A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
A Healthy Start
for Baby and Me
Ontario’s easy-to-read guide about pregnancy and birth
2016
Who I Can Call for Help
My Personal Help
Name and Title
Contact Information
(partner, family, friends, neighbours, peer support,
community drop-ins, blogs, etc.)
(phone numbers, emails, web links, and addresses)
My Health Care Providers
Name and Title
Contact Information
(doctor, midwife, doula, nurse, nurse practitioner,
lactation consultant/clinics, dietician, doula/labour
support person, exercise coach, etc.)
(office number, cell numbers, emails, web links, addresses)
Emergency (Fire / Police / Ambulance): 911
Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000
Local public health unit: 1-800-267-8097 or
www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx
Motherisk: 1-877-FAS-INFO (1-877-327-4636) or www.motherisk.org
EatRight Ontario: 1-877-510-510-2 or www.eatrightontario.ca
Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services Directory: www.ontariobreastfeeds.ca
See page 87 for more resources and services.
i
A Message to
Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a special time that can
bring many questions. We hope that
this book will help you learn about
how to take care of yourself and
your growing baby. We suggest that
you read this book and talk with
your health care provider, your
family, your partner, and friends
about what you have learned and
questions you may have.
Note: If you are pregnant with more than one baby, have health problems or other
special situations, you will probably need some additional advice beyond the information
found in this guide. Talk with your health care provider as you may get different advice.
You can find a list of reliable resources and websites at the end of this guide.
For Fathers and Partners
Learning to be a father and/or a partner takes
time. A partner can be the mother’s best friend,
a parent, family or any person she relies on.
Read this guide and share with your partner,
family, friends, and health care provider
questions you may have. This guide helps you
learn how you can be supportive during and
after pregnancy. It also provides information on
caring for your baby. You can do a lot to help.
ii
You and Your Baby
Placenta
Umbilical Cord
Fetus (unborn baby)
Amniotic Fluid
(bag of water)
Wall of Uterus (womb)
Cervix
Bladder
Vagina (birth canal)
iii
Anus
Table of Contents
1. Important Things to Know. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
When to Get Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Preterm Labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2. Prenatal Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Choosing a Health Care Provider . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Prenatal Visits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Having Someone to Talk To . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Group Programs During Pregnancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Fathers and Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3. Healthy Eating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Nutrients You Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Food Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Common Questions About Eating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
16
18
20
21
4. Healthy Lifestyle and Risk Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Physical Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mental Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Drugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Medication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sexuality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Smoking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alcohol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Things to Avoid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Abuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Infections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
24
25
26
27
27
28
28
29
29
30
31
5. The Three Trimesters of Pregnancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
How Long Does Pregnancy Last? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
First Trimester (1 to 3 months)
Your Growing Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Changes You May Feel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Getting Healthy for You and Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
iv
Second Trimester (4 to 6 months)
Your Growing Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Changes You May Feel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Getting to Know Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Third Trimester (7 to 9 months)
Your Growing Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Changes You May Feel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Getting Ready for Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
6. Labour and Birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
What is Labour? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Signs of Labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
How to Time Your Contractions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Four Stages of Labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Things to Help You in Labour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Medical Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
50
51
53
54
55
56
57
7. After the Baby is Born . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Breastfeeding Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Comforting Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Caring for Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Baby Safe Sleep Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Baby Safety Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Is Your Baby Equipment Safe? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
When to Get Help for Your Baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
60
64
65
71
72
74
78
8. What You Can Expect After the Birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Changes to Your Body After Birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Your Changing Feelings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
When to Get Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
9. Resources and Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
v
Important
Things to Know
Being pregnant brings many changes.
Most of these changes are normal and
some are not. You need to know the
signs to report to your health care
provider.
In this section you will learn:
(1) The signs in pregnancy that
are not normal.
(2) The signs of preterm labour.
(3) What to do if you have any
of these signs.
1
When to Get Help
Call your health care provider or go to the hospital if
you notice any of these signs:
• Bleeding from your birth canal (vagina).
• Feeling dizzy or like you might faint.
• Loss of consciousness.
• Sharp pain in your tummy.
• High fever (temperature).
• Chills or rash after you have had a fever.
Ouch
• Vomiting or throwing up a lot.
2
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
• Feeling more sad, worried, or angry
than usual.
• Crying a lot.
• The baby stops moving or moves
less often.
• Smelly fluid comes from your
vagina and makes you feel itchy.
• It hurts or burns when you pass urine.
• Your urine becomes red or dark in
colour.
• Lots of swelling in your face,
hands, legs, ankles (especially
if it gets worse or changes).
• Bad headaches that last for a
long time.
• Gaining weight quickly.
• Blurry vision or
spots in front
of your eyes.
• Pain in your chest
or stomach area.
• Spots on your face and body that are
not normally there.
Ouch
3
Preterm Labour
What is it?
Normally, pregnancy lasts between 37 and 42 weeks. Preterm labour is labour that
starts too early (before 37 weeks). It can cause your baby to be born too soon.
Babies who are born too soon may have health problems. They may need special
care in the hospital.
What are the signs of Preterm Labour?
• Bleeding from your vagina.
• Sudden increase in the amount of
discharge from your vagina.
• Sudden change in the type of discharge
(mucousy, watery, bloody).
• Water leaking from your vagina.
• Low dull backache
below the waist
that feels different
than usual.
• An urgent need
to pass urine,
or the need to
pee often.
• Feeling that something is not right.
• Cramps like when you have
your period.
• Pressure that
feels like
the baby is
pushing
down.
• Contractions (tightening of
the uterus) that come often
and do not go away.
• Contractions that get
stronger and closer
together.
I think this graphic really illustrated
posture.
would it not be better
• Spoor
tomach
pains
to
have
it
so
that
that do not go the back is flattened.
away (with
or without
diarrhea).
What should I do if I have any of these signs?
Go to the hospital right away.
There are things that your health care provider can do to help.
4
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Could
wome
we get
It is not possible to prevent all preterm births, but there are things you can do to
reduce the chances of preterm labour.
What can you do to help your baby be born at the right time?
• Start seeing your health care provider
as early as possible in your pregnancy.
• Try to stop smoking or smoke less often.
• Ask others not to smoke near you.
• See page 28 to learn more.
• Go to a group program for pregnant
women early in your pregnancy
(see page 12).
• Take time to rest every day.
5
• See your health care provider if smelly
fluid comes from your vagina and
makes you itchy.
• Eat healthy foods (see page 15).
• See your health care provider if it hurts
when you pass urine.
It is important that you:
• Learn the signs of preterm labour and what to do if you have them.
• Be aware of how your body changes with pregnancy.
• Find ways to manage stress in your life.
• Talk with your health care provider, midwife or a public health nurse, about any
concerns you have. Tell them about anything that does not feel right. Tell your
support person as well.
Find more information in the resource section on page 87.
6
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Prenatal Care
It is important to see a health care
provider to help you have a healthy
pregnancy and a healthy baby. Make an
appointment as soon as you know you
are pregnant.
In this section you will learn about:
(1) The choices you have when looking
for a health care provider.
(2) What happens during prenatal visits.
(3) Group programs for pregnant women.
7
Choosing a Health Care Provider
A health care provider is someone who provides health services. In your community,
you may find these kinds of health care providers for pregnant women:
1. Obstetricians
• Doctors who care for
women during their
pregnancy, labour, and birth.
• They do not look after babies.
2. Family Doctors
• Doctors who care for
pregnant women, babies,
and families.
• Some deliver babies.
3. Midwives
• Midwives provide care for
women with normal (low
risk) pregnancies and births.
• With a midwife you may choose to give birth at home, at the hospital or at
a birthing centre.
• Midwives provide care to mothers and their babies for the first few
weeks after birth.
4. Nurse Practitioners
• Nurse Practitioners provide care for women with normal (low risk) pregnancies,
babies, and families.
• They provide ongoing care to mothers and their babies.
• They usually do not provide care during labour and birth.
5. Doulas
• Doulas provide support and care to a woman (and her partner) during and after
the birth. They do not provide any medical care.
• There is a fee for this service.
6. Lactation Consultants
• Lactation consultants provide care to support the breastfeeding mother
and her baby.
To find a health care provider refer to page 94.
8
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
When choosing a health care provider you may want to ask yourself these questions:
• Is the person easy to talk to and understand?
• Do they listen to you and answer your questions?
• Can you get to their office easily?
• Can you reach them by phone, email or text?
• Can you have more than one person with you during your labour and birth?
• Do they speak your language well?
• Do you feel at ease with them?
• Will they be there for the birth?
• What medical procedures may this health care provider use during labour
and birth?
• When would they recommend a cesarean and why?
• Where will the baby be born (at home, in a birthing centre, at a hospital)?
• Will they provide care for your baby?
• What percentage of their patient’s births do they attend?
• Can you meet other health care providers who will you see at your labour
and birth?
• What do other mothers say about their health care providers?
9
Prenatal Visits
Your first health care provider appointment should be once the pregnancy is confirmed
(usually through a home pregnancy test). Regular prenatal check-ups ensure that you
and your baby receive the best possible care and follow-up during your pregnancy.
Encourage your partner/support person to attend prenatal appointments to become
familiar with the caregiver and to discuss his/her role in pregnancy, labour, and birth.
During the visit, your health care provider will:
• Ask you about your health before you got pregnant.
• Ask you about your health during your pregnancy.
• Give you a physical examination.
• Check your weight.
• Check your blood pressure.
• Discuss what you can do to
have a healthy pregnancy.
• Discuss what you can do
to have a healthy baby.
• Listen to your baby’s
heart rate.
• Measure the growth of
your uterus.
• Talk to you about where
you will give birth.
• Answer your questions.
• Discuss your concerns.
• Give you information on group programs for pregnant women and helpful
community services.
Your health care provider will also talk to you about common tests and procedures
offered during pregnancy. You and your partner/support person should get enough
information about tests and procedures to make informed choices. Ask questions
to know:
• The benefits of having the tests.
• The limitations.
• The risks for your baby and for you.
• The alternatives.
• What the tests cannot tell you.
• What happens if you do not have the tests.
10
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
It is up to you to decide if you want to have these tests and procedures. For more
information, refer to:
• For Women and Their Families: A guide to understanding prenatal screening tests
at www.mountsinai.on.ca/care/family-medicine-genetics-program/resources/
prenatal_screening2008.pdf/view
• Prenatal Screening at www.sogc.org/publications/prenatal-screening
After your first visit, you will usually see your health care provider:
• Once a month until 28 weeks of pregnancy.
• Every two weeks until 36 weeks of pregnancy.
• Every week until the baby arrives.
Remember to:
• Know whom to call if you have questions or concerns.
• Make your next appointment while you are at the health care provider’s office.
• Write down any important information, including follow-up tests or procedures.
Having Someone to Talk To
Being pregnant brings many changes to your life. It is important to have someone to
talk with about your feelings. This person can help you make healthy changes.
Try to think of someone in your life that you feel comfortable with and can trust. It
could be your partner, the father of your baby, a neighbour, a close friend, a colleague,
or a family member. You
may also get the support you
need at a group program
for pregnant women.
Group programs may offer
information, food, and a
chance to talk to other
women. To find out more
about programs you can
attend in your community
during your pregnancy and
after the birth of your baby
see Community Resources
on page 92.
11
Group Programs During Pregnancy
Prenatal Classes
Your local public health unit, hospital, or health centre may offer classes for pregnant
women and for their partners. Prenatal classes can be offered in person or online.
Ask about the costs and what will be taught. Some classes are free. Others are not.
The classes may provide information about a healthy pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding,
and becoming a parent.
Pregnancy Support Programs
There are many different types of drop-in programs for new parents and for pregnant
women. All offer information and time to talk with other pregnant women or new
parents. Some provide food. In most cases, they are free. See Community Resources
on page 92.
Support at Home
Some programs provide help in your home. Usually this is free. Healthy Babies
Healthy Children (HBHC) helps children have a healthy start. It offers information
and support to pregnant women and new parents. A nurse or lay home visitor
may come to your home. Call your local public health unit at 1-800-267-8097 or visit
www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx.
12
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Fathers and Partners
As a father or partner, there is a lot you can do during her pregnancy:
• Ask her how you can help.
• Go to the medical appointments and prenatal classes.
• Learn about pregnancy and birth.
• Talk about how you would like to parent your child.
• Talk about breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the healthiest food for your new baby.
• You can often help her decision to quit smoking, encourage her quit attempts,
and help to stay smoke-free. Your family will be healthier if you also quit or
smoke less. Your local health unit can help you with this.
• Talk about not drinking alcohol. The safest choice is to have alcohol-free drinks
instead. If you also stop drinking, it may help your partner not to drink alcohol
during the pregnancy and when she is breastfeeding.
• Encourage her to be active. Decide together what you can do.
• Go for a walk and exercise with her every day.
• Understand that she may feel moody at times.
• Help her rest when she is tired.
• Share household chores (e.g., meal preparation, cleaning, walking the dog, etc.)
13
• Change the cat litter box (see toxoplasmosis on page 31).
• Carry things that are too heavy for her.
• Understand that her interest in sex may change. Talk to her about how you feel.
Together explore ways to feel close.
• Learn how to take care of your new baby.
• Help prepare the stuff your baby will need at the hospital and once home. Get
your home ready for the baby.
• Find out about groups for new parents or fathers in your community.
• Talk with others about what it is like for you to be expecting your baby.
During pregnancy is a good time to start bonding with your baby. Getting involved
early with the pregnancy helps you to get ready to be a parent. You can:
• Ask your partner to tell you when the baby is moving. Place your hand on her
belly so you can feel your baby’s movements.
• Listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
• Talk to your unborn child through mom’s belly. You can read stories, sing songs,
or just talk to your baby.
For more information for fathers and partners, refer to page 93. Find out how you can
be involved and how important this is to you and your baby.
14
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Healthy Eating
When you are pregnant, the food
you eat is important. Eating healthy
foods helps you feel better and also
helps your baby grow and develop.
In this section you will learn:
(1) T
he importance of eating
healthy foods for pregnancy
and breastfeeding.
