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Frequently Asked Questions

All about the v.i.b program

  • What is v.i.b.?

    The Shoppers Drug Mart very important baby (v.i.b.) program is an exclusive membership that helps expecting or new parents by providing expert advice and valuable offers, every step of the way. Sign up and you’ll receive a sample package for newborns, which includes a coupon booklet and product samples. When you become a v.i.b. member, you're automatically signed up for e-newsletters that offer advice on a wide variety of topics, as well as coupons for products that are relevant to your baby’s life stage. From breastfeeding questions to tot tantrums and everything in between, v.i.b. articles, promotions and coupons are tailored to your specific needs. Become a member now.
  • Do I need to be a Shoppers Optimum Member to join v.i.b.?

    Yes, to register for the v.i.b. program, you must already be a Shoppers Optimum Member. Both programs are free to join – you can sign up for both the Shoppers Optimum Program and the v.i.b program via the App or the website.
  • When should I join the v.i.b. program?

    To maximize the benefits of the v.i.b. program, we recommend that parents-to-be sign up during their prenatal period so they can take advantage of all the products in the sample package for newborns. To make certain you get your sample pack, ensure your mailing address is up to date. You can change your address online or in the Shoppers Drug Mart App by selecting “Optimum Account” and then “Edit Profile”. You can update any of the fields and then save.

    Of course, you are welcome to sign up for the program at any time during your child’s infancy to receive emails and offers up until your child is 24 months old.
  • How will I know that I’m enrolled?

    If enrollment is successful, you will receive a message that says you have updated your profile. You will also start receiving v.i.b. e-newsletters within 1-2 weeks. If for any reason you do not receive the first e-newsletter, please contact the Call Centre.
  • How often will I get an e-newsletter?

    From pregnancy to when your child becomes a toddler, your needs as a new parent will constantly shift. v.i.b. sends you relevant information at various intervals to meet these needs. The following outlines the number of e-newsletters you will receive at different life stages:

    • 1st Trimester: one newsletter
    • 2nd Trimester: monthly newsletters
    • 3rd Trimester: bi-weekly newsletters
    • 1 to 12 months old: monthly newsletters
    • After 12 months: bi-monthly newsletters

    The newsletters will automatically stop after your child reaches 24 months.
  • Is the program only for expectant and new moms and dads, or can anyone enroll on behalf of a new parent?

    The program is most helpful and relevant to first-time moms and moms-to-be. Anyone with a baby in their world, however, can join the program, including aunts, uncles, grandmothers, caregivers, etc.
  • What is the “sample package for newborns” and does everyone who subscribes receive one?

    There are two different sample packs; which one you receive is determined by your baby’s life stage. If you registered during your prenatal period, a sample package with a variety of helpful products – diapers, wipes, baby toiletries, bib and products for mom – will arrive four weeks after you have registered at the address entered during the registration process. If you sign up after your baby is born, you’ll receive products that fit the needs of a 12-week-old.

    Included in both gift packs is a coupon booklet with Shoppers Optimum Points offers valued at over $10. The sample pack is only available to those who register during the prenatal period or before their child reaches 12 weeks.
  • What brands are participating in the v.i.b. program?

    You can look forward to receiving great samples and/or special offers from some of your favourite baby brands, including:

    • Cetaphil Baby
    • hydraSense
    • Johnson & Johnson (a selection of toiletries, Aveeno Baby products and Infants' TYLENOL)
    • Kimberly Clark (Huggies diapers and wipes)
    • La Roche-Posay
    • New Chapter
    • P&G (Pampers diapers and wipes)
    • PC Organics

  • I didn’t receive my sample pack yet. What should I do?

    The sample pack is only available to those who register during the prenatal period or before their child reaches 12 weeks. It’s really important to make sure your profile is up to date and to confirm that all your personal information is correct (i.e., mailing address, due date and child’s birth date). You can update your mailing address, email address, due date or baby’s birth date information in your Optimum Profile on the web or in the App. If all the information is accurate in your profile and you still have not received your sample pack, please contact the Call Centre.
  • Can I receive another sample package and set of e-newsletters for a second or third child?

