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Health During Pregnancy

Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant

  • Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away
  • Bleeding or a trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina
  • Lower back pain/pressure or change in lower back pain
  • A feeling that the baby is pushing down
  • Contractions or change in the strength or number of them
  • An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge
  • Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or a bad headache
  • Blurry vision or spots before your eyes
  • Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hand or face
  • A significant change in your baby's movements

Go to a hospital right away and contact your doctor/midwife if you have any of these symptoms!

Adapted with permission from:
Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre

Taking Care of Yourself

Common concerns

Pregnant lady with exercise ball

Managing nausea & vomiting | Coping with heartburn | Constipation & pregnancy | Exercising safely | Sex during pregnancy | Emotional changes | Sleep During Pregnancy |

Exercising safely

Moderate exercise during pregnancy will not normally be harmful to you or your baby while you are pregnant and may even provide many benefits. Check with your doctor/midwife before starting any exercise program.

The PARmed-X for Pregnancy is used for women who want to participate in a fitness program during their pregnancy. It should be completed with a health care provider.

Keeping active during your pregnancy has many benefits, including:

  • Better circulation and less swelling
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Increased endurance to cope better with labour and delivery
  • Easier recovery after giving birth
  • Easier return to pre-pregnant weight
  • Improved sleep and more energy
  • Better digestion with less constipation
  • Reduced backaches, and muscle/joint soreness
  • Fewer emotional ups and downs
  • Reduced risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure)

What you need to know about exercising during your pregnancy:

  • Check with your doctor/midwife about your exercise program. If you were involved in vigorous physical activity before your pregnancy, you may be unsure what is safe now.
  • Start very slowly if you haven't been exercising regularly before your pregnancy.
    It is safest to begin a new fitness program during the second trimester. Consult with your doctor/midwife prior to beginning any new program.
  • Choose fun, not strenuous, activities. Exercises like walking and swimming are generally safe.
  • Listen to your body - do only what feels comfortable. If anything hurts, stop.
  • Do the talk test - if you cannot carry on a conversation during exercise you're overdoing it.
  • Avoid an exercise program that involves twisting or jarring movements, or poses a high risk of falling.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
  • Make sure you exercise in a well-ventilated area and wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing and proper shoes.
  • After the 16th week of pregnancy (4th month) avoid exercises which require you to lie on your back. Instead, modify them so you can do them while sitting, standing or lying on your side.

Warning Signs!

Stop exercising and seek immediate medical attention if you notice:

  • Gush of water or bleeding from the vagina
  • Uterine contractions that do not go away after a couple of minutes
  • Increased back pain
  • Sudden swelling of the ankles, feet or face
  • Swollen calf with pain and/or redness
  • High pulse rate or heart pounding for a long time
  • Extreme fatigue or shortness of breath
  • Severe headaches, dizziness
  • Decreased fetal movement

For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse

Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216

Prenatal Classes/Programs | Taking Care of Yourself | Eating Healthy
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Revised: Monday August 12 2019

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