(2) Which healthy foods to choose.
(3) W
hat is healthy pregnancy
weight gain.
(4) What is food safety.
15
Nutrients You Need
Healthy foods provide the nutrients you and your baby need. In addition to eating
healthy, pregnant women need a daily multivitamin with folate and iron in it.
Name of
nutrient
Foods that contain this nutrient
Why this nutrient is important
Folate
(Folic
Acid)
Folate is a vitamin that helps build healthy
blood and tissues for you and your baby.
Calcium
and
Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D work together to keep
your bones strong. They also work together to
build strong bones and teeth for your baby.
Take a prenatal vitamin every day. Some
women need more folic acid. Talk to your health
care provider.
Foods high in calcium include milk, yogurt,
cheese, fortified soy beverages, beans, canned
salmon and sardines with the bones mashed
in, tofu, and almonds.
Good sources of vitamin D are milk, fortified
soy beverages and fish.
Iron and
Vitamin C
Iron helps build the red blood cells that carry
oxygen and iron to your baby. It is important
that babies have a good supply of iron when
they are born.
Vitamin C helps your body use iron. Eat foods
high in iron with foods high in vitamin C.
Foods high in iron include meat and meat
alternatives such as beef, fish, tofu, beans and
lentils as well as cereal. Fruit and vegetables
are all a source of vitamin C.
16
Protein
Protein helps your uterus and placenta become
strong and helps your baby grow. Sources of
protein include meat, meat alternatives (tofu,
egg, beans, nuts, seeds), fish as well as milk
and milk products such as yogurt and cheese.
Omega-3
Fats
Omega-3 fats are important for baby’s brain,
nerves, and eyes. Foods high in omega-3 fats
include fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel,
sardines, herring, and char. Omega-3 eggs also
contain omega-3 fats.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
In your first trimester, focus on meeting Canada’s Food Guide recommendations.
You do not need extra servings yet. During your second and third trimesters, you
need to eat 2 to 3 extra Food Guide servings per day. For examples, choose from:
• 1/2 cup mixed frozen fruit + 3/4 cup yogurt
• 1 cup raw vegetables + 1/2 cup hummus + 1 cup of milk
• Home-made smoothie (1 cup fruit + 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk)
• 1/3 cup unsalted trail mix + 1 piece of fresh fruit
• Spinach salad (1 cup spinach + 1 hard-boiled egg + 2 tbsp walnuts)
• 3/4 cup of cooked oatmeal + 2 tbsp sliced almonds + 1/4 cup raisins and cinnamon
• 2 cups of plain popcorn, sprinkled with your favorite seasoning (cinnamon, garlic,
hot sauce) + 1 cup fresh fruit
• 1 whole grain tortilla + 1/2 cup tuna + lettuce, tomato, peppers etc.
Vegetables and Fruit
Grain Products
7 or 8 servings per day
One serving of food is:
• Fresh, frozen or canned: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
• Leafy vegetables – cooked: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
or raw: 250 mL (1 cup)
• Fruits: 1 fruit or 125 mL (1/2 cup)
100% Juice 125 mL (1/2 cup)
6 or 7 servings per day
One serving of food is:
• Bread: 1 slice (35 g)
• Bagel: 1/2 bagel (45 g)
• Flat breads: 1/2 pita or 1/2 tortilla (35 g)
• Cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
• Cereal – cold: 30 g or hot: 175 mL (3/4 cup)
• Cooked pasta or couscous: 125 mL (1/2 cup)
Milk and Alternatives
Meat and Alternatives
2 servings per day
One serving of food is:
• Milk or powdered milk
(reconstituted): 250 mL (1 cup)
• Canned milk (evaporated): 125 mL (1/2 cup)
• Fortified soy beverage: 250 mL (1 cup)
• Yogurt: 175 g (3/4 cup)
• Kefir: 175 g (3/4 cup)
• Cheese: 50 g (1 1/2 oz)
2 servings per day
One serving of food is:
• Cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat:
75 g (21/2 oz.) or 125 mL (1/2 cup)
• Cooked legumes: 175 mL (3/4 cup)
• Tofu: 150 g or 175 mL (3/4 cup)
• Eggs: 2 eggs
• Peanut or nut butters: 30 mL (2 Tbsp)
• Shelled nuts and seeds: 60 mL (1/4 cup)
For more information on using Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide go to
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php and click on “My Food Guide”.
If eating healthy is too costly at times, call your local public health unit or call
toll-free to speak to a Registered Dietitian 1-877-510-510-2 at EatRight Ontario. If
you are having trouble eating the recommended amounts of food (i.e. nausea,
morning sickness or loss of appetite), talk to your health care provider. You can also
call Motherisk at 1-800-436-8477 and/or a Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-510-2.
17
Food Safety
Take extra care with food when you are pregnant. Food poisoning can be dangerous
when you are pregnant.
18
• Wash your hands before, during, and after you handle food.
• Wash the skin of all raw vegetables and fruit well.
• Cook meat, poultry, seafood, fish, and eggs well.
• Reheat cooked food until steaming hot.
• Check “best before” dates on food packages. Do not eat the food
after that date has passed.
• Eat leftovers stored in the refrigerator within 3 to 4 days.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Avoid these foods when you are pregnant:
• Unheated hotdogs and deli
meats.
• Patés, meat spreads, smoked
seafood, and fish products
that are not in a can.
• Foods made with raw eggs,
or that contain eggs that are
not fully cooked.
• Unpasteurized milk and foods
made from unpasteurized milk.
• Soft cheeses made from
unpasteurized and pasteurized
milk such as brie, camembert,
feta, goat cheese, queso blanco,
and blue cheese.
• Juices that are not pasteurized,
such as unpasteurized apple
cider.
• Raw sprouts, especially alfalfa
sprouts and bean sprouts.
• More than 1 serving (75g) of liver every 2 weeks.
• Undercooked meat, poultry, and seafood.
• Raw fish and food made with raw fish (for example, sushi).
• Fish liver oil.
• Raw seafood such as oysters and clams.
• Fish that is high in mercury. For more information see www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/
securit/chem-chim/environ/mercur/cons-adv-etud-eng.php
For more information refer to Safe Food Handling for pregnant women at www.
healthycanadians.gc.ca/alt/pdf/eating-nutrition/safety-salubrite/pregnant-enceinteseng.pdf.
If you have questions about healthy eating, talk to your health care provider or a
Registered Dietitian. See Healthy Eating on page 95.
Pasteurizing = when milk or juice is heated to kill bacteria
Raw = not cooked
19
Common Questions About Eating
Is it okay to drink coffee, tea, or soda pop?
Coffee, tea, pop, and energy drinks may have caffeine in them.
Too much caffeine is not good for your unborn baby. Try to
limit the tea, coffee, pop, and diet pop you drink. It’s best
not to drink more than two cups (500 mL) of coffee each day.
All energy drinks and some kinds of herbal teas are not safe to
drink when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ask your health care
provider for a list of safe teas. Water is the best thing to drink when thirsty. Try adding
fresh fruit, lemon or cucumber to make your drinking water refreshing and tasty.
Do I need to stop eating salt?
Sodium, which is part of salt, should be limited. You and your baby will get enough
sodium from a healthy diet. Many foods have sodium that naturally occurs in food.
Limit adding extra salt to your food.
Choose foods that don’t have added sodium or are low in sodium more often than
processed or fast foods.
Will I need to take prenatal vitamins?
Vitamin pills cannot take the place of healthy foods. Eat healthy foods and
take a prenatal vitamin every day with folic acid and iron. Some women
need more folic acid or other vitamins. Talk to your health care provider.
What if I don’t drink milk?
If you do not drink milk, you can have other foods high in calcium such as cheese,
yogurt, fortified soy drinks, fortified orange juice, sardines, tofu, broccoli, and almonds.
Talk to your health care provider to make sure you are getting enough calcium and
vitamin D.
What if I do not eat meat?
If you do not eat meat or animal products, choose foods such
as beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Talk to your health care
provider about getting enough iron and protein.
Can I drink alcohol?
It is safest not to drink any alcohol when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.
Choose an alcohol-free drink instead. This is the safest choice. See page 29 for more
information.
20
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is important. It helps:
• Your baby to grow.
• Your uterus and placenta to grow.
• Your breasts to get ready for breastfeeding.
• Your blood volume increase so it carries nutrients and oxygen to your
growing baby.
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
A healthy pregnancy weight gain depends on your height and your weight before you
became pregnant. Visit the Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/
nutrition/prenatal/bmi/index-eng.php to know your recommended weight gain.
Most pregnant women should gain between 11.5 and 16 kilograms (25 to 35 pounds).
If you were overweight before getting pregnant, your health care provider may
recommend gaining only 7 to 9 kg (15-25 lbs) during pregnancy.
During your first trimester, your weight gain should be between 1 to 2 kg (about 2 to
4 lbs). Most of the weight gain happens in the second and third trimesters.
Talk about healthy weight gain during pregnancy with your health care provider before
your pregnancy or very early in your pregnancy. Together you can decide what to
expect for a healthy weight gain per trimester. Eat “twice as healthy”, not “twice as
much”.
You and your baby will benefit if you choose healthy foods and are active during
your pregnancy.
A healthy pregnancy weight gain helps you to:
• Have lower risk of complications in pregnancy and during delivery.
• Feel healthier and have more energy.
• Be at a healthier weight faster after the baby is born.
A healthy pregnancy weight gain helps your baby to:
• Have a better chance of being born at a healthy weight.
• Have lower risk of complications at birth.
• Spend less time in the hospital.
• Have a lower risk of diabetes and disease later in life.
21
Where does the weight go?
Breasts 1 to 1.5 kg
(2 to 3 pounds)
Placenta and
Amniotic fluid
2 to 2.5 kg
(4 to 6 pounds)
Uterus 1 to 1.5 kg
(2 to 3 pounds)
Baby 2.5 to 3.5 kg
(6 to 8 pounds)
22
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Extra fluids
1 to 1.5 kg
(2 to 3 pounds)
Energy stored
as fat 2 to 3.5 kg
(5 to 8 pounds)
Blood 2 kg
(4 pounds)
Healthy Lifestyle
and Risk Factors
Being healthy and enjoying a healthy
lifestyle is good for you and your baby.
In this section you will learn about:
(1) Physical Activity
(2)Work
(3) Mental Health
(4)Drugs
(5)Medication
(6)Sexuality
(7)Smoking
(8)Alcohol
(9) Things to Avoid
(10)Abuse
(11)Infections
23
Physical Activity
Being active during pregnancy is important for
you and your baby. It helps with healthy weight
gain during pregnancy and helps you return
to a healthy weight afterwards. Being active
also helps with leg cramps, feeling tired,
constipation, sore back, and shortness of breath.
When you feel good it is also very good
for the baby’s health.
Speak to your health care provider before
you increase your physical activity. Give
your health care provider the PARmed-X
for PREGNANCY. It is a guideline for health
screening before you start a prenatal fitness class or other exercise. For more
information visit www.csep.ca/cmfiles/publications/parq/parmed-xpreg.pdf.
What kind of physical activity can I do?
During pregnancy you can do many physical activities like:
• Swimming (take pregnancy swimming classes).
• Walking outside.
• Yoga and relaxation techniques.
• Gardening.
• Prenatal fitness classes.
• Kayaking or canoeing.
• Low impact aerobics.
• Biking outside on safe bike paths or on a stationary bicycle.
• Stretching.
• Kegel exercises (see page 36).
• Weight training with low weights and high repetitions.
If you are already active and doing light to moderate physical activity, you can continue
to do your activities. If you already do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as
running, you can continue doing so. If you are not active, try to do light to moderate
physical activity.
Talk to your health care provider about your plans to be active. Check your local
community for physical activity programs in your area. Ask your friends, spouse and/or
a partner to be physically active with you.
24
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
When you exercise:
• Drink plenty of water (before, during, and after you are active).
• Try not to get too hot or too tired.
• You should be able to talk when you are active.
• If it hurts or feels uncomfortable, slow down or stop the activity.
See page 98 under Physical Activity for more information.
Work
Most jobs are safe during pregnancy. A few small changes at work can add to your
comfort and will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some
women must stop working or must change to a different type of work when they are
pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the type of work that you do.
You may need to make some changes or take extra care at work while you are
pregnant if:
• You must stand up for
long periods of time.
• You must lift, push,
or pull heavy items.
• You are in contact
with chemicals.
• You work with X-rays.
• You work in a noisy
work place.
• Your work place is very
hot or very cold.
• You work with animals,
young children, or sick
people.
• You work long hours or
do shift work.
25
Mental Health
For many women, being pregnant involves dealing
with a lot of change. Your body is changing. You may
think differently. People may treat you in a different
manner. You may be thinking about your new baby.
You may be thinking more about your future.
All of these changes and feelings are normal. If they
begin to make you feel tense and anxious, you may
need to seek help. Pregnancy can be a time when
you may be at risk of becoming depressed.
It is important to take care of yourself especially when
you are pregnant or have a new baby.
What you can do:
• Eat well.
• Exercise regularly.
• Get enough sleep.
• Take a prenatal multivitamin.
• Be around people who make you
happy. This can include your
family, neighbours, co-workers,
friends, partner and others.
• Take time to relax and laugh.
• See your health care provider
regularly.
• Ask for help if you feel down,
sad and/or overwhelmed.
• Talk to your partner. He or she
may have similar feelings.
• Go for counseling. You can go
alone or with your partner.
• Talk about your feelings.
• Accept help from others.
• Go to a group program for pregnant
women. Talking to people who
understand what you are going
through is helpful.
• Do something you enjoy like
listening to music, yoga or reading.
• Avoid using drugs or alcohol.
Following the above tips will help you have good mental health and help to
prevent depression.
Ask yourself these questions: For more than two weeks have I been feeling:
• Anxious?
• Worried more than usual?
• Less interested in my usual activities?
• Feeling down, sad, irritable or hopeless?
If you answered yes to any of the four questions, talk to your health care provider.
Don’t wait. There is help for you and your family.
See page 96 for more information on mental health.