    You can receive one sample package per year. If you become pregnant again, simply update your profile to include the additional birth date or your next delivery due date. This will prompt the system to send you a new sample package, offers and emails that are relevant to your next child. Plus, you’ll also be registered to receive a Happy Birthday card on your baby’s first birthday, which comes with a $10 gift card for President’s Choice products and three Shoppers Optimum offers, which have a value of over $20.

    You will receive the same number and frequency of e-newsletters as you did with your first child.
  • I’ve updated my profile to include my newborn. Will I still receive information relevant to my other child and/or children?

    No. E-newsletters, promotional offers and sample packs are based on your youngest child’s expected due date or birthday. The v.i.b. website, however, provides helpful articles that cover all the life stages of your child from the 1st trimester of pregnancy to toddlers aged 24 months.
  • Are the coupons and special promotions sent via email or mailed to my house?

    The majority of offers will be emailed to you via the v.i.b. e-newsletter. There are some special promotions (ie. sample package for newborns and Happy Birthday card) sent via regular mail.
  • I have a question about my baby’s health. Can you answer medical questions for me?

    The content on the v.i.b. website is general information only and should not act as a substitute for medical advice. All specific concerns should be addressed with your health care providers. If you can’t find the answer to a general baby query in the vast library of v.i.b. articles, your local Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist is available to help. Motherisk, a research program that offers information on safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding, is also a reliable source. Learn more about Motherisk here or call 1-877-439-2744. For serious or urgent medical issues, we recommend you see your health practitioner as soon as possible.
  • How can I update my v.i.b. profile?

    You can update your email or mailing address online or in the Shoppers Drug Mart App by selecting “Optimum Account” and then “Edit Profile”. You can update any of the fields and then save.
  • Why do you ask for personal information and what do you do with it?

    Shoppers Drug Mart v.i.b. program will use your personal information in the following ways:
    • To process and store the information provided so that we are able to better understand your needs and to be able to provide relevant information and offers for you and your baby’s life stage.
    • To contact you
    • To provide you with special offers and services
    • To provide you with health-related information or services that we believe would be of interest to you
    If you do not wish to receive emails, you can unsubscribe from v.i.b. at any time. Please note that unsubscribing to v.i.b. does not terminate your subscription to other Shoppers Drug Mart emails or the Shoppers Optimum Program.

    Shoppers Drug Mart respects the privacy of each individual and will not rent or sell information about any v.i.b. member to any organization or individual. Please see our Privacy Policy for further details.
  • Some pages from your site won’t load on my computer. What’s the problem, and where can I report broken links?

    The issue could be with your browser settings or an internal error on behalf of Shoppers Drug Mart. Please contact the Call Centre.
  • How can I unsubscribe from your newsletter?

    At the bottom of all the e-newsletters there is a heading titled “My VIB”. Underneath this heading is a link titled “Unsubscribe.” Select the link and there will be a message stating that your request to be removed from the mailing list has been successfully completed.

Pregnancy

  • Why should I take folic acid when planning to get pregnant?

    Folic acid has been shown to lower the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida and is essential for the growth and development of your baby. According to Motherisk, a research program providing information to pregnant women and new moms on staying safe, these defects occur within 25 to 29 days after you become pregnant. For optimal prevention, it’s wise to start taking folic acid while planning for and in the early stages of your pregnancy.

  • Can’t I just eat a healthy diet to get my daily intake of folic acid?

    Motherisk says that if you are generally healthy, a diet rich in folic acid and a multivitamin that contains 0.4 to 1mg of folic acid should suffice. For the former, try eating more grains, dark green vegetables, liver and beans. For the latter, take a prenatal multivitamin two to three months before conception, during pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding. However, if you have health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity or a family history of neural tube defects, your daily intake should be 5mg of folic acid at least three months before conception and for up to 12 weeks post conception. After that, you can take the regular multivitamin with folic acid or a prenatal vitamin.

