Nicole Letourneau est experte-conseil auprès du site EvidenceNetwork.ca et auteure de Scientific Parenting: What Science Reveals about Parental Influence. Professeure aux facultés des sciences infirmières et de médecine de l'Université de Calgary, elle est également titulaire de la chaire de la Fondation Norlien/Hôpital pour enfants de l'Alberta en santé mentale des parents-enfants de la même université.
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.
Depressed mothers are at very high risk to stop breastfeeding by eight weeks postpartum. But this is because depression often negatively colours mothers' cognitive perceptions which interferes with their ability to accurately interpret their baby's cues.
03/16/2017 09:35 EDT
Promoting a breastfeeding culture should not be seen as an affront to women who, for whatever reason, choose to formula feed their babies. We live in a society where multiple approaches are respected. BFI does not advocate one size fits all, rather it advocates promoting the best evidence so everyone can make the most informed decisions about baby feeding.
03/14/2017 02:31 EDT
Given that inequalities emerge early in life - and seem to persist - it is imperative and urgent that Canada invest, develop and sustain a high-quality early child development framework.
01/23/2017 11:55 EST
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 the arrival of the Europeans.
01/04/2017 05:47 EST
We are a long way off from identifying definitive biomarkers and personalized gene therapies are likely generations away. The hype is big, but our hope is misplaced. The science isn't there yet, and the sooner we stop putting our faith in near-miraculous breakthroughs, the sooner we can realistically survey the options at hand.
06/15/2016 10:17 EDT
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. It's time to have a frank conversation about how our country approaches early childhood.
06/10/2015 06:10 EDT
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. The question is, why are these problems still so widespread?
01/13/2015 08:58 EST
Despite our fretting, technology isn't going away, and simply cloistering our children from it is neither beneficial nor practical. To succeed in the modern world, children will need to embrace technology without being consumed by it. And the difference between these two fates lies in the hands of parents.
08/14/2014 05:46 EDT
It's no secret that dads are important, and that their role as caregivers has, for many families, broadened in the last 50 years. But there's one period of our development where dads tend to take a back seat -- the first nine months, to be precise.
06/10/2014 06:04 EDT
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 have on children's development in their first years of life, including while they're still in the womb.
05/05/2014 05:52 EDT
On every metric, children from disadvantaged homes face greater challenges to success than their more privileged peers. As a result, they do worse in school, get poorer paying jobs and suffer disproportionately from violence, addiction and mental health issues.
04/08/2014 06:20 EDT
We need to shift back to an earlier, more communal notion of family. There are a number of ways to do this. Policy is one avenue -- tax incentives for grandparents providing short- or long-term childcare or employers that allow flexibility for family time, for instance. Ultimately, though, the change we need is not procedural, but cultural. We need to understand and embrace the fact that families matter, just as we need to expand our concept of what a family is. There is room in the definition for friends and neighbours alongside grandparents, aunts and uncles.
02/07/2014 05:06 EST
Caregivers don't need great riches to support their children. A strong, supportive adult figure can help children overcome otherwise unhealthy environments. This figure need not even be the child's parents (though of course this helps). A grandparent, and aunt, a family friend, even a dedicated teacher can have a tangible, long-lasting impact on a child's development.
10/30/2013 05:35 EDT
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), PPD has become an open subject. But despite this progress, postpartum depression remains misunderstood in one very critical regard: namely, that it's something that only happens to, and thus only adversely affects, mothers.
09/27/2013 01:00 EDT
Childhood is not quite the stress-free paradise that our rose-tinted memories might suggest. Children -- even infants -- can suffer from chronic, toxic stress. It's stress of a very different sort than that of meetings and mortgage payments, but its long-term effects can be no less serious. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics launched an urgent call to action informing healthcare practitioners of the dangers of toxic stress to children. Cleary, toxic stress is serious stuff. But what is it, exactly?
05/01/2013 08:02 EDT
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