26
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Drugs
Drugs such as marijuana, heroin, crack/cocaine, LSD, and other street drugs are not
safe to use when you are pregnant. They could harm both you and your baby.
Babies born to mothers who take drugs may:
• Be born too soon and too small.
• Have medical problems.
• Go through drug withdrawal.
• Have problems learning.
What you can do:
• Do not use street drugs during pregnancy.
• Talk to your health care provider and ask
about programs to help you quit.
See the section on Alcohol and Drugs on page 90.
Medications
It is important to let your health care provider know if you are taking any medications
or herbal products during your pregnancy.
• Prescribed medications, over-the-counter
medications and natural health products
such as some herbal teas can affect your
unborn baby.
• Some products that are unsafe during
pregnancy can be taken safely while
breastfeeding.
• It is always important to let your health care
provider know that you are breastfeeding.
Your health care provider will then consider
different medication options for you.
If you want to take an over the counter medication or herbal product you can check
with Motherisk at 416-813-6780 or 1-877-439-2744.
27
Sexuality
It is safe to have sex when you are pregnant. There may be changes in your sexual
needs and desires. Both of you need to discuss how you feel and discuss what you
expect from one another. Explore comfortable activities that please both of you.
Your health care provider may advise you to avoid sex with certain health conditions.
If you, or your partner are anxious about having sex during pregnancy, or if sex is
painful, talk to your health care provider.
Smoking
Smoking or being around people who smoke during your pregnancy
and after your baby is born, can harm both you and your baby.
Smoking can cause problems during pregnancy. Your baby may:
• Not get enough food or oxygen.
• Be born too soon or too small.
• Die suddenly during pregnancy.
• Be more at risk to die from Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS).
• Have health or learning problems.
What you can do:
• Ask friends and family not to smoke near you while you are pregnant
and after the baby is born.
• Make your home and car smoke-free areas.
• Once the baby is home, smoke outside and away from your baby.
• Ask for help to quit smoking or to smoke less.
• Join a stop-smoking program. You can contact Smoker’s Helpline at
1-877-513-3333 or visit www.smokershelpline.ca. They offer specialized
services for pregnant women.
• Contact your local public health unit at 1-800-267-8097 or
www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx.
No smoking at all is best for your baby and you. Smoking less at any time will
help you have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.
See page 100 for more information and resources to help you or your partner
smoke less or quit.
28
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Alcohol
There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. There is no safe kind of alcohol.
There is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy. It is best
not to drink alcohol at all if you are pregnant.
Mothers who drink alcohol when they are pregnant may
have a baby who has:
• Brain damage.
• Vision and hearing problems.
• Trouble walking and talking.
• Organs that do not work properly.
• Birth defects.
• Problems learning, remembering, and thinking things through.
• Problems getting along with others.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, many mothers choose an alcohol-free drink
instead. This is the safest choice. If you decide to drink while breastfeeding, limit the
amount you drink to one or two standard drinks per occasion. For more information,
see Mocktails for Mom at www.beststart.org/resources/alc_reduction/LCBO_recipe_
cards_bro.pdf.
If you need information, call Motherisk at 1-877-327-4636. More resources are available
at page 90 in the section Alcohol and Drugs.
Things to Avoid
Some things at home and work can harm your unborn baby.
What you can do:
Talk to your health care provider about:
• Pesticides (used for killing insects).
• Mercury (in some fish).
• Lead (in some paint).
• Asbestos (in some home insulation).
• Solvents (in some paints).
• Extreme heat (for example
hot tubs and saunas).
• Plastics.
• X-rays.
• Some cleaning products.
For more information, see the video Creating Healthy Home Environments for Kids:
Top 5 Tips at www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/resources/creating-healthy-homeenvironments-kids-top-5-tips.
29
Abuse
Does your partner...
• Yell at you or call you names?
• Break your things?
• Threaten to hurt you?
• Always need to be in charge?
• Keep you from seeing your friends,
family, doctor, or midwife?
• Control the money?
• Threaten to take the kids away?
• Hit or kick you?
• Force you to have sex?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, this is abuse. Abuse usually gets
worse over time. It will not stop when your baby is born.
Abuse during pregnancy could cause you to:
• Feel anxious, sad and alone.
• Feel bad about yourself.
• Lose your baby.
• Not eat or sleep well.
• Have pain, injuries and die.
Abuse may cause your baby to:
• Be born too small or too early.
• Have later health problems.
• Be abused after birth.
• Be hurt or die.
What you can do:
• Tell someone you trust what is going on.
• Find people to help you.
• Get help to leave safely.
Where to Get Help:
• If you are in immediate danger call 911.
• Assaulted Women’s Help Line 1-866-863-0511.
Crisis line with help in 150 languages: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• www.sheltersafe.ca. Sheltersafe connects women to nearby shelters.
Do not feel ashamed. It is not your fault. Refer to page 89 for more information.
30
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Infections
There are certain health problems that can harm your unborn baby if you get them
during pregnancy. If at any time during your pregnancy you think you may have
any of the problems listed below, call your health care provider.
Early treatment of health problems is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.
Bladder Infection
What is it? Your bladder holds urine. When you are pregnant, the baby may put
more pressure on your bladder. A bladder infection is caused by germs called
bacteria. These germs live outside the body and can move into the bladder.
How do I know I have it? You may:
• Feel the need to pass urine often and in a hurry.
• Have a burning feeling when you pass urine.
• F
eel pain in your lower stomach or back area.
• H
ave a fever or feel sick to your stomach.
• Have bloody or cloudy urine.
• Notice a strange smell in
your urine.
Why is it a danger? It can hurt your kidneys and cause your baby to be born
too soon.
What can I do to protect myself and my baby?
• Drink lots of fluids (mostly water and at least 8 glasses a day).
• Wipe yourself from front to back after using the toilet.
• Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pass urine, before sex, and after sex.
• See your health care provider right away if you think you have a bladder infection.
Toxoplasmosis
What is it? Toxoplasmosis is an infection that people can get from eating raw meat
or meat that is not cooked well. It also comes from unwashed vegetables, and from
touching cat feces.
Why is it a danger? It can make your baby very sick.
What can I do to protect myself and my baby?
• Cook meat well. Wash vegetables well.
• Ask someone else to change the cat litter.
• Wash your hands and any surfaces that you use to prepare food.
• Do not drink or eat unpasteurized milk products.
• Wear gloves when gardening or if you must change the cat litter box. When you
are done, wash your hands.
31
Streptococcus B (Strep B)
What is it?
• Strep B or Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacteria that is often found
in the vagina, rectum or bladder. Often, there are no signs that you have Strep B.
All pregnant women are tested for GBS bacteria.
Why is it a danger?
• After the delivery, it can make your baby sick.
What can I do to protect my baby and myself?
• If you tested positive for GBS bacteria, you will be treated with antibiotics
when you go into labour and during birth.
• Talk with your health care provider if you have questions about GBS bacteria.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
What are they? STIs are infections that can spread from person-to-person
during sex. Examples of STIs are herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and
hepatitis B. You can get an STI before, during, or after you are pregnant.
Why is it a danger? STIs can harm both you and your unborn baby.
What can I do to protect myself and my baby?
• Talk to your health care provider about getting tested for STIs.
HIV/AIDS
What is it? – HIV is a virus that can lead to AIDS. You can get HIV by having unprotected
sex with someone who has the virus. You can also get HIV from needles that have been
used by someone who has the virus. If you have HIV, it may be passed on to your baby
when you are pregnant, during birth, or during breastfeeding. If you have HIV, medications
can help protect your unborn baby.
Why is it a danger? The virus can attack your immune system and your nervous
system. It can do the same to your baby, making you both very sick.
What can I do to protect myself and my baby?
• Do not share needles with others.
• Ask your health care provider about having an HIV test early in pregnancy.
• Talk with your health care provider about how to protect yourself, or to treat
HIV/AIDS.
For more information, talk with your health care provider or call Motherisk Helpline
at 1-877-439-2744.
32
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
The Three
Trimesters of
Pregnancy
This section gives you information about
each stage of pregnancy.
(1) F
or the first trimester, it will tell
you about:
– Your Growing Baby
– Changes You May Feel
– Getting Healthy for You and Your Baby
(2) For the second trimester, it will tell
you about:
– Your Growing Baby
– Changes You May Feel
– Getting to Know Your Baby
(3) For the third trimester, it will tell
you about:
– Your Growing Baby
– Changes You May Feel
– Getting Ready for Your Baby
– What to Take to the Hospital
33
How Long Does Pregnancy Last?
Pregnancy usually lasts 40 weeks (about 9 months). It takes this much time for
a baby to develop.
Pregnancy has three parts. Each part is called a trimester. Each trimester is about
3 months long.
Pregnancy Time Line
Use a coloured pencil or pen to colour in the months. Then you will know where you
are in your pregnancy.
By the end of the 1st
trimester your baby begins
to look like a human baby.
1st Trimester (weeks 1 – 12)
1st Month
2nd Month
3rd Month
By the end of the 2nd trimester
your baby sucks his thumb,
and opens and closes his eyes.
2nd Trimester (weeks 13 – 28)
4th Month
5th Month
6th Month
During the 3rd trimester
your baby is well developed.
Your baby still needs
stronger lungs and other
organs. Your baby needs to
grow and put on weight.
34
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
3rd Trimester (weeks 29 – 40)
7th Month
8th Month
9th Month
First Trimester (1 to 3 months of pregnancy)
Your Growing Baby
By the end of the first trimester:
• Your baby will be 7 to 10 cm long (3 to 4 inches) and weigh 28 grams (1 ounce).
• The heart is beating.
• The eyes, ears, and nose are forming.
• The arms, legs, fingers, and toes are forming.
• The fingernails and toenails are forming.
• The arms and legs move now but you cannot feel the kicks.
• The bones are forming.
• The brain is growing quickly.
• The spine is forming.
• The face is forming but the eyes are closed.
• The digestive tract is forming.
• Your baby is beginning to look like a real person.
• The sex of your baby is determined.
35
Changes You May Feel
What to expect
36
What to do
You may have mood swings (happy for
a while and then sad). This is caused
by changes in your hormones as your
body adjusts
to being
pregnant.
• Talk to your partner, close friends,
or family about your feelings.
• Talk to your health care provider
if these feelings do not go away
or if you always feel sad.
“Morning Sickness” (feeling sick and
throwing up). It usually stops by the
fourth month. You may feel sick in the
morning, or all day.
• Eat dry toast or crackers before you
get out of bed in the morning.
• Get out of bed slowly.
• Eat small amounts of food every
1 to 2 hours, before you feel hungry.
• Avoid spicy, fried, or fatty foods.
• Drink fluids between meals. Do not
drink fluids with meals.
• Talk to your health care provider
if the vomiting continues.
You will pass urine more
often. This is caused
by your uterus pressing
against your
bladder and
by changes
in your
hormones.
• Drink less in the evening.
• Try Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises
help to strengthen the muscles and can
decrease the chance of urine leaking:
– Tighten the muscles around your
vagina and anus and hold for
several seconds. These are the
same muscles you that you use
when you are urinating.
– Try to tighten your muscles
25 times each day. It is important
to repeat this exercise several
times during the day.
• Make sure that your bladder empties
each time you pass urine.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
What to expect
What to do
You may
feel tired.
• Rest.
• Eat small amounts of food
many times during the day.
• Drink lots of fluids.
• Try to work less.
• Accept help from others.
• Ask for help from your partner.
Thin milky fluid may flow from your
birth canal (vagina).
• Wear small liners in your underwear
or change your underwear often.
• Keep the area clean and dry.
• Avoiding douching (pushing fluid into
your vagina).
• Call your health care provider
if the fluid smells bad or makes you
feel itchy.
Your breasts may
become larger.
This is to prepare
for breastfeeding
your baby.
• Wear a bra that provides good support.
• Wear your bra at night if your breasts
are uncomfortable.
You may feel like you are going to
faint. This is caused by demands
on your blood system.
• Get up slowly.
• When you change position, move slowly.
Your interest in
having sex or
in other activities
may change.
This may be
caused by
feeling tired
and sick.
• Talk to your partner or a close friend
about your feelings.
37
Getting Healthy for You and Your Baby
During this time you may have many different feelings and questions.
What you and your partner can do:
38
• Think of healthy things you can do for
yourself and your growing baby.
• Choose your health care provider.
• A
sk your health care provider what you
can do to have a healthy pregnancy.
• Sign up for a prenatal program.
• M
ake healthy changes as early as you can.
• L
earn about pregnancy. You can read
books or information on the web.
See the suggestions on page 99.
• T
alk to friends and family members
who are pregnant or have had a baby.
• Think about how you were raised and
how you want to raise your baby.
• Talk to your partner or support person about your feelings.
• Talk to your partner or support person about the kind of parent that you
both want to be.
• F
ind out about supports and services in your community.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Second Trimester (4 to 6 months of pregnancy)
Your Growing Baby
By the end of the second trimester:
• Your baby will be about 36 cm long (14 inches) and weigh 1 kilogram (2 pounds).
• The eyes can open and the eyebrows and lashes appear.
• The heartbeat is stronger and can be heard by your health care provider.
• You can feel your baby moving.
• Your baby can suck their thumbs and hiccup.
• The teeth develop inside the gums.
• Soft, fine hair is growing on the body.
• A white coating (vernix) begins to cover your baby’s body.
39
Changes You May Feel
What to expect
40
What to do
You begin to feel closer
to your baby and more
interested in what
the baby is doing.
You feel the baby
move inside you.
It may feel like
fluttering, bubbles,
or like the baby is
gently poking you.
• Get to know your baby.
• Enjoy the feeling.
• Take note of the first day you felt
your baby move. Tell your health care
provider.
• Tell your partner when the baby is
moving. Place your partner’s hand
on your belly to also feel your baby’s
movements.
• Both you and your partner can talk to
your unborn child through your belly.
You can also read stories and sing songs.
Fluid may leak
from your breasts.
• Wear breast pads in your bra.
The colour of your cheeks on your
face may change. This is caused by the
hormones of pregnancy. These changes
will slowly fade after the baby is born.
• Wear a hat.