  • Can I paint the baby’s nursery while pregnant?

    If painting the nursery is on your to-do list, Motherisk suggests looking for water-based paints (also known as acrylic emulsions) and avoiding oil-based paints that contain organic solvents, which have been shown to increase the risk of birth defects. Although short-term exposure to solvent-based paints is unlikely to cause harm, it’s better to err on the safe side. If you are painting the nursery, make sure the room is well ventilated; wear work clothes, gloves, goggles; and, avoid eating and drinking near the open paint containers.

  • I was unaware that I was pregnant and had a chest X-ray done during my first trimester. Will this cause any harm to my baby?

    There are a lot of misconceptions about the risk associated with pregnancy and X-rays. It all depends on what type of X-ray you are having and exactly how much radiation you will be exposed to. A chest X-ray exposes you in one moment to the same amount of radiation you would absorb over the course of 10 days while going about your regular activities. (Radiation is all around us.) It’s wise to avoid X-rays if you can, and always let your doctor know you’re pregnant.

  • Are there medications I can take during my pregnancy that are safe?

    Motherisk says that generally the safest medications are the ones that will work best for you, have the least number of side effects and have not been shown to cause harm to unborn babies. Also consider that the benefit of taking certain medications should always outweigh the potential risk. If you have a urinary tract infection, for example, leaving this untreated can lead to complications like increased risk of preterm delivery. There are antibiotics that can be taken during pregnancy and you should talk to your doctor for more information. No matter what ails you, always speak with your doctor when feeling ill and before taking any medications during pregnancy.

  • Are there any foods that I should avoid while I am pregnant?

    The best way to steer clear of bacteria carried in foods is to heat up or cook your meals and snacks. That being said, improved standards and surveillance have reduced the amount of contaminated foods in grocery stores. This means you don’t necessarily have to avoid foods associated with Listeria, like deli meats and soft cheeses, or soft-cooked eggs, which have been linked to Salmonella. Even sushi and sashimi can be safe depending on the source. When it comes to seafood, you should choose options that are low-mercury, like salmon, canned light tuna, and shrimp, as opposed to high-mercury fish like fresh tuna. Above all, it’s best to make sure your food is obtained from a reputable retailer; stored, handled and cooked properly; and eaten within a couple of days after purchasing.

  • How much weight can I expect to gain during pregnancy?

    It’s recommended that your caloric intake during pregnancy increase by 100 calories per day in the first trimester, and 300 calories per day thereafter. This allows you to achieve the normal weight gain associated with pregnancy. On average, you will most likely gain 1 lb a week with an overall increase of 25 to 30 lbs.

  • Can I still exercise while pregnant?

    Staying active during pregnancy can help you prepare for childbirth, but it’s important to find exercises that won’t cause harm to you or your baby. Running and weight training, for example, are fine in the beginning, but may have to be modified or cut out of your routine as your body changes. It’s also wise to avoid exercises that can result in slips or falls, such as cycling or rollerblading, and opt for more low-resistance options like walking, light jogging, swimming, yoga and low-impact aerobics. You should speak to your doctor before starting an exercise routine, as intensity and frequency will depend on several individual factors including your level of fitness pre-pregnancy or any complications you’ve been experiencing throughout.

  • What are safe treatments for side effects like leg cramps, nausea, heartburn and hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

    Pregnancy certainly does affect your body in many ways. When it comes to nausea, you need to pinpoint triggers, which can be anything from certain smells to getting overheated, and avoid them. An empty stomach can also aggravate nausea, so eat as soon as you feel hungry and try high-carbohydrate, low-fat meals. Get around another common digestive issue—heartburn—by eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding fried foods, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits or juices and spicy foods. To help manage leg cramps try stretching your calf muscles and taking a magnesium supplement before bed, staying active and hydrated as well as wearing comfortable, supportive footwear. Lastly, hemorrhoids are a common pregnancy complaint. Treat your discomfort by soaking in warm water, applying ice to relieve swelling and avoiding sitting for long periods of time. Talk to your Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist to find an over-the-counter hemorrhoid remedy that’s safe to use during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding

  • What are the proven benefits of breastfeeding?

