Healthy Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and plan on having the baby, you want to make healthy choices during those 9 months. This is important so that you feel as good as possible during this time, and for baby to be born as healthy as possible.

Prenatal Care

First things first, you need to contact a health care provider for “prenatal care”. This means care during your pregnancy. Options for prenatal care include midwives (in Thompson we have an awesome midwife available!), and obstetricians. Nurses, nurse practitioners, and regular doctors can help along the way as well, but in the north you should have a midwife or obstetrician (OBS). You will have regular appointments throughout your pregnancy to check on the health of you and baby, and for information to be shared.

Maternal Vitamin

Your midwife or OBS will recommend taking a maternal vitamin. This is a daily vitamin pill that has stuff you need for you and baby to be healthy. Folic acid is an important ingredient in a maternal vitamin, and this is essential for baby’s brain and spinal cord. Check out this link for more info on folic acid: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fa-af/index-eng.php

Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking, Medication

There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy! The same goes for street drugs. Alcohol and street drugs can harm the fetus and result in birth defects, having the baby to early, or losing the pregnancy (called a miscarriage). FASD, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, can result from drinking while pregnant. Check out this link for more info on FASD: http://www.fasdmanitoba.com/aboutfasd.html

For those women who are pregnant and are worried about drinking, are at least 17.5 years of age, and live in Thompson, you can call the InSight Mentoring Program at (204) 677-5372 to talk about what services may be helpful to you.

Smoking can lower the birth weight of your baby, and cause baby to be born early,

If you feel you need help to stop drinking, taking drugs, or smoking, talk about this with your midwife or OBS. You are not the first person to have a hard time reducing or stopping your use of these substances. Don’t be embarrassed. Talking about it shows you are concerned about the baby.

Medications, whether they are bought over the counter or are prescribed, can affect the fetus. You need to check with a health care provider for each and every medication you want to take. You can also check out Motherisk: http://www.motherisk.org/women/index.jsp

Cutting down on caffeine (the stimulant in coffee and some teas) is a good idea too.

General Health Tips

Getting enough sleep, eating a wide variety of nutritious food, doing some light exercise, and taking the time to focus on your mental health are all very important. During your prenatal visits, this will be discussed.

A great resource for youth living in a First Nations community is the CPNP worker (usually at the band office or nursing station). CPNP stands for the Canadian Pre-Natal Nutrition Program. This is a great resource for learning about healthy pregnancy.

Many communities have a “Healthy Baby” group as well, where pregnant ladies and moms with babies get together, relax, have a snack, and learn about a health topic. You can even win prizes if you go to a Healthy Baby group, and get coupons for free milk.

Want More Info on Pregnancy?

Lots of info about teen pregnancy:

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/emotions/pregnancy.html

Info on how to be healthy during pregnancy:

http://teenhealthsource.com/pregnancy-2/healthy-pregnancy/

Common concerns in pregnancy and comfort measures:

http://www.toronto.ca/health/pregnancy/body.htm

Info about giving birth:

http://www.manitobaparentzone.ca/pregnancy/health-and-well-being/giving-birth.html