• Use a sunblock with at least SPF 15
when you go outside.
You may have throbbing
legs and swollen veins.
This is caused by
the pressure of the
growing baby.
• Walk to help the blood flow in your
legs. Do not cross your legs when you
are sitting down.
• Put your feet up when you can.
• Use support stockings.
• Do not wear knee high socks or
stockings.
• Avoid tight clothing.
• Tell your health care provider.
You may feel less sick and less tired. Your
body is getting used to being pregnant.
You may have to pass urine less often.
Your growing baby is moving off your
bladder.
• Enjoy this time.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
What to expect
What to do
Your gums bleed more easily.
• Brush and floss your teeth every day.
See a dentist at least once during your
pregnancy. Remember to tell the dentist
that you are pregnant.
You may feel low
back pain.This is
caused by your
growing tummy
and loose joints.
• Flatten your lower back by pulling
in your stomach and buttocks. This
is called the pelvic tilt.
• Wear shoes with low heels.
• Avoid standing for long periods
I think this graphic really illustrated
of
time.
poor posture. would it not be better
• U
correct
posture
and
tose
have
it so that
the backtois lift
flattened.
carry objects.
• Have a massage if you enjoy it.
• Do some stretching exercises.
You may have hard dry bowel
movements. This is called constipation.
This is caused by hormones and by
pressure of the growing baby on the
bowels.
• Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluids
a day.
• Eat more foods that are high in fibre
such as – whole grain breads, prunes,
bran, etc.
• Do activities such as walking or
swimming.
• Tell your health care provider.
You may have
swollen ankles
and hands.
This is caused
by extra fluid
in your body
and slower blood
circulation.
• Put your feet up.
• Sleep on your left side.
• Do not lie on your back.
• Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.
• Do not cross your legs at the knee.
• Avoid tight clothing.
• Tell your health care provider.
Your interest in sex may change because
you are feeling less tired and less sick.
• Talk to your partner about your
feelings.
Could we
women s
we get a
that she
41
Getting to Know Your Baby
This is the time for you and your partner to get to know your growing baby. At the
start of your pregnancy, your baby may not seem real to you. For most women, this
changes when they feel the baby move or hear the heartbeat. Enjoy this special time!
What you and your partner can do:
42
• Place
your hands on your belly when
you can feel your baby’s movements.
• T
alk to your unborn child. You can
read stories, sing songs, or just talk to
your baby. As early as 21 weeks of
the pregnancy, your baby can hear
your voice.
• T
hink about what your baby may be
doing. Is your baby moving his or her
arms and legs, or sucking a thumb?
• N
otice when your baby moves and
what you are doing at that time.
• Think about names for your baby.
• S
tart thinking about the things that
you will need for your baby.
• G
o to your prenatal appointments and any tests for you or your baby.
• S
ign up and go to prenatal classes.
• P
repare the stuff the baby will need at the hospital and once home.
• T
alk with others about what it is like for you to be expecting your baby.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Third Trimester (7 to 9 months of pregnancy)
Your Growing Baby
By the end of the third trimester:
• Your baby will be about 51 cm long (20 inches) and weigh 3.5 kilograms
(7.5 pounds).
• The skin becomes less wrinkled as the baby gains weight.
• Your baby hears sounds, such as your voice.
• Your baby may not be as active, but will still kick and wiggle often.
• Your baby may move into a head-down position, getting ready to be born.
• Your baby’s head has hair.
• Your baby’s brain, lungs, and other organs continue to develop.
• Your baby responds to light.
• The sex organs are developed.
43
Changes You May Feel
What to expect
44
What to do
You may have stretch marks on your
tummy and breasts. They may feel itchy.
This is caused by stretching of your skin.
• Use a lotion or skin cream to help with
the itching.
• Do not use lotion or skin cream on the
nipple area unless recommended by
your health care provider.
You may feel your uterus
tighten all over and
then relax. These are
called pre-labour
or Braxton-Hicks
contractions
(see page 52).
• Walk around.
• Relax and take deep breaths.
• If they do not go away, call your
health care provider.
You may feel pain
in your legs (leg
cramps).
• Put your feet up.
• Stretch your leg by bending your
ankle and pointing your toes towards
your nose.
• Make sure you get enough calcium.
Eat foods that are high in calcium,
such as cheese, tofu, and yogurt.
• If your leg is swollen or the pain
does not go away, see your health care
provider right away.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
What to expect
What to do
You may have a
burning feeling
in your chest
and throat
(heartburn).
This is caused
by the growing
baby
pressing
on your
stomach.
• Eat foods that are less spicy and not fried.
• Drink fluids between meals instead of
with meals.
• Eat smaller amounts of food. Eat more
often.
• Stay upright after eating.
• Rest or sleep with lots of pillows under
your head and upper body.
• If the pain does not go away, call your
health care provider.
• Talk to your health care provider before
taking any medication.
You may get hemorrhoids (swelling in
or around your anus) and have hard
dry bowel movements. This is called
constipation. Hemorrhoids and
constipation are caused by the growing
baby pressing on your bowels.
Hemorrhoids
Rectum
You may feel shortness
of breath. This is
caused by the
pressure of the
growing baby
against your lungs.
Toward the end of
the third trimester,
your baby will
move lower and
your breathing
will get easier.
• Eat more foods that are high in fibre,
such as whole grain breads, prunes,
bran, etc.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Walk around.
• Do not sit or stand for a long time.
• Sleep on your left side.
• Put your feet up when you are sitting.
• Do your Kegel exercises. See page 36.
Hemorrhoids
• Avoid straining or pushing hard when
you are having a bowel movement.
Rectum
• Tell your health care provider.
• Sleep with your head propped on
2 or more pillows.
• Wear clothing that is loose around
your chest and tummy.
• Stand up straight.
45
What to expect
46
What to do
You may begin to feel anxious about
labour and birth. You may be tired
of being pregnant. You
may also be looking
forward to giving
birth and meeting
your baby. You
may be wondering
what it will feel
like to be holding
your baby in
your arms.
• Distract yourself by getting things ready
for the baby.
• Talk to your health care provider about
your concerns.
• Talk to your partner about your
feelings.
You may need to pass urine more often.
This is caused by your baby
pressing on your bladder.
Many women
notice that urine
leaks when
they sneeze,
laugh, or cough.
• If it hurts or smells bad when you
pass urine, call your health care
provider.
• Try Kegel exercises. See page 36.
Your interest
in sex may
change. Your
interest in
sex may not
change. Both
are ok. Talk
with your
partner.
• Talk to your partner or your support
person about your feelings.
• If sex is painful, talk to your health
care provider.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Getting Ready for Your Baby
This is a good time to start getting ready for
labour and birth and to bring your baby home.
What you and your partner can do:
• Talk to other mothers about their labour
and birth.
• Talk to other parents about how they got
ready for their first few weeks at home.
• Talk to your health care provider
about what your labour and birth
may be like.
• Talk to your partner about his or her
role in supporting you during labour.
• Go on a tour of the hospital or birth
centre.
• Make a list of the things your baby will
need. Ask friends or family if they have
things you can borrow. Buy the things your baby will need, a few at a time.
• Prepare a safe place for your baby to sleep. For at least the first 6 months,
share the same room with your baby. Place the crib, bassinet or cradle next
to your bed.
• Arrange for family or friends to help out during the first few weeks at home.
• During pregnancy and after your baby’s birth, keep a list of all the people who
offered to help.
• Learn why babies cry and what can be done to soothe them. Refer to Comforting
Your Baby on page 64.
• Learn about breastfeeding. See page 60 for more information.
• Find out about taking time off work.
• Prepare a budget for all the extra baby’s expenses.
• Continue to be physically active and to eat healthy foods.
• Rest when you can. Ask for help if you need it.
• Learn about services and community programs in your area that help new
parents (drops-ins, breastfeeding support, dads’ group, food banks, community
closets, etc.).
47
• Ask what the hospital or birth centre will provide and what you need to bring
with you. Pack a small suitcase or bag 3 to 4 weeks before your due date.
Birthing Centre
l/
ta
pi
os
H
e
th
to
ng
oi
G
What to Pack Before
For You
q Health card
q Pen and paper
q Underwear
a
a or good support br
br
g
sin
ur
N
q
sh,
(toothbrush, hairbru
s
ie
tr
le
oi
T
q
irdryer etc.)
ing machines,
q M oney for vend
teria or hospital
lip balm, ha
nitary pads
q Sa
ers and robe
q N ightgown, slipp
s for the
ose fitting clothe
q Lo
trip home
al registration
q Pl astic hospitha
e
card, if you ve on
hospital cafe
parking
for friends
q P hone numbers
and family
q C amera
charger
q C ell phone and
ing
q V ery light read
usic
q Y our favorite m
Home
For Your Baby’s Trip
at
q A pproved car se
q U ndershirt
es
q D iapers and wip
q S leeper
s
q S ocks or bootie
support person
or
r
ne
rt
pa
r
u
yo
r
Fo
fortable clothes
q P ajamas or com
q T oiletries
q M oney
charger
q C ell phone and
q B ook and music
48
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
q H at
q S weater
q T
hin blanket
q W arm blanket
(for winter)
Labour and Birth
The way labour begins and what happens
during labour is different for each woman.
It is normal to feel nervous, afraid, excited,
happy, and sad all at once!
In this section, you will learn:
(1) H
ow to tell if you are in labour.
When to go to the hospital.
(2) T
he four stages of labour.
Positions and tips to help you cope.
(3) T
he medical procedures your
health care provider may use.
49
What is Labour?
Labour is the work your uterus does to help the baby come out. For many hours, your
uterus will tighten (contract), rest, and then tighten (contract) again. This makes the
opening of the uterus (cervix) get thinner (efface) and open (dilate).
A contraction occurs when the uterus gets tight, rests, and then gets tight again. You
will feel many contractions when you are in labour. The “pain of childbirth” comes
mainly from the contractions. When your cervix opens to 10 cm, your contractions and
your pushing will move the baby down the birth canal (vagina) and out into the world.
The Thinning and Opening of the Cervix
Efface
Dilate
Your cervix gets thinner
(effaces) before it opens
(dilates).
Your cervix will open (dilate)
to about 10 cm (4 inches)
before your baby comes out.
Labour and birth is a natural and important process for your body. Your hormones
are preparing your body and your baby for the transition from the womb to the outside
world. Trust the process.
How long does labour last?
Prepare yourself for the work of labour and be flexible with your plans as it is also
unpredictable. Every labour and birth is different. It is hard to know how long your
labour will last. For a first baby, labour may last 12 to 20 hours. For more information,
see Pathway to a Healthy Birth at http://childbirthconnection.org/pdfs/CC.NPWF.
Booklet.Pathway.HealthyBirth.2015.pdf
50
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Signs of Labour
There are some normal signs that tell you that your labour may begin soon. Most
women go into labour within a week of their due date. If you have signs of labour
before you are 37 weeks pregnant, go to the hospital right away.
(1)Lightening
Near the end of your pregnancy, your baby will move down. When this happens
you will be able to breathe better. You will feel less burning in your chest and throat
after you eat. You will have to pass urine more often. If this is your first baby, this
may happen 2 to 3 weeks before you go into labour. If this is not your first baby, this
may not happen until closer to the time you will give birth.
Baby drops lower
near the end of
pregnancy.
(2) Mucous Plug
While you are pregnant, you have a thick mucous
plug in your cervix. As the baby’s birth gets closer,
your cervix begins to thin and open, and the plug
may come out. If this happens you will notice thick
mucous on your underwear, or in the toilet, or you
may not notice it at all.
(3) Bloody Show
You may notice a pink, red, or brown discharge
a few days before labour or during labour. This
is called bloody show. It is a sign of your cervix
changing shape and the mucous plug coming out.
Tell your health care provider when this happens.
51
(4) Bag of Water Breaks
Your baby is inside a bag of water (amniotic sac) in your uterus. When the baby is
ready to be born it is normal for the bag of water to break. This may happen before
labour starts, early in labour or when the baby is almost ready to be born. When it
happens, you may have a little or a lot of water leaking from your vagina. Sometimes
women do not know whether this is water from their uterus or urine. If you are not
sure, call your health care provider.
When your bag of water breaks:
• Write down the time that
your bag of water broke.
• Look at the colour of the
water (it should be clear).
• Notice if there is a smell
(it should not smell).
• Do not use a tampon – use a pad in your underwear or towel if needed.
• Call your health care provider or hospital for instructions.
(5)Contractions
Late in your pregnancy you may have contractions (uterus
tightens, rests, and tightens again) that are very strong.
They may come and go for hours or days and then stop.
These contractions are helping your womb (uterus) get
ready for birth and are called pre-labour or Braxton-Hicks
contractions. The chart below will help you know when
you are really in labour.
Pre-labour contractions
Do not get stronger.
Get stronger.
Do not become regular.
Become regular and closer together.
Go away with walking.
Get stronger when you walk.
Feel strongest in front.
May begin in back and move to front.
There is no bloody show.
Bloody show is usually present.
Tend to go away with rest.
52
True labour contractions
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
How to Time Your Contractions?
By learning how to time your contractions, you will know when you are in true
labour. Time your contractions when the contractions come closer together and/or the
contractions get stronger or when your water breaks.
• It is also helpful to time for at
least 3 contractions in a row to
see what the pattern is.
Write
down:
• When each contraction begins and ends.
• How far apart the contractions are.
• How long each contraction lasts.
• How strong the contractions feel.
How long the
contractions last.
How far apart
the contractions are
Use a clock or watch with a second hand. To
find out how long the contraction lasts, start
timing from the beginning of the contraction
to the end of the same contraction.
To find out how far apart contractions are,
time the beginning of one contraction to the
beginning of the NEXT contraction.
Labour Record
Start Time
Stop Time
Length of Contraction
Frequency of
Contractions
How long the
contractions last.
How far apart
the contractions are
53
When Should You Go to the Hospital?
• If you are bleeding from your vagina.
• When your contractions are 5 minutes apart and are also increasing in intensity
(your health care provider may ask you to go to the hospital earlier).
• When your water breaks (if recommended by your health care provider).