    The advantages of breastfeeding your baby versus bottle-feeding are well-documented and proven. According to Motherisk, a research program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids that provides information on the safety of drugs and exposures during pregnancy and lactation, breastfeeding is the best way to provide all the necessary nutrients for your baby, especially in the first six months.

  • Do I need to avoid certain foods while breastfeeding?

    Although a lot of new moms avoid certain foods while nursing, this is not really necessary as food is rarely the root cause of a baby’s problem. That being said, it is important to monitor your baby’s reactions. If she’s fussy at the breast when you eat a certain dish, then that should be removed from your diet until your baby is fully weaned. The odd time when your milk is causing your baby gassiness or upset stomach, it could potentially be a problem with dairy protein. If you see a rash, your baby is fussy or gassy, has a runny nose, cough or congestion, you might want to try cutting out dairy for a few weeks and see if these symptoms improve or cease.

  • Do I need to avoid certain drinks while breastfeeding?

    In terms of what you drink, try to minimize caffeine intake to 150mg per day (about three cups of black tea) or less as small traces can end up in your breast milk. How much alcohol ends up in your milk depends on the amount you drink and when. It takes about two to three hours for alcohol to leave your system, so if you want to indulge a little, have one drink then wait before feeding. Moreover, because of the lack of information and research on the effect herbal teas have on breast milk, you should take caution. Steer clear of golden seal (often found alongside Echinacea) because it can be toxic in moderate doses and research has yet to confirm the effects on nursing babies.

  • I am breastfeeding and know that the medications I take may affect my baby. What can I take if I have an upset stomach?

    Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before you take medications while you are breastfeeding. For an upset stomach, they are likely to recommend calcium carbonate (Tums®, Rolaids®) or alginic compound (Gaviscon®) for heartburn and acid reflux, or an aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox®) for sour stomach, which according to Motherisk are all deemed safe to take while nursing.

  • I took prenatal vitamins while I was pregnant. Can I continue to take them now that I am breastfeeding my baby?

    Prenatal vitamins are safe and many mothers continue to take them while nursing. Your body needs an increased amount of folic acid when breastfeeding, which there is more of in the prenatal multivitamins. For this reason, Motherisk recommends that you continue taking a prenatal supplement with folic acid for as long as you are breastfeeding.

  • I am worried about having enough breast milk for my baby. Is that a common concern?

    Most women will produce enough milk to feed their little one. If you aren’t, don’t worry. Motherisk says that there are safe medications your doctor can prescribe to help boost your milk production. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about how to make sure your baby is latching properly and getting everything she needs.

  • I have high blood pressure and need to be treated. Does this mean I can’t breastfeed my baby?

    Not necessarily. This should be at the very top of your list of things to discuss with your doctor. Ask her about alternative high blood pressure medications that you can take while nursing. Motherisk says that your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker, calcium channel blocker or ACE inhibitor, many of which are completely safe. Remember, taking certain medications may also mean that your doctor will want to monitor your baby for beta-blocking side effects.

  • I’m suffering from mild constipation. Is there anything I can take even though I am breastfeeding my baby?

    According to Motherisk, a common side effect of taking prenatal vitamins is constipation. Whatever the cause of your discomfort, this symptom can be managed with stool softeners such as docusate calcium (Surfak®) or docusate sodium (Colace®), which are both safe for breastfeeding moms.

  • Is it safe for me to continue to take oral contraceptives while I am breastfeeding my baby?

    Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. Motherisk warns contraceptives that contain estrogen may decrease breast milk production and should be avoided if you’ve just started breastfeeding your newborn or are struggling with milk production.