social skills are being strengthened and encouraged in our classes. My Smart Hands Saskatoon, has small class sizes which are between 3 to 6 families. We keep our classes small, to ensure families get to know one another and their children recognize familiar faces each week.

All the parents and their children are welcomed to sit together on a shared foam square. Toys and easy to sign books are places in the middle to encourage play and exploration while parents are sharing their stories, asking questions and learning signs to be used in the following activity. We experience many first in our classes- first time a child signs, first crawl, first roll over and even have had our first steps!

Emotional Development:

Babies and toddlers are learning about their emotions and are not able to self-regulate. However, in our classes, we often discuss ways to help a child learn to self-regulate. This is done though song, movement and bouncing activities. Parents will also learn various ‘emotion’ signs during our last week together! We sign and sing, “If You are Happy and Know it” as well as “Happy Face Happy Face What Do You See?”.

Intellectual (Cognitive) Development:

Using ASL signs strengths and connects neurological brain connection. This means the activities that we use in our classes, increases and promotes intellectual/cognitive development.

An example of an activity is our ‘shake’ bottles. These bottles are often filled with water, sparkles, soap and water. Together, the parent and their child, shake the bottle and watch the changes. The specific brain development concept that is being learn is called, cause and effect. This activity is completed in our “toy/object” theme.

Social Development:

One main reason we keep our class sizes small, is that the children are able to socialize with the other children. Various child activities, promote social skill development such as movement and music. We sign and sing a version of “open shut them”, when children need to move about, which includes the sign “stop” for the English word freeze. All the parents and children have to “stop” until the music starts again. This song is teaching the social development skill of turn taking!

Language Development:

In short, language development is occurring during all of our baby sign language classes. Research indicates that a child needs to hear a word 200 times before verbally saying the word.

In all of our baby sign language classes, we are promoting the use of two languages! These are our verbal English and American Sign Language signs. Children are able to comprehend a single work though both auditory and visional learning. We never replace our verbal English, rather we support language development though using ASL signs

Please join us for a baby sign language class, and learn many more ways to promote whole child development!

Happy Signing,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe- BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor, & Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

Cell: 306-202-9345306-202-9345

We have another guest blog entry from Kara Broks, a Registered Speech Language Pathologist with Speech Language Network. This entry focuses on Speech-Language Developmental Milestones for children aged 3-4 years and different fun activities you can do with your child to foster speech-language growth.

3-4 Years

Speech-Language Developmental Milestones and Fun Activities that Foster Speech-Language Growth

Hearing and Understanding 3-4 years

  • Hears media volume (TV, radio, music) at the same level as others around them
  • Hears when they are called from another room
  • Understands some words for concepts like colours, shapes, family members
  • Knows own name and age
Talking 3-4 years

  • Asks “when, how, why” questions and answers basic “who, what, where” questions
  • Talks about activities that occurred during the day and orders events sequentially
  • Takes part in longer conversations and keeps track of topic
  • Speaks clearly and is understood approximately 80% of the time, both by family and non-family members
  • Builds sentences of around four words and uses about four sentences at a time
  • Uses some correct plural forms (“books”), as well as incorrect ones (“tooths,” “fishes”)
  • Uses pronouns (“I,” “you,” “they”)
  • Uses rhyming words (“mat” and “bat”)

 It is important to remember that each child is unique and as such, there will be variance in developmental sequences. If, however, your child hasn’t reached the majority of the milestones in their age group, you may wish to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist.

You may want to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist if your toddler: 

 DAILY ACTIVITIES 3-4 years Things you can do with your three – four year old to encourage and foster speech-language development; 

If you have any questions please feel free to email: info@speechlanguagenetwork.netand/or call 306 933-3222 to book a free consultation with a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist.      Enjoy and have fun! 

Anna Nissen B.A (Linguistics-U of S)           

Kara Broks Registered Speech-Language PathologistSpeech-Language Network   References:

We have another great guest blog entry from Kara Broks of Speech Language Network about Speech and Language development milestones in 2-3 year olds as well as some fun activities to help foster speech-language growth.


Speech-Language Developmental Milestones and Fun Activities that foster Speech-Language Growth

American Speech-Hearing Association 2014

Hearing & Understanding 2-3 years Talking 2-3 years

  • Comprehends differences in meaning (“hot/cold,” “in/out”)
  • Able to follow 2 requests (“Pick up your toys and put them in the basket”)
  • Able to listen to and enjoy stories for longer periods

  • Uses 2-3 words to talk about and ask for things (“Daddy hat,”I ride horse”)
  • Asks or directs attention to objects by naming them (“Look, cat!”, “where dog?”)
  • Uses the following sounds: k,g,f,t,d,n
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • May stutter on some words or sounds
  • Asks Why? (“Why you smiling?”, “Why baby sad?”)


You may want to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist if your toddler: 

It is important to remember all children are unique and will vary in their development.  If, however, your child hasn’t reached the majority of the milestones for their age group, you may wish to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist.


Things you can do with your toddler to encourage and foster speech-language development; 

Expand vocabulary, communication & language awareness

If you have any questions please feel free to email: and/or call 306 933-3222 to book a free consultation with a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist.


Enjoy & Have Fun!

Anna Nissen

B.A (Linguistics – U of S)



Kara Broks

Registered Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-Language Network

We have a great guest blog by Rosie with Kindermusik with Kari and Friends. With Thanksgiving coming up she has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day poem to share.

Thanksgiving to a Loved One


Because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I thought I’d provide a different kind of guest post for you, today. Below is a little Thanksgiving Day poem for you to check out. I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends during Thanksgiving. I plan to eat way too many goodies in a short amount of time!

This morning I woke up The usual, the same When I realized, something’s different! It’s a holiday name. And then I thought, hey! I need to tell you something on this Thanksgiving Day.

I am grateful for your eyes, I am grateful for your nose I am grateful because you have tickle-y toes. I am grateful for your presence, through-and-through Why am I grateful? Because You are You.

So on this Day of Thanks, and every day thereafter Know that having you in my life is my Happily Ever After.

Now what? What do we do, now that I’ve shared my heart with you? Coffee’s on, fire’s a-blazing I say, let’s make every day amazing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

~Miss Rosie

Rosemary Stephanson (Miss Rosie) is an online and in-person Kindermusik Educator for  Kindermusik with Kari & Friends.




We have another great guest blog from Miss Rosie with Kindermusik about 3 ways babies benefit from music and movement!   

  Music & Child Development: 3 Ways Babies Benefit from Music (and Movement)

1. Bzzzzt! Brain development is stimulated by music and movement activities.

Music_Movement_Baby2. I love you, and I’m learning how to express it through speech! Bonding and language development occur simultaneously when a baby is sung to by a loved one. While both parties reap the benefits of a soft snuggle, baby is exposed to her loved one’s speech sounds, priming her for coos and babbles (speech imitation), and later, words. To a baby, a loved one’s voice is the most beautiful, comforting sound they know. 

3. Rock on! Enjoy a soothing lullaby with a gentle rock to develop baby’s vestibular (inner ear) system. Among other physical abilities, the vestibular system is responsible for balance.

I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet post. Please leave any questions/comments you may have down below. Talk to you soon!

~Miss Rosie


Rosemary Stephanson (Miss Rosie) is an online and in-person Kindermusik Educator for   Kindermusik with Kari & Friends.



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