It’s best to labour at home during early labour. Resting, taking a shower, going for
a walk or watching a movie are all great ways to cope with early labour.
The Four Stages of Labour
Stage 1: Labour
Your contractions will slowly get stronger.
They will happen more often and last
longer. By the end of this stage your cervix
will be thinner (effaced) and will open
(dilate) to 10 cm. Your baby will move
down into your pelvis.
Stage 2: Birth of Baby
You will have more contractions. They
will be very strong. You will feel the need
to push. Your baby will be born.
Stage 4: Recovery
Stage 3: Release of Placenta
During this stage you will be pushing
your placenta out.
54
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
During this stage you will be resting after
all your effort during labour and birth.
You will be spending time with your baby.
Skin-to-skin contact with your baby will
help you bond with your baby and will keep
your baby warm. It will help your baby
find your breast and latch on to your nipple.
This is a good time to start breastfeeding.
Things to Help You During Labour
Here are some tips that you can use to stay comfortable during labour. By learning
to relax, you will stay more comfortable. It helps your baby to move down into the
birth canal.
Use the special
breathing that
you learned in
prenatal class
or ask someone
to show you.
to find something
Try
to look at or think
about during your
contractions.
I think this graphic really illustrated
poor posture. would it not be better
to have it so that the back is flattened.
Ask your support
person to massage
different parts of your
body. If your lower
back hurts, ask your
support person to
apply steady pressure
on your lower back.
ave a shower
H
or a bath.
Could we have a graphic of a
women sitting on a couch so
we get away from the idea
that she is confined to bed
Listen to music.
Go to the toilet
to pass urine at
least every hour.
Drink juice or
water, or chew
on ice chips.
Eat small
amounts
of food.
Some women want medications to help
reduce the pain. Talk to your health
care provider about the kinds of pain
medications that might help. Ask questions
about the benefits and risks to you and
your baby, as well as the alternatives, so
that you can make an informed decision
about using them or not.
55
Positions
It is important to change positions during labour. Doing so will help you to stay
comfortable and will help your baby move down. Try some of these positions to find
the ones you like.
56
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Medical Procedures
Sometimes babies need some help to be born. Here are some medical procedures Baby’s
that Head
your health care provider may use. Talk with your health care provider about these
Side Cut
Middle Cut
during your prenatal visits. This will help you to
be aware of the risks and benefits,
for
Anus
you and your baby, of each procedure as well as the alternatives so you can make an Baby’s Head
Side Cut
informed decision during labour.
Middle Cut
Anus
Induction
• Ways to start your labour such as special
medication.
• Labour may be induced because the baby
is overdue, the bag of water breaks but
there are no contractions, or for special
health reasons.
Pain Medication
• Intravenous Infusion (IV) may be used
to give you fluids, medication, or pain
medication through your arm.
• An Epidural may be used to give you pain
medication through your back.
Fetal Monitoring
• During labour, your baby’s heartrate will be listened to.
• Your health care provider will use a hand-held
stethoscope called a Doppler.
• A machine called a “fetal monitor” may be used to
listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
• Monitoring also includes recording and measuring
the contractions.
Episiotomy
• This is a small cut to make the opening
of the vagina bigger.
• An episiotomy is not a routine part
of labour.
• Freezing is usually given first.
• You will need to have stitches.
Baby’s Head
Middle Cut
Side Cut
Anus
57
Forceps and Vacuum Extraction
• Forceps are a spoon-like tool that fits around the baby’s head.
• Vacuum extraction uses a soft cup that fits on top of the baby’s head
and is attached to a machine.
• They are used when:
– The baby is not in a good position to be born.
– The baby needs to be born quickly.
– The mother is very tired and can’t push any more.
Forceps
Forceps
Vacuum Extraction
Vacuum Extraction
Caesarean Birth (C-section)
• This involves the baby being born through a cut in your abdomen and uterus.
• There are many reasons why a C-section may be done:
– The baby is very big.
– The baby is lying with its legs down instead of its head.
– Special health reasons.
– Problems with the umbilical cord or placenta.
– The baby needs to be born quickly.
– Labour is not progressing normally.
• Having a caesarean birth may be unexpected. Your health care provider will let
you know if a C-section is needed to help your baby be born safely.
58
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
After Your
Baby is Born
As a parent you need to create a
loving, safe, and healthy home for your
baby. In this section you will learn:
(1) A
bout breastfeeding.
(2) H
ow to comfort your baby.
(3) A
bout baby care.
(4) W
hen to get help for your baby.
(5) H
ow to keep your baby safe.
59
Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself. For
the first 6 months, breastmilk is all your baby needs. After 6 months, you can start
adding other foods while breastfeeding to 2 years or more.
Breastfeeding is healthy for your baby:
• Provides the best food that is always
fresh and ready.
• Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS).
• Helps prevent an upset tummy and
constipation.
• Provides closeness and warm touch
from mom.
• Promotes good health and brain
development.
• Protects against illnesses (e.g., coughs and
colds, ear infection, type 1 diabetes, etc.)
• Helps protect against allergies.
• Helps to promote proper jaw and tooth development.
• Protects from becoming overweight.
Breastfeeding is healthy for you:
• Helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly.
• Lowers your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes.
• Saves you time and money.
• Helps you bond with your baby and make you feel happier.
Start breastfeeding as soon as your baby is born
60
• Ask your health care provider to place your baby on your tummy as
soon as he is born.
• He will be naked, his back will be wiped dry and your health care
provider may put a diaper on your baby and a blanket over both of
you to keep you warm.
• Your baby will slowly adjust to where he is and will start moving towards
your breast. It may take time (around 1 hour) and you may need to help
your baby a little bit to reach your breast and find your nipple. He will
try to latch on.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
• Many babies are able to latch on and feed well soon after birth. Keep your
baby skin-to-skin until he has finished his first feed, or as long as you wish.
• If you are not well enough to hold your
baby skin-to-skin right away, your baby
can be placed skin-to-skin with your
partner or support person if you wish.
If your baby is not well enough to be
placed skin-to-skin the moment he is
born, begin as soon as you can.
Holding your baby skin-to-skin will help him:
• Feel less stress from being born.
• Adjust to life outside your womb.
• Be calmer.
• Breathe better.
• Have normal blood sugar.
• Stay warmer.
Enjoy your first moments together. Continue to hold your baby skin-to-skin as often
and as long as you can even after you leave the hospital and go home. Skin-to-skin
is a great way to bond with your baby, encourage your baby to breastfeed, soothe
your baby when he is upset, and lessen his pain during vaccination or other painful
procedures.
Encourage a good latch
Some mothers find that their nipples feel
tender as mother and baby learn to breastfeed.
The two most common reasons for sore
nipples are poor positioning and/or poor
latch. These problems can be solved. Find
good breastfeeding support to help you.
There are many breastfeeding positions.
Find the one that you and your baby prefer.
Be sure that your baby is latched deeply
onto your breast and not just taking your
nipple into his mouth.
If you are feeling pain or if you feel your
baby is not breastfeeding well, get some help
right away.You can phone the Telehealth
Ontario 24/7 Breastfeeding Support Hotline
day or night at 1-866-797-0000.
61
Your newborn will need to feed often
Your newborn’s stomach is very small. This is why you need to breastfeed often
both day and night. Expect to feed your newborn 8 times or more in 24 hours. As
he grows, he will be able to drink more breastmilk at a feeding.
You need to breastfeed your baby whenever he seems hungry. Watch for early
feeding signs. He might:
• Move his lips as if he is sucking.
• Put his hands up to his mouth.
• Suck his fists or fingers.
• Turn his head from side to side while opening his mouth.
• Turn toward your breast.
Crying is a very late sign that your baby is hungry. He may be too upset to feed
well. You will have to calm him before breastfeeding him.
Most mothers make more than enough milk for their babies
The amount of milk depends on how often and how well your baby feeds on the
breast. Your body will make more milk when your baby breastfeeds more often
and has a good latch and suck. Start breastfeeding as soon as your baby is born.
Learn your baby’s hunger cues and feed him as often as he wants.
Breastfeeding gives you a lot of freedom
You can breastfeed your baby anywhere,
and anytime. You have the right to breastfeed
anywhere in public. This can be at a restaurant,
in the park, on the bus, at a shopping mall etc.
You do not have to cover-up with a blanket if
you do not want to.
Breastfeeding saves you time. You do not
spend time washing and sterilizing feeding
equipment. Your milk is also at the perfect
temperature for your baby.
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A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Breastfeeding mothers can eat all foods
There is no special diet while breastfeeding. Enjoy a variety of foods and follow
Canada’s Food Guide. Follow your thirst to know how much to drink. Water is
the best choice.
See page 20 for information on limiting herbal teas, energy drinks, and sources of
caffeine. If you think your baby has an allergic reaction to something you have
eaten, stop eating that food and make an appointment to see your health care
provider to find out what to do.
Breastfeeding mothers who smoke can breastfeed
Even if you smoke, breastfeeding is still the healthiest choice for your baby. If you
can, try to cut down on smoking or quit. It is best to smoke after you breastfeed
your baby. Smoke outdoors while the baby is left inside with family or friends. If
you have smoked, wash your hands and change your outer clothing before holding
your baby. For information, refer to page 100 under Smoking Cessation.
Father and partner can help with breastfeeding
They can:
• Change the diaper before
feeding.
• Bring the baby to be breastfed.
• Burp the baby afterwards.
• Offer you a glass of water
while you are breastfeeding.
Also, keep you company
when you breastfeed.
• Encourage you to keep
breastfeeding.
• Find breastfeeding help if needed.
• Attend breastfeeding support groups or drop-ins with you.
• Encourage you to rest when you need it.
• Reduce the distractions such as answering the phone or doorbell, entertain
visitors, take care of sibling, etc.
For more information on breastfeeding, refer to My Breastfeeding Guide at www.
beststart.org/resources/breastfeeding/BSRC_My_Breastfeeding_Guide_EN.pdf. It
answers breastfeeding questions you may have as an expectant or new parent.
Also, go to page 91 for phone numbers to call and web links to get breastfeeding
support and advice.
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Comforting Your Baby
In the first year of life, parenting is about comforting your baby and making sure he
is safe. Your baby will feel loved and safe if you comfort him when he is startled,
scared, or upset. You will not spoil your baby by holding him. Your baby wants to be
close to you. Being close to your baby may be enough to calm him.
Your baby may be happy one
minute and then start crying
the next minute. Crying means
he needs something. He may
be hungry, tired, wet, cold, hot
or just want to he held. Try
to respond before your baby
is crying loudly. If your baby
has been crying a lot he will
be harder to comfort. Learn the
early signs that your baby needs
something. For example, when
your baby is too tired he may
rub his eyes, whine more, lose
interest and yawn. See page 62
for early feeding signs.
When your baby is crying or fussy:
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• Try breastfeeding your baby.
• Always respond kindly and gently.
• Place a fussy infant skin-to-skin on your chest. The warmth and close contact
will likely help to calm her. Always be sure that her nose is clear and that she
can breathe easily.
• Check to see if your baby needs a clean diaper.
• Check to see if your baby is too hot or too cold.
• Try carrying or rocking the baby using very gentle movements.
• Take your baby to a quiet room and turn off the lights.
• Play soft music, talk, sing or stroke your baby’s forehead.
Avoid loud, sudden noises.
• Give your baby a warm bath or massage.
• Show your baby bright, colourful objects.
• Take your baby for a walk outside.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
If you are feeling upset because your baby is crying:
Some babies cry more than others. All babies have times in their first few months
when they cry more often. Sometimes nothing you do will calm your baby. If you
are feeling upset:
• Put your baby in his crib, cradle or bassinet and leave the room.
• Ask someone you trust to hold the baby for you while you take a break.
• Talk to a friend, family member, or someone you trust about your feelings.
Never shake a baby or child. It can cause brain damage or death.
It is important to know that sometimes it may take a long time to soothe your
baby. This is normal. See more at www.purplecrying.info/what-is-the-periodof-purple-crying.php. If you are worried about your baby’s crying talk to your
health care provider, call your local public health unit or visit a drop in. For more
resources see page 97.
Caring for Your Baby
Bathing
Before you leave the hospital, ask for a
bath demonstration. Once at home you can
also ask someone to show you and your
partner how to give a bath to your baby.
Your baby does not need to be bathed
every day. However, it is important that
every day your baby stays clean and dry.
Bath time is another time to bond together.
Your baby will enjoy your gentle touch,
your voice and your closeness. Choose a
time that you are both relaxed and when
your baby is not hungry.
Set the temperature of your hot water
at 49ºC (120ºF). Anything warmer, you
may scald her.
Follow these tips to bath your baby:
• Get everything you need ready
before you undress your baby:
a mild unscented soap, wash cloths, diaper and supplies, baby’s clothing,
and a soft towel opened up on a safe surface to lay her on after the bath.
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• Test your baby’s bath water before
you put her in the bath. It should
feel warm, not hot. Use the inside
of your wrist or your elbow to test.
• Do not add oil or liquid soap in
the bath to avoid a slippery baby.
• Use soap only for the dirtiest
areas. You do not need to use
soap every day.
• Use clear water and a soft
washcloth for bathing your baby.
Start by washing her eyes, face
and then move down her body.
• Shampooing is only needed once
or twice a week. Use mild
shampoo, rinse well and rub dry.
• Always be within arm’s reach
when your baby is in the water.
Never leave her alone, even for
a brief moment.
• If using a bath seat always be
within arm’s reach. Never rely
on the bath seat to keep your
baby safe. Health Canada doesn’t
recommend their use.
• Take your baby with you if you
have to leave the room. If you
need to answer your phone
during bath time, pick up your
baby and take her with you.
• If your baby still has the stump of
her umbilical cord, ensure it does
not stay wet.
• To dry her, place her on a towel
and pat dry. Pay special attention
to drying skin folds.
For more information on bathing and skin care, refer to www.caringforkids.cps.ca/
handouts/your-babys-skin and page 97 under Newborn Care.
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A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
You may also consider bathing with your baby.
In a tub of warm water, you will both relax and enjoy the extra closeness.
