Got questions? We’ve got answers.
Figuring out how to take care of yourself and baby during pregnancy can be overwhelming. Between well-meaning friends and loved ones and the wide range of information on the internet, everyone seems to have strong opinions. When making important decisions like this, it’s good to be able to connect with your primary care provider, if you have one. Take a look below for some Frequently Asked Questions answered by our local physicians.
Most women can work until close to their due date. Depending on your type of job we may need to make some modifications to your duties if you are able to. Some medical conditions that develop in pregnancy may require that you go off work before baby comes. Take some time to look into what medial benefits and maternity leave benefits are available to you at work and through Service Canada.
Anything you did prior to becoming pregnant can be continued. Exercise is actually very beneficial and may reduce the length of your labour and your pain in labour. As you get a bit larger some things will be more difficult and may require modifications. Swimming is a very safe and excellent choice when pregnant.
Most foods are fine in pregnancy in moderation. Foods that often get asked about are tuna, deli meat, soft cheese and of course sushi. As a general rule, sushi is safe as long as you avoid raw fish. A can of tuna per week, the occasional sandwich with lunch meat, and the occasional unpasteurized cheese is otherwise fine in pregnancy. Regarding alcohol, we don’t know what amount is safe in pregnancy, so it is best to avoid it. There are a lot of non-alcoholic options out there now.
Cigarettes have some harmful effects on baby and should be avoided. This is easier said than done. If you do smoke and want help to stop, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. Nicotine replacement products are safe in pregnancy when used under doctor supervision.
E-Cigarettes have not been studied in pregnancy. If you current use one or are thinking about starting, please talk to your doctor first and be sure you know what is going into the vapourizer.
Marijuana has had a variety of studies in pregnancy and results are conflicting. Certainly smoking or ingesting a large amount can be harmful for baby. People often use marijuana to cope with stress or other situations. Pregnancy is a good time to try using other tools to manage this. Once the baby comes you need to ensure the marijuana does not affect your ability to care for your baby. Additionally, toddlers put everything in their mouths and a few have been known to eat the butts of joints and cigarettes and become comatose. So always be careful to dispose of things and keep out of reach of young children.
Very few drugs have been studied in pregnancy so it is always best to check with a doctor or pharmacist. This website, MotherToBaby, from The United States, has factsheets for parents that answer frequently asked questions about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
As a general rule it is okay to take the occasional Tylenol (acetaminophen) but use Advil (ibuprofen) with caution and not after 30 weeks.
Local Parenting Resources
For information on Prenatal Classes contact:
Public Health: 250-331-8520