New prenatal screening tests are now available for all women. Early on in your pregnancy, you can decide whether or not you would like to have prenatal screening.
These tests are optional – it is your choice whether or not to have them. Please refer to the listed resources and discuss your considerations with your midwife. This information will also be sent to your email prior to your first meeting with us.
Folic acid, or folate, is one of the B vitamins important for healthy growth of your unborn baby. It is essential to the normal development of your baby’s spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of your pregnancy. It is, therefore, important to start taking vitamin supplements with folic acid before you get pregnant to reduce the risk of a neural tube defect.
Calcium is one of the minerals that you need to be healthy. Calcium is very important to ensure strong, healthy bones and teeth. It also helps muscles and nerves to work properly. Vitamin D helps you to absorb and use calcium. Both calcium and vitamin D may have other health benefits, but more research is needed.
Iron is an essential nutrient at every stage of life. It is a critical component of proteins such as enzymes and hemoglobin. Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is in the hemoglobin present in circulating red blood cells. Hemoglobin moves oxygen to the tissues for metabolism. During pregnancy, women need more iron to support the increased maternal red blood cell mass. This supplies the growing fetus and placenta, and supports normal brain development in the fetus. In the third trimester of pregnancy, the fetus builds iron stores for the first six months of life. Here are some resources on where to get more iron in your diet.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more calories. Include an extra 2 to 3 Food Guide Servings each day.
Physical activity is safe during pregnancy. Being physically active most days is part of a healthy lifestyle. Below are some links to support exercise during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can bring with it important concerns about prescription and over the counter drugs. Not every medication poses a risk to your unborn baby. However, some do. Discuss the relative risks and benefits of any prescribed drug therapy with your midwives/doctor.
Motherisk’s published research can help you and your midwives/doctor make informed decisions about possible drug therapy. Since 1985, Motherisk has reviewed data from around the world, conducting controlled, prospective studies to determine the potential risks of therapeutic drugs during pregnancy. It is now clear that there are many drugs that are safe for use in pregnancy. Click on any of the following links to find Motherisk’s published studies on the safety or risk of specific drugs during pregnancy, and be sure to consult your doctor or other medical professional.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) has developed the following national clinical guidelines in ob/gyn and related fields in order to help direct care.