This bonding time can also soothe your crying baby.
Follow these extra steps to make
your bath time safer:
• Place your baby in a
bouncy seat beside the
bath or on a comfortable
towel on the floor before
stepping in and out of the
tub. It is safer not to hold
your baby. If you have
a partner, ask him or her
to hold her when you
step in and out of the tub.
• Hold her with both
hands at all times.
• Rest her against your
thighs. She will enjoy facing you.
• Keep her warm in the water. You can use a plastic cup or a face cloth to pour
water over her body from time to time.
You or your partner can share the experience of bathing your baby for many
months to come.
Immunize your baby
Starting at two months of age, your baby will need to start her immunization
schedule. Breastfeeding provides protection for your baby and immunization adds
to that protection. Immunization will help your baby fight off vaccine-preventable
diseases and stay healthy. It is also important for your baby to receive these vaccines
in order to enter daycare and school.
When your baby is being immunized, breastfeeding and holding your baby skin-toskin can help lessen the pain of the injection. Your health care provider will give you
information about the vaccines and a booklet to keep track of the vaccinations your
baby has had. Make sure you keep this booklet in a safe place.
For more information on immunization, refer to A Parent’s Guide to Immunization at
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iyc-vve/pgi-gpv/assets/pdf/pgi-gpv-eng.pdf. To learn about
Ontario’s free immunization program visit www.ontario.ca/page/vaccines.
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Provide Supervised Tummy Time
Tummy time helps to prevent flat spots on your baby’s head (positional
plagiocephaly). It is also important to develop healthy muscles.
Below are tummy time tips:
• Start tummy time right from birth.
• Place your baby on her tummy for short periods. You can try it after a
diaper change.
• You can provide tummy time when she is tummy-down on your tummy.
• Gradually increase the time on her tummy, as she gets older.
• Always stay close to her and play with her during tummy time.
• When she is awake, give her lots of cuddle time. You want to avoid long
periods in sitting positions like in the car seat, a stroller, a bouncer, etc.
Consult your health care provider if your baby develops a flat spot on her head.
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A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Diapering your Baby
Most newborns need about 10 to 15 diaper
changes per day. Your baby needs to be
dry and clean to keep skin healthy and to
help prevent diaper rash.
Changing a diaper is another time for you
and your baby to bond together. Make that
time special by talking to her, laughing,
singing, caressing and playing with her.
When changing her diaper:
• Get everything ready before you
change her diaper (e.g., diaper,
wipes and towel).
• Wash your hands with soap
and water before and after
each change.
• Follow the manufacturer instructions
for the change table and use the safety straps.
• Never leave her alone and never turn your head away even for a
brief moment.
• Clean the area with an unscented baby wipe or a wet washcloth. To
better reach all the dirty areas, gently lift your baby’s legs by the ankles.
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• For a baby girl, always wipe from front to back and gently clean the
dirty areas.
• For a baby boy, clean the dirty area from front to back and do not pull
the foreskin back. Place his penis in a downward position before fastening
the diaper.
• Dry the area. You can pat dry or let it air dry. There is no need to use
cream, powder or cornstarch.
• Slide the open diaper under the baby while gently lifting her legs and feet.
• For a newborn, keep the diaper folded below the cord so it can dry better.
• The diaper should be snug but not tight.
For more information on steps to change a diaper visit www.caringforkids.cps.ca/
uploads/wellbeings/diaper.pdf.
Caring for Your Baby’s Nails
Baby’s fingernails grow fast. They are soft, pliable and sharp. You need to trim them
to prevent your baby from scratching herself. Follow these few tips:
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• Make sure you have enough light to see what you are doing.
• Cut her nails when she is sleeping.
• Use blunt scissors
or clippers to cut
her nails.
• Press her finger pad
away from the
nail to avoid nicking
her skin.
• Hold your baby’s
hand as you clip.
• To avoid infections
or hurting her, do
not peel off her nails
or nibble on her
nails to trim them.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Baby Safe Sleep Tips
For the first 6 months of life, place your baby’s crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed.
Place your baby in an appropriate crib, cradle or bassinet that meets current Canadian
safety regulations.
To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other
sleep related causes of infant death
also follow these important steps:
• Place him on his back to sleep,
at naptime and nighttime.
• Provide a sleep surface that is
firm and flat.
• Remove pillows, comforters,
quilts, stuffed animals, bumper
pads, positional devices or
other loose or soft bedding
materials that could suffocate
or smother him.
• Dress him in comfortable fitted one-piece sleepwear.
• Ensure that the room temperature is comfortable for everyone.
• Use a baby seat, swing, car seat, bouncer, stroller, sling, and playpen only for what
they are intended. None of them are a substitute for a crib, cradle or bassinet.
• Breastfeed your infant. Any amount of breastfeeding for any duration provides a
protective effect against SIDS. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months offers
greater protection.
• Protect your baby from smoke and second-hand smoke. Smoke outside. Wash your
hands after smoking. No smoking at all is best for your baby but decreasing the
number of cigarettes you smoke can also lower the risk of SIDS.
• Alcohol use and substance use pose a risk for SIDS and other unintended injuries in
infants. It is safer to ask your partner or someone you trust to care for your infant
until you are completely sober and not under the influence of substances.
• At 2 months of age, start your baby’s immunizations. Vaccines are important to
protect your baby’s health and safety.
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Baby Safety Tips
When your baby comes home, there are important safety tips you need to know.
The following tips are to keep your baby safe.
Remember:
• Injuries are preventable. The best way to keep your baby safe is to stay close
to your baby.
• You and all who care for your baby need to ensure that your baby’s
environment is safe at all times.
• Prevention is the most important part of safety. As your baby becomes more
active, he will explore and will develop new skills. Childproofing your house
is necessary to keep him safe as he grows.
What you can do to make your environment safer for your baby:
The tips are mostly for a newborn to a 6 months old baby.
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• Always support your baby’s head. Her head is bigger and heavier than
her body.
• Keep one hand on your
baby’s body at all times
when she is on a high
surface. For example,
when changing your
baby on a change table,
a counter or a bed.
• Always hold your baby
during feedings.
• Be sure that toys are
sturdy and washable
with no small parts.
• Keep small objects out
of your baby’s reach.
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
• Prevent burns. Your baby may
reach out unexpectedly and
burn herself. Avoid holding
her when you smoke, cook or
drink a hot drink. Avoid sitting
too close to a fireplace.
• Check for strangulation or
entanglement risks. Drawstrings
on clothes, any object tied
to baby’s clothing, necklaces,
head bands, cords on toys,
strings, window blinds or
curtain cords, etc. can pose
a risk to your baby.
• Make sure you have working
smoke detectors, carbon
monoxide detectors, and a
fire extinguisher in the house.
Always ensure any gas
appliances are properly
functioning.
• Avoid loud noises. For
example, listening to loud
music or high pitch noises.
If you can talk over the
sound, the level of the noise
should be ok.
• Keep emergency phone
numbers close. You can post
them in an area where you
can reach them quickly or
enter them in your cell phone.
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Is Your Baby Equipment Safe?
If you get second-hand items, check with the manufacturer and Health Canada to
know if there are recalls on those items. Ideally check before buying or accepting
them. See The Recalls and Safety Alerts Database at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/
media/advisories-avis/index-eng.php.
The following list is a guide to ensure the baby equipment you choose is safe for
your baby.
Cribs, cradles and bassinets:
• Use a sturdy crib, cradle or bassinet that
meets current Canadian safety regulations.
• Make sure it is built with screws and bolts,
not hooks or clamps.
• It should have a firm flat mattress that fits
snugly and a secure support system for the
mattress. The mattress is too small if you
can fit more than 2 fingers between the
mattress and the side of the crib.
• Put it together carefully. Follow the instructions.
• Remove pillows, comforters, quilts, stuffed animals, bumper pads, positional
devices or other loose or soft bedding materials that could suffocate or
smother your baby.
Playpens:
• Choose a playpen with a sturdy floor
with a thin foam pad.
• Make sure it has secure hinges that
cannot pinch your baby.
• It should have sides made of very
fine mesh with no rips.
• Read the instructions that came with
the playpen and follow any recommendations.
• Remove pillows, comforters, quilts, stuffed animals, positional devices or other
loose or soft bedding materials that could suffocate or smother your baby.
• Supervise your baby at all times.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in his crib, cradle or bassinet. Playpens
are not safe substitutes for a crib.
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Strollers:
• Choose a sturdy stroller
with brakes that work.
• Follow the instructions that
came with the stroller.
• Do not carry an extra baby
or child in a single stroller.
• Use the lap belt.
• Remove pillows or blankets
to avoid suffocation.
• Supervise your baby at all times.
• The safest place for your baby
to sleep is in his crib, cradle or
bassinet. Strollers are not safe
substitutes for a crib.
Slings and carriers:
• Use the right size for your
baby’s age and size.
• Ensure you can see your baby’s
face at all times.
• Check your baby often.
• Avoid overheating and suffocating.
Never zip up your coat over your baby in the sling.
• Choose a sling or carrier with safety straps and always use them.
• Make sure your baby cannot slip through the leg openings.
• Slings and carriers are not safe substitutes for a crib. The
safest place in his crib, cradle or bassinet.
High Chairs:
• Choose a high chair with a wide sturdy
base and a safety belt.
• Make sure there are no sharp edges or
parts on the tray that might pinch little fingers.
• Make sure there are no gaps between the
tray and the back of the chair that might
trap your baby’s arm or head.
• Place the high chair far from the stove and
kitchen counters.
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Baby Walkers:
No walkers are safe. They are
banned in Canada.
Pacifiers:
Many babies never use a pacifier.
Pacifier use has risks. Talk to your
health care provider so that you can
make an informed decision. See page
64 for strategies to soothe your baby.
If you decide to use a pacifier:
• Do not tie the pacifier ribbon or
cord to your baby’s clothing.
• Inspect the pacifier frequently
and throw it away when it starts
to wear out.
• Keep it clean to lessen your
baby’s chances of getting sick
from germs on the pacifier.
Curtains and blinds:
• Consider having cordless curtains.
• Keep furniture, or anything
else children can climb, away
from windows.
• Never leave a child alone.
• Keep window cords out of
the reach of a child.
• Test your window safety devices
regularly. Make sure they are
working the way they should and
that the release lock can be opened in case of an emergency.
Clothes:
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• Remove cords, drawstrings and ribbons.
• Do not use scarves or neck warmers.
• Check for loose buttons, loose threads or any other small part that can be
a chocking or strangulation hazard.
• Dress your infant in comfortable fitted one-piece sleepwear.
A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Car Seats:
A car seat used correctly can save your baby’s life. Car crashes
are the most common injury to children.
Follow these tips when choosing the right car seat for your baby:
• Check the car seat label for date of manufacture and
expiry date. If expiry date is not on the seat, read the
car seat manual to find the expiration date. Note that
expiration dates change from seat to seat.
• Make sure the car seat has not been involved in a
car crash or dropped from a height of one metre
(3 feet) or more.
• You must have all its parts and the instructions on how
to use it and install it.
• Make sure the car seat has not been recalled with a safety problem. To
find out, call Transport Canada 1-800-333-0371 or visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/
motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-notices-menu-907.htm.
• It must display a National Safety Mark.
NSM sample – the unique number assigned
to a company is to appear in the center of the
NSM maple leaf shaped logo.
• Make sure the car seat is in good condition:
– Free of cracks or chips in the molded plastic.
– Free of warping, rust, or broken rivets in the frame.
– Free of cuts, frayed edges, or broken stitches in the harness straps.
– Free of rips in the seat’s padding.
– All the harness buckles work properly.
Using a Car Seat:
• Place your baby in a rear-facing car seat.
• Read the instructions to find out how to
properly install your car seat.
• The safest place is in the back seat, but may
not be the middle depending on the model
of the vehicle. If the back middle seat has
access to the trunk or does have UAS clips,
for example, it may be better to place the
car seat behind the passenger or driver.
Passenger side is recommended as it is
curbside when car is parked along a street.
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• The car seat’s harness straps and buckles are supposed to be snug.
• Ensure that when secured, the harness strap cannot be pinched more than
one inch at the baby’s collar bone.
• The chest clip should be at your baby’s armpit level.
• Read the car seat manual to find out how the carry handle should be
positioned in the vehicle for proper installation.
• Change the car seat when your baby has reached the limits as outlined in
the car seat manual.
For more information, see page 92 under Child Safety. To check for car seat
recalls and more information contact Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371 or visit
www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-notices-menu-907.htm.
Remember that your baby’s car seat is not a safe substitute for a crib. The safest
place for your baby to sleep is in his crib, cradle or bassinet.
When to Get Help for Your Baby
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If you feel something is not right, and/or if you are very worried see a
health care provider right away. Do not wait. Call immediately if your baby:
• Is still having black stools at 4 days old.
• Is very sleepy and always has to be woken up to eat.
• Is hard to wake or seems very weak.
• Has a fever.
• Is breathing very quickly or has trouble breathing.
• Has lips or ear lobes that are blue or grey in color.
• Appears jaundiced or yellow in color.
• Is losing weight or not gaining weight.
• Has sunken eyes or the soft spot on top of the head is sunken.
• Has a dry mouth, lips, tongue, or nose.
• Has pale, cold, and moist skin.
• Is having a seizure (the whole body, arms, and legs are shaking).
• Vomits large quantities or forceful (projectile) vomiting twice or more
per day (spit-up or bringing up small quantities of milk is normal,
even at every feed).
• Has a high-pitched crying over prolonged periods and your baby has other
symptoms like diarrhea or a fever. Note that babies can be extra-fussy
late afternoon and evening hours. See the period of purple crying at
www.purplecrying.info.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
What You
Can Expect After
the Birth
The first 6 weeks after birth is
known as the postpartum period.
During this time, your uterus will
return to almost its pre-pregnant
size and shape, your milk supply
is establishing to breastfeed, your
body is physically healing, and your
hormone levels are stabilizing.
In this section you will learn about:
(1) C
hanges to your body after
you had a baby.
(2) Y
our changing feelings.
(3) Having support.
