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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

Smoking, drugs & alcohol

Be Safe have an alcohol-free pregnancy | Smoking & pregnancy | Medication use in pregnancy |

Smoking & pregnancy

If you smoke, now is a great time to quit!

Physical benefits to you after quitting:

Within 20 minutes Blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature in your hands and feet return to normal
Within 8 hours Amount of oxygen in your blood improves
Within 24 hours Sense of taste and smell improve
Within 3 days Lung capacity improves, airways relax if they are not damaged, breathing is easier
2 weeks to 3 months Circulation improves, lungs begin to work better, walking is easier
At 1 year Risk of heart disease is reduced by half
At 5- 15 years Risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer continuously lowers
(Adapted from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, 2004)

Other added benefits of quitting:

Decreased risk of developing:

  • Certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, circulatory problems,
  •  Respiratory diseases (pneumonia, flu, colds, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Peptic ulcers, tooth loss, gum disease, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, menstrual problems

Smoking has been shown to cause serious health problems to you and your baby

  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause placental problems, vaginal bleeding early or late in pregnancy, premature rupture of the membranes and preterm labour. Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death in Canada.
  •  Smoking can also result in low birth weight and miscarriage. Pregnant women who smoke also face more problems in labour and birth and are at higher risk for delayed tissue healing following a caesarean delivery
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death. Babies who breathe second-hand smoke have more colds, chest infections and asthma.

What you can do...

  • Speak with your health care provider for information that can help you quit smoking.
  • Get help to quit smoking before you become pregnant.
  • During your pregnancy, quit smoking. It can improve your baby's birth weight and your health.
  • Make your home smoke-free.
  • Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke
Peel Public Health

Making Your Home Smoke-Free
Peel Public Health

Smokers’ Helpline

Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy Toolkit

Healthy Pregnancy
Government of Canada

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
Medical Concerns | Teen Pregnancy | Just for Dads | Contact Us

Revised: Thursday August 15 2019

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