Pregnancy can be an exciting and special journey but can also come with many questions, concerns, and changes. It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health during this time. Many communities also have specific cultural practices or traditions related to mental health that can provide meaningful emotional and spiritual support. If you feel connected to a particular cultural or faith community, how might you include these elements along your journey? Consider reaching out to your community’s leaders for guidance, support or ceremony. After all, this is such a unique time in your life! Remember, taking care of your whole self – body, mind and spirit – is vital to a healthy you and to a healthy pregnancy! Your maternity provider has the expertise to help assess and support your mental health. As we help create safer spaces to discuss mental health openly, we hope you find these resources add value to your journey.
Pregnancy is a time for changes in your body and sometimes for your palate too. For example, if you’re following a vegetarian diet or considering switching to one, it’s important to ensure you’re getting all the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Our resource on vegetarian diets offers tips on which foods are high in essential vitamins and minerals. Choose foods rich in iron daily to meet your body’s extra needs. The iron from these foods is best absorbed when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods such as berries, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. Are you already a fan of any of these? Remember, a balanced and varied diet is key to a healthy pregnancy. Plenty of options are available for vegetarians and for foods from diverse ethnic traditions. Check out Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Metis as well as our list of pre-pregnancy resources for more information.
You may have already heard some of the foods to be mindful of while pregnant. For example, it’s important to be cautious about consuming raw fish during pregnancy. C’mon, giving up sushi while living in Vancouver? You might be wondering, why is this? Raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can be dangerous to both you and your developing baby. If you’re a sushi lover, there’s a workaround: you can still enjoy cooked varieties, such as California rolls or vegetable rolls. Be sure to talk to your maternity provider about any specific concerns you may have about consuming sushi during your pregnancy. For this and other musings, check out our resources for food and nutrition.
No amount of alcohol is considered to be safe during pregnancy. While it is critical to refrain from drinking alcohol as it can harm the developing baby, discussing your specific situation with your maternity provider will be crucial. This might seem like a taboo topic that might be difficult to discuss initially. However, building trust to have an open dialogue and appreciate your questions, concerns, or barriers will be key in enabling your maternity provider to offer you the support that could be most valuable. Pregnancy is a unique time filled with many opportunities. Check out these helpful resources to help you be informed. The choices you make during pregnancy can impact not only your health, but also that of your baby and others. We hope these resources will enable you to feel well supported to prioritize your well-being and seek support when needed.
We’ve curated a list of resources in the “Taking Care of Yourself” section that are relevant throughout all stages of pregnancy. As you peruse the list, you’ll find a wealth of information to support you in early, mid, and late pregnancy. From nutrition and exercise to mental health and self-care, our resources cover a wide range of topics to help you feel your best in body, mind and spirit throughout your pregnancy journey.