(4) When to get help.
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Changes to Your Body After Birth
There are many normal changes that will happen to your body after you have a baby.
Afterpains
After your baby is born you may feel painful contractions as your uterus goes back to
its normal size. This is normal. Your health care provider will check to make sure that
this is happening. You may feel these pains the most when you breastfeed because
your baby’s sucking helps your uterus return to its normal size. Afterpains usually go
away after a week. Call your health care provider if the afterpains do not go away or if
they are very painful.
Bleeding from your Vagina
You will have bleeding from your vagina for 2 to 6 weeks. At first, the bleeding will
be heavy and dark red. In a few days the bleeding will slow down. The colour will
change to brown, pink, and then to white. It is important to keep this area clean and
to change your pad often. Do not use a tampon during this time.
Call your health care provider if your flow is heavier than normal, is heavier than a
period, smells bad, or has large clots.
Sore Perineum
The area between your legs may be sore or swollen. If you had stitches you may feel
more pain. Try freezing a damp maxi pad and putting it in your underwear. Try sitting
in a warm bath. Also, keep the area very clean by pouring warm water on the area
between your legs after you pass urine or have a bowel movement. You should also
do the Kegel exercises (see page 36) you learned when you were pregnant. Call your
health care provider if the stitches open or if you notice smelly fluid.
Constipation
You may find it hard to have a bowel
movement after your baby is born. Eat foods
high in fibre and drink lots of fluids to make
the bowel movement softer and easier to
pass. Call your health care provider if you
are constipated for more than 3 days.
Breasts
Your breasts will get firmer and bigger. Your
breastmilk will be yellow at first (colostrum).
Colostrum provides everything your baby
needs. See pages 60-63 for more information.
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A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Hemorrhoids
Women can get hemorrhoids during pregnancy
and after they have a baby. Eat foods high in
fibre and drink lots of fluids to keep the bowel
movement soft and easy to pass. Ask your health
care provider about medicines that may help.
Hemorrhoids
Rectum
Hard to Pass Urine
You may find it hard to pass urine for a couple of days
after your baby is born. Drink lots of fluids and remind
yourself to go to the toilet even if you do not feel like you
have to go. If it burns or hurts when you pass urine or
you really cannot pee, talk to your health care provider.
Getting your Period
Many breastfeeding mothers find that their period does
not come back until they begin giving their baby solid
foods at 6 months. Some mothers find that their period
does not return until after they stop breastfeeding.
Mothers who do not breastfeed usually find that their
period starts within 2 months after giving birth.
Having Sex
It is safe to have sex when you feel ready. This can be after the bleeding from your
vagina has stopped and the area between your legs has healed (tears or stitches have
healed). The best thing is to talk to your partner about how you are feeling and what
you would like. Choose activities that please both of you.
You need to see your health care provider 6 weeks after your baby is born for your
check-up. Ask about birth control methods. If you are breastfeeding be sure to
let your health care provider know because some birth control methods can affect
breastfeeding.
Hemorrhoids
Rectum
Postnatal Physical Activity
Taking care of yourself helps you to take care of your baby. Being active after your
baby is born will improve your blood flow and make you stronger. Ask your health care
provider or public health nurse about activities to do after having your baby.
If You had a Caesarean Birth
If you had a caesarean birth, you will need to take extra care and will need extra rest.
Ask for help. Talk to your health care provider.
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Your Changing Feelings
The first few days and weeks after your
baby is born are both exciting and tiring.
You may have many new feelings.
Baby Blues
Many new mothers feel sad or cry easily
for a week or two after the baby is born.
This should be better after 2 weeks. If not,
talk to your health care provider. This
is called having the baby blues. These
feelings are normal and happen for many
reasons, such as:
• Changing hormones.
• Lack of sleep.
• Not feeling sure how to care
for the baby.
• Worring about being a mother.
• Trying to do everything at once.
• Your changing relationship
with your partner.
Here are some tips to help you cope during the first few weeks:
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• Learn how to care for your baby.
• Try to get as much rest as you can when you get home. Sleep when your
baby sleeps.
• Limit the number of visitors and keep the visits short.
• Arrange for family and friends to help with cooking and cleaning.
• Give yourself time to adjust to your new life.
• Ask for help.
• Take time for yourself.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Postpartum Depression
When the feelings of “baby blues” continue for a longer time and feel stronger or
get worse, you may have postpartum depression.
You may be feeling:
Sad, alone, worried, or nervous. You may also feel overwhelmed, ashamed, guilty,
angry, upset, or irritable. You may not enjoy being with other people (including your
baby) or you may get angry very easily.
You may also:
• Be tired all the time.
• Want to sleep all the time.
• Have trouble sleeping or relaxing.
• Cry easily and for no reason.
• Have no appetite or want to eat all the time.
• Feel like your heart is beating too fast.
• Feel sweaty, numb, or tingling.
• Have a lump in your throat.
• Worry a lot about your baby.
• Feel rejected by your baby.
If these feelings last more than 2 weeks, get help right away. Talk with your health
care provider or public health nurse. They will know how to help.
Some women think about hurting themselves or their baby. If you feel this way, get
help right away. Go to the hospital or call your health care provider.
For more information visit www.lifewithnewbaby.ca and the list of mental health
resources on page 96.
83
Having Support
You can help a new mother get the
care and support she needs. If you
notice signs of postpartum depression,
help her contact her health care
provider right away.
To support the mother dealing with
postpartum symptoms of depression
you can:
• Know the signs and symptoms
of postpartum depression.
• Tell her she is a good mother
and the baby is doing great.
• Help with the care of the baby
and household chores.
• Take the baby out to give her
a break.
• Suggest she get outside for a
walk. Go with her or have a
friend join her.
• Listen without judging or trying
to fix her situation.
• Limit the number of visitors.
• Arrange for other people to make meals and to help in practical ways.
• Go with her to medical appointments and psychological follow-ups.
What you can do for yourself
Life with a new baby is stressful for fathers/partners and other family members as
well, especially if the mother becomes depressed.
It is important to take some time for yourself to do what you enjoy doing. You need a
break too. Find someone to talk with. Here are some suggestions:
84
• Family, friends, other fathers.
• Your health care provider.
• 24-hour crisis line.
• Your local public health unit.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
• Community services in your area.
• Men’s groups or fathers’ groups in your area.
Remember that:
• Having symptoms of depression is not a weakness of character.
• It is a treatable mental condition that does not go away by itself.
• Getting help is the best thing you can do.
• You need to look after yourself.
For more information, see the section Fathers and Partners on page 93 and section
Mental Health on page 96.
85
When to Get Help
See a health care provider right away if:
86
• There is a bad smell coming from your vagina.
• Large blood clots come from your vagina.
• The amount of blood coming from your vagina is heavier than normal.
• Blood is still coming from your vagina after 6 weeks.
• Your stitches open.
• You have a fever.
• You have signs of postpartum depression (see page 83).
• You think something is not right.
A HEALTHy START FOR BABy AnD ME
Resources
and Services
The following pages provide
you with helpful websites,
phone numbers and services
to help you answer questions
you may have during your
pregnancy or after the birth
of your baby. The links and
resources provide information
on a number of topics.
87
Resources List
The resources list is organized into the following topics:
• Aboriginal Resources
• Fathers and Partners
• Mother’s Health
• Abuse
• Growth and Development
• Newborn Care
• Alcohol and Drugs
• Health Care Providers
• Newcomers to Canada
• Breastfeeding
• Healthy Eating
• Physical Activity
• Child Safety
• Labour and Birth
• Pregnancy
• Community Resources
• Mental Health
• Smoking Cessation
The information in this booklet, including the resources and links in this booklet, does
not replace medical advice from your health care provider. Everyone is different. Consult
with your health care provider to give you the medical advice and care you need.
Aboriginal Resources
Aboriginal Pregnancy and Alcohol Brochure
Information on alcohol and pregnancy. It includes the effects of drinking, traditional teachings
about pregnancy and where to get help in Ontario.
www.beststart.org/resources/alc_reduction/FASD_Brochure_A20A.pdf
Be Safe: Have an Alcohol-free Pregnancy – Printer-ready Handouts
Find information and tips for expectant parents about alcohol use in pregnancy.
Available in English, French, Cree and Ojibway.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-looking-aboriginal-parenting-resources
Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of Our Nation
Aboriginal women will find information about the art of breastfeeding.
Available in Cree and Ojibway.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-looking-aboriginal-parenting-resources
Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network
Non-profit network of people and organizations that support Aboriginal people living with and
affected by HIV/AIDS in all parts of Canada.
1-888-285-2226 or www.caan.ca
First Nations & Inuit Health
Find information on traditional and non-traditional use of tobacco and facts on smoking rates
in First Nations and Inuit communities.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/substan/tobac-tabac/index-eng.php
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Beginning Journey: First Nations Pregnancy Resource
A prenatal book to help First Nations women to prepare for pregnancy, to have a healthy
pregnancy and to welcome a new life into their family.
www.beststart.org/resources/rep_health/E33A_Beginning_Journey.pdf
Sacred Tobacco, Sacred Children – Video
It offers real stories from Aboriginal families who have smoke-free homes.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-looking-aboriginal-parenting-resources
Sacred Tobacco, Sacred Children – Parent Handout
The fact sheet includes information about cultural use of sacred tobacco, recreational use of
commercial tobacco, second and third hand smoke and smoke-free homes.
www.beststart.org/resources/tobacco/pdf/SACRED_TOBACCO_FACT_SHEET.pdf
Tobacco Has No Place Here
www.nuquits.gov.nu.ca/
You and your Baby…
Provides information on abuse and pregnancy. Available in Cree – N Dialect and Severn Ojibwe.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-looking-aboriginal-parenting-resources
Abuse
Assaulted Women’s Help Line
Crisis line with help in 150 languages is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
1-866-863-0511
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
Produces clear, accurate and practical legal information to help people understand and
exercise their legal rights.
www.cleo.on.ca
Ontario Women’s Justice Network
Information on getting support and resources in Ontario
http://owjn.org/owjn_2009/getting-support
Police 911
Shelters
To find a safe place to stay, for counseling or to have information to develop
a safety plan for you and your children.
www.sheltersafe.ca
You and Your Baby Deserve to Be Safe
Provides a self-assessment questionnaire, strategies and contact information for seeking and
getting help.
www.beststart.org/resources/anti-violence/abuse_bro_rev_2013.pdf
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Alcohol and Drugs
Be Safe: Have an Alcohol-free Pregnancy
Information and tips for expectant parents about alcohol use in pregnancy.
Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
Bilingual Recipe Cards: Mocktails for Mom
Set of recipe cards for delicious non-alcoholic drinks.
www.beststart.org/resources/alc_reduction/LCBO_recipe_cards_bro.pdf
Drug and Alcohol Helpline
Free Health Services Information.
1-800-565-8603 or www.drugandalcoholhelpline.ca
Medications and drugs before and during pregnancy
Information to know before taking any prescription or non-prescription medication, herbal
remedy or drug.
www.sogc.org/publications/medications-and-drugs-before-and-during-pregnancy/
Medications and drugs while breastfeeding
Information on what you need to know before taking any prescription or non-prescription
medication, natural or herbal remedy, or drug.
www.sogc.org/publications/medications-and-drugs-while-breastfeeding
Mixing Alcohol and Breastfeeding
To help make an informed choice when it comes to drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
www.beststart.org/resources/alc_reduction/breastfeed_and_alcohol_bro_A21E.pdf
Motherisk Helpline
Information and guidance for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Alcohol and Substance Use in Pregnancy: 1-877-327-4636
HIV in Pregnancy: 1-888-246-5840
www.motherisk.org
STARSS
Easy-to-read format on safe use of substances.
www.aware.on.ca/resources/resources-women
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Breastfeeding
Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services
Search for breastfeeding services near you.
www.ontariobreastfeeds.ca
Breastfeeding Hotline
Telehealth Ontario offers 24/7 breastfeeding advice and support service.
1-866-797-0000
Breastfeeding Information for Parents
An interactive breastfeeding course for parents.
www.breastfeedinginfoforparents.ca
Breastfeeding Matters: An Important Guide to Breastfeeding for
Women and their Families
This booklet will help women and their families explore breastfeeding from
prenatal decisions, learning breastfeeding basics to gaining confidence.
www.beststart.org/resources/breastfeeding/breastfeeding_matters_EN_LR.pdf
Breastfeeding Your Baby – Magnet
It is a good reminder for nursing mothers on how to assess their infant’s
breastfeeding effectiveness during the first three weeks. Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents
Find a Lactation Consultant
A tool that allows you to search for a practicing lactation consultant who works in either
private practice or in clinical settings.
http://connect.ilca.org/main/why-ibclc/falc
La Leche League Canada
Breastfeeding support.
1-800-665-4324 or www.lllc.ca
My Breastfeeding Guide
Answers breastfeeding questions you may have as an expectant parent or as a
new parent.
www.beststart.org/resources/breastfeeding/BSRC_My_Breastfeeding_Guide_EN.pdf
Breastfeeding Videos:
• Breastfeeding Inc
www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=online-info
• Breastfeeding Instructional Videos
www.peelregion.ca/health/family-health/breastfeeding/resources/video/index.htm
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Breastfeeding apps:
• Breastfeeding Solutions
www.nancymohrbacher.com/app-support/
• Mom and Baby to Be
https://itunes.apple.com/app/mom-and-baby-to-be/id560579312?mt=8
• WYNI – When You Need It: Breastfeeding Information
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wyni-breastfeeding-information/id955007811?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.wechu.wyni
Child Safety
Install a child car seat
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation web site provides information on how to correctly
install a child car seat, booster seats and seatbelts to help protect children from serious injury.
www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/install-child-car-seat.shtml
Is Your Child Safe? Series
Health Canada information on keeping young children safe from health and safety hazards.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/child-enfant/index-eng.php
Keep Kids Safe
Transport Canada information to keep your kids as safe as possible in your car,
mini-van or pickup truck.
