Getting By With a Little Help From Our Friends

by Ann Douglas

Parents helping parentsGiving birth or adopting a baby is the beginning of an exciting new adventure -- but when you're in the early days of that adventure, you may feel like an anxious tourist, convinced that disaster is lurking around the next bend.

Perhaps that explains why we are increasingly willing to turn to other, more experienced guides as we navigate this uncharted territory for the very first time.

According to statistics, parents are more likely to access formal services and supports during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby today than they were five years ago.

Seventy-one percent of Canadian parents who gave birth to or adopted a child in 2006 accessed at least one type of formal service or support as compared to 59 percent of such parents in 2001.

First-time parents, younger parents, and parents with at least some post-secondary education were the most likely to access formal support services.

The most popular services were those related to breastfeeding (48 percent) and nutrition (44 percent) and parenting skills (38.6 percent).

Nine out of ten parents who accessed such services reported being satisfied with their experience.

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site,

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to publish granted to