Discomfort and Pain

Back pain is a common discomfort that many pregnant women experience due to the changes in their bodies. As the baby grows, the weight can cause strain on the back. Sometimes too, as the uterus expands, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, leading to a shooting-type pain that can be felt in the back, buttocks or even further down towards the back of the thigh. While discomfort and pain during pregnancy are common, there are steps that can be taken to manage these symptoms. Simple exercises like pelvic tilts or gentle stretches can help lessen the pain. Prenatal massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture and appropriate heat therapy can also provide some relief. For the most part, these discomforts are a nuisance, but there are times when other assessments by your maternity provider can be helpful. Have a look to see at the resources we’ve curated for you to see if there are other steps you take to feel better.

Complications In Pregnancy

With all the possible complications that can occur, it almost seems miraculous how much of pregnancy progresses smoothly. Yet, issues such as high blood pressure during pregnancy can sometimes develop. While this can be improved with lifestyle choices for some, for others, a more hands