1-800-333-0371 or www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-car-timestages-1083.htm
Parachute
Parachute provides a number of injury prevention resources available free to download.
www.parachutecanada.org/resources
www.parachutecanada.org/child-injury-prevention
Community Resources
211 Ontario
Find programs and services in your area. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
in over 100 languages.
www.211ontario.ca
Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
Resources and links for community organizations and newcomer families.
www.frp.ca
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP)
Search for a program for pregnant women near you.
www.cpnp-pcnp.phac-aspc.gc.ca/
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Local public health unit
Find the nearest health unit. Ask about prenatal and postnatal programs and services near you.
1-800-267-8097 or www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx
Motherisk
1-877-439-2744 Motherisk Helpline
1-800-436-8477 Morning Sickness
1-877-327-4636 Alcohol and Substance
www.motherisk.org
Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYC)
Information about programs and services that are available for young children and
their families and talk to early years professionals, as well as other parents and
caregivers in the community.
1-866-821-7770 or www.oeyc.edu.gov.on.ca
Fathers and Partners
Dad Central Ontario
Information for dads.
www.dadcentral.ca/im_a_dad
Daddy and Me On the Move
Find activities that fathers can do with their children.
www.beststart.org/resources/hlthy_chld_dev/BSRC_Daddy_and_Me_EN.pdf
Men’s Depression
This website shares the things most commonly said in conversations and the content here
can help to recognize men’s depression.
www.mensdepressionhelpyourself.ubc.ca
The right time. The right reasons: Dads talk about reducing and quitting smoking
Information for partners.
http://facet.ubc.ca/wp-content/files/Right-Times-Right-Reasons.pdf
24HR Cribside Assistance
A site developed by fathers for fathers. Answers basic questions about babies, new moms
and new dads.
www.newdadmanual.ca
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Growth and Development
Baby Wants
A booklet to encourage parents to do simple things to help develop their young child: playing,
reading, singing, etc. Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/do-you-have-baby-0-12-months
Is my Child Growing Well?
Information on child’s growth.
www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Toddlers/Child-growing-well.aspx
My Child and I – Attachment for Life
To help you understand the principles of attachment and learn ways to promote it.
Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/do-you-have-baby-0-12-months
Ontario Early Years Centres
Get information on your child’s early development.
1-866-821-7770 or www.oeyc.edu.gov.on.ca
Nipissing District Developmental Screen (ndds)
Find information on child’s development and suggested activities from birth to age 6.
www.ndds.ca/ontario
Tips for Parents – Brain Development
View a series of 15 lists of tips for parents on topics associated with brain development.
www.en.beststart.org/resources-and-research/tips-parents-brain-development
Health Care Providers
Association of Ontario Doulas (AOD)
Information about doulas, and directory of doulas.
www.ontariodoulas.org
Association of Ontario Midwives
Information about midwifery services in Ontario.
1-866-418-3773 or www.aom.on.ca
Public Health Units
Get information about healthy life-styles, immunization, healthy growth and development,
parenting education, health education for all age groups and selected screening services. Find
the closest health unit in your area.
1-800-267-8097 or www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Find a family doctor or nurse practitioner
To find or change a family doctor or nurse practitioner visit Health Care Connect.
www.ontario.ca/page/find-family-doctor-or-nurse-practitioner
Telehealth Ontario
A free Ontario Government phone service to get health advice from a nurse.
1-866-797-0000
Healthy Eating
Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP)
Community-based services provide food, nutrition information, support, education, referral,
and counselling on health issues.
http://cpnp-pcnp.phac-aspc.gc.ca/index-eng.php
Drugs and Health Products
Information about natural health products.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/about-apropos/cons-eng.php
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Get information on healthy eating.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index_e.html
EatRight Ontario
Get easy-to-use information on nutrition and healthy eating. You can speak with a Registered
Dietitian for free.
1-877-510-510-2 or www.eatrightontario.ca
Food safety for pregnant women
Offers helpful advice on how to reduce your risk of food poisoning.
www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/safetysalubrite/vulnerable-populations/pregnant-enceintes-eng.php
Healthy Eating for a Healthy Baby
Provides information for pregnant women on nutrition in pregnancy. Available in several
languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
How to Survive Morning Sickness Successfully
www.beststart.org/resources/rep_health/2013_pdfs/BSRC_morning_sickness_online.pdf
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Following Canada’s Food Guide can help women eat the amount and type of food that is right
for her and her baby.
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/advice-conseil/women-femmeseng.php
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Labour and Birth
Healthy Birth Practices
The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices are designed to help simplify your birth process with a
natural approach that helps alleviate your fears and manage pain.
www.lamaze.org/healthybirthpractices
Normal, Healthy Childbirth for Women & Families: What You Need to Know
A woman’s guide to understanding normal, healthy birth and how it can improve the health
of her baby and her health.
www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ccLibraryFiles/FILENAME/000000003184/
normalbirthandyou-092514.pdf
Pathway to a Healthy Birth
Information about birth hormones and their job of guiding you and your baby on the path
to a healthy birth.
www.childbirthconnection.org/pdfs/CC.NPWF.Booklet.Pathway.HealthyBirth.2015.pdf
Preterm Labour Signs & Symptoms Brochure
Provides critical information on how to recognize preterm labour signs and symptoms and
when to seek help. Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
Mental Health
Life With a New Baby Is Not Always What You Expect
Provides pregnant women and new parents with information on the baby blues and
postpartum mood disorders.
www.lifewithnewbaby.ca
Managing Depression – A Self-help Skills Resource for Women Living With Depression
During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond
A workbook with information about depression and tips for a healthy lifestyle and for
managing depression.
www.beststart.org/resources/ppmd/DepressionWorkbookFinal_15APR30.pdf
Pregnancy Is Not Always What You Expect
A booklet about strategies to help women take care of their mental health before and during
pregnancy.
www.beststart.org/resources/ppmd/TakeCareMentalHealth_EN_rev.pdf
Postpartum Depression
Offers information on understanding postpartum depression.
www.cmha.ca/mental_health/postpartum-depression/
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Mother’s Health
Motherisk
1-877-439-2744 Motherisk Helpline
1-800-436-8477 Morning Sickness
1-877-327-4636 Alcohol and Substance
www.motherisk.org
Sexual Health
Learn about what to expect the first time after baby and birth control options.
www.sexualityandu.ca/sexual-health/pregnancy/what-to-expect-the-first-time
Newborn care
Infancy (Birth – two years of age)
Find information to help your child with the best possible start in life.
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stages-etapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/index-eng.php
Early Childhood Tooth Decay
Tips from the Canadian Dental Association on oral health and preventing tooth decay.
www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/dental_care_children/tooth_decay.asp
OMama
A website and mobile app for women and families. Information about pregnancy, birth and
early parenting.
www.omama.com
Parents
Online fact sheets and resources about parenting from the Canadian Child Care Federation.
www.qualitychildcarecanada.ca
Sleep Well, Sleep Safe
Information on healthy sleep tips for infants and for parents. It also provides information
on how to reduce the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep related
causes of infant death.
www.beststart.org/resources/hlthy_chld_dev/pdf/BSRC_Sleep_Well_resource_FNL_LR.pdf
Safe Sleep
Information about SIDS and safe infant sleep environments.
www.publichealth.gc.ca/safesleep and
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stagesetapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/sids/ss-eng.php
The Period of Purple Crying (National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome)
Find information on preventing shaken baby syndrome and how to calm an infant.
www.purplecrying.info/#sthash.DPDZ1Gpo.dpuf
Your newborn: Bringing baby home from the hospital
Find answers to questions you may have about bringing your baby home.
www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/bringing_baby_home
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Newcomers to Canada
Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
Offers resources, information and links for immigrant families.
www.welcomehere.ca
Giving Birth in a New Land – A guide for women new to Canada and their families
Find information for newcomer women who are pregnant and expect to deliver their baby in
Ontario. The booklet has information on local practices related to the prenatal and postnatal
period, as well as services and resources available. The booklets are available in several
languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
Settlement.org
For newcomers to find answers to common questions about their new home.
www.settlement.org
Physical Activity
Active Pregnancy – booklet
Guidelines to ensure pregnant women are exercising safely.
www.niagararegion.ca/living/health_wellness/workplace/pdf/PARC-ActivePregnancy.pdf
Active Pregnancy – guidelines
A list of guidelines to follow before starting physical activity.
www.ophea.net/sites/default/files/archive/resource/2010/05/parc_activepregnancyresour
cefinal_14se09_pdf_14027.pdf
Exercises and Pregnancy Lab – Western Health Sciences
Information for expectant mothers to achieve healthy pregnancies.
www.uwo.ca/fhs/EPL/resources/index.html
Move for Two
Easy to follow DVD that answers many questions about how to be active in a safe and healthy
way during pregnancy.
www.healthunit.com/physical-activity-pregnancy
PARmed-X for PREGNANCY
A guideline for health screening prior to participation in a prenatal fitness class or other exercise.
www.csep.ca/cmfiles/publications/parq/parmed-xpreg.pdf
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A Healthy Start for Baby and Me
Pregnancy
Due Date Calculator
To know when your baby will be born.
www.sogc.org/health/pregnancy-calculator_e.asp
Healthy Pregnancy
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s website provides information about healthy pregnancy.
www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/hp-gs/index_e.html
How to Survive Morning Sickness Successfully
Information about morning sickness for women who are planning a pregnancy and women
who are currently pregnant.
www.beststart.org/resources/rep_health/2013_pdfs/BSRC_morning_sickness_online.pdf
For support call the Motherisk Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP) Helpline at
1-800-436-8477 or www.motherisk.org/prof/morningSickness.jsp
Important Signs to Watch for if you are Pregnant
Provides critical information on important signs and symptoms to watch for during pregnancy
and when to seek help. Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
Maternity and Parenting Leaves
Information on length of maternity, parental, and adoption leave.
www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/benefits/maternityparental.shtml
Multiple Births Canada
Support, education, research, and advocacy about multiple births.
1-866-228-8824 or www.multiplebirthscanada.org
OMama
A website and mobile app for women and families. Information about pregnancy, birth and
early parenting.
www.omama.com
The Sensible Guide to a HEALTHY PREGNANCY
A guide to help you to make good decisions about how to take care of yourself before, during
and after your pregnancy.
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-gs/guide/assets/pdf/hpguide-eng.pdf
Your journey starts here – The facts on pregnancy and childbirth from Canada’s experts.
Information about pregnancy and childbirth from The Society of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC).
http://pregnancy.sogc.org/
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Waiting for Baby: Pregnancy After Age 35 Booklet
Information for women aged 35 or older who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
www.beststart.org/resources/rep_health/pdf/pregnancy35plus_12pg_book.pdf
Women’s Health Matters – Pregnancy
To help you learn about what to expect during the months of your pregnancy.
www.womenshealthmatters.ca/health-centres/sexual-health/pregnancy
Work & Pregnancy Do Mix!
Provides information on workplace risks, ways to reduce risks and sources of additional
information. Available in several languages.
www.en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-or-your-partner-pregnant
Smoking Cessation
Couples and Smoking – What You Need to Know When You are Pregnant
www.thiswaytoahealthybaby.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/CouplesAndSmoking12010-UBC.pdf
Exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/legislation/label-etiquette/preg-gross-eng.php
Information on Second and Third-Hand Smoke
www.beststart.org/resources/tobacco/pdf/tobacco_handout_eng_FINAL.pdf
Make your home and car smoke-free: A guide to protecting your family from
second-hand smoke
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/pubs/tobac-tabac/second-guide/index-eng.php
PREGNETS
Find several resources: Smoking During Pregnancy; Smoking After Giving Birth; Second Hand
Smoke; Statistics and Facts; Stressors; Cues; Partner Support; Nutrition; Exercise Common
Questions; Dealing with Cravings; How to Talk to your Health Care Provider.
www.pregnets.org/mothers/DuringPregnancy.aspx
• Pregnets Blog: http://pregnetsblog.com
Smoker’s Helpline
Offers specialized services for pregnant women.
1-877-513-3333 or www.smokershelpline.ca
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Acknowledgements
The Best Start Resource Centre would like to thank Toronto Public Health for generously sharing its
2003 edition of Growing Healthy Together: Baby and Me. It became the model for this easy-to-read
book about pregnancy and birth.
Thanks also to those who provided input during the development of this resource:
• Algoma Public Health
• Ontario Breastfeeding Committee
• Canadian Child Care Federation
• Ottawa Public Health
• Canadian Public Health Association
(provided the plain language review)
• Perinatal Partnership Program of Eastern
and Southeastern Ontario
• Central Southwest Reproductive
Health Working Group
• Peterborough County-City Health Unit
• Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
• Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
• Safe Kids Canada
• Childbirth and Postpartum Professional
Association of Canada
• St. Joseph’s Healthcare
• Community Midwives of Thunder Bay
• Society of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists of Canada
• Infant Mental Health Promotion
The Hospital for Sick Children
• SportC.A.R.E., Women’s College Hospital
• McMaster Children’s Hospital
• Motherisk Program, The Hospital
for Sick Children
• Niagara Region Public Health
• Nutrition Resource Centre
• Toronto Public Health
• Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
• Women’s College Hospital
• Interested nurses, family physicians,
paediatricians and midwives
We would also like to thank the parents and the experts who provided input for this booklet.
Thank you also to those who provided input during 2016 review of this resource:
• Dad Central Ontario
• Heather Norris, Registered Nurse, Health Services, University of Waterloo
• Marg La Salle, RN., BScN., IBCLC., CCHN., and BFI lead assessor
• Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA), Reproductive Health Work Group
• Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) members
• Parachute
Citation: Best Start Resource Centre (2016). A Healthy Start for Baby and Me.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: author.
This document has been prepared with funds provided by the Government of Ontario. The information herein reflects the
views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Ontario. The resources and programs
cited throughout this guide are not necessarily endorsed by the Best Start Resource Centre or the Government of Ontario.
Copyright 2010, 2012, 2016 Health Nexus
101
Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn
and Early Child Development Resource Centre
www.beststart.org
The Best Start Resource Centre helps Ontario service providers
to improve the health of pregnant women, parents and
young children. Best Start Resource Centre is a key program of
Health Nexus and is funded by the Government of Ontario.
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