Nicole Letourneau
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Entries by Nicole Letourneau

Why The Government Should Be Investing In Youth Mentorship Programs

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2017 | 4:26 PM

The youth of any society constitute the promise of the future -- and many of our youth are in trouble. They are growing up in a divided society with ethnic, gender and political tensions at seemingly combustible proportions -- not just south of the border, but in Canada too. Their...

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Postpartum Depression And Breastfeeding Share An Important Link

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2017 | 9:35 AM

Recently a distraught young mother from British Columbia took her own life while in the grip of postpartum depression, leaving behind a grieving husband and infant son. She was a registered nurse and had been seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. Tragically, the health-care system she worked for...

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How Baby Formula Companies Undermine Breastfeeding

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2017 | 2:31 PM

An Icelandic Member of Parliament breastfed her baby while delivering a speech in Parliament recently. No one reacted to her breastfeeding, because in Iceland, breastfeeding is the cultural norm. The mother stated that this was the most natural thing in the world.

If only that were the...

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Affordable Child Care Is Only One Piece Of The Puzzle

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2017 | 10:55 AM

(Photo: Lara Belova via Getty Images)

National Child Day has been celebrated across Canada every November 20 since 1993 to commemorate the United Nations' adoption of two documents describing children's rights: The 1959 United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child...

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Indigenous People Are Not The 'Ghosts Of History'

(7) Comments | Posted January 4, 2017 | 4:47 PM

Canadian indigenous people have been described as "ghosts of history," spectres lingering in the background, haunting our legacy. This refers to the fact that indigenous people have been ignored to a great extent in Canadian history, yet Canadians are fully aware that indigenous people were here long before...

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We Need To Adjust Our Expectations For Personalized Medicine

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2016 | 10:17 AM

Genetics will save the day -- at least that's the message you see pretty much everywhere in the media, and sometimes even in the academic literature.

Newspaper articles herald "breakthroughs" in finding genetic biomarkers for autism. Magazine headlines trumpet finding a biomarker for...

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Canada Needs to Rethink Its Approach to Early Childhood Development

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 6:10 PM

UNICEF recently released a report card ranking child well-being in the 29 richest countries on earth. Canada came 17th, placing us in the bottom half of the pack on factors such as child poverty, emotional well-being and life satisfaction.

Clearly, we can do better. It's time to have...

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Why Canada Is Lagging Behind When it Comes to Child Health

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 7:58 AM

Something is amiss in Canada. A 2014 UNICEF report compared the health and development of children in Canada with 28 other wealthy nations. In spite of being a G8 country, Canada's children rank number 17th, a status that has not budged in the last 10 years. When measuring...

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Enjoy Some Digital Family Time Together

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 9:31 AM

We live in a digital age. Technology has become an integral part of how we see, learn about, and interact with the world. From computers at the office, to televisions at home, to smartphones on the bus or in the grocery line, many of us spend over half of our...

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Even When Baby's in the Womb, Dads Have an Influence

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 6:04 PM

By Nicole Letourneau and Gerald Giesbrecht

It's almost Father's Day, a time when many of us reflect warmly on the role our fathers and grandfathers have played in our lives. It's no secret that dads are important, and that their role as caregivers has, for many families,...

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Prenatal Stress Causes More Harm to Babies Than We Think

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Last month, it was reported that an Edmonton woman was badly beaten by her spouse. Though the attack put her in the hospital, the police offered a silver lining by stating that her unborn baby, at least, wasn't harmed.

Sadly, this claim underestimates the profound effect severe stress can...

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Why Family-Focused Policies Are Good for Everyone

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 6:20 PM

Our social safety net has a broken thread, and the ones who slip through the resulting hole are often the smallest among us: our children.

On every metric, children from disadvantaged homes face greater challenges to success than their more privileged peers. As a result, they do worse in...

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The Hidden Costs of the Modern Family

(2) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 10:07 PM

If you're a parent, then maybe this sounds familiar:

The alarm bleats. You swat it quiet then wash, brush and dress in a flurry. While breakfast cooks and coffee percolates, you make up the day's lunches and shout up the stairs for your kids to get ready. You feed the...

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The Surprising Things Parents Do That Affect Children More Than Poverty

(4) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 4:16 PM

More than one in seven Canadian children currently lives in poverty. That number has climbed steadily since the 1990s, and comes with very real consequences -- both social and economic.
Children raised in poverty suffer from a disproportionate amount of health problems, have less education and are more...

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Postpartum Depression is a Family Affair

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 1:01 PM

At long last, people are talking about postpartum depression. Dismissed for years as no more than a touch of the baby blues (or else unheard of entirely), postpartum depression -- or PPD, as it is often known -- has become an open subject. Healthcare providers are aware of it, many...

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How Toxic Stress Could Be Hurting Your Children

(6) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 8:02 AM

For most parents today, stress is a constant companion. Everyone's heard of the dangers of high blood pressure, of chronic workaholics having heart attacks at forty, of harried professionals pouring themselves an extra glass of wine (or three) with dinner. Pausing at our desks or kitchen tables for an all-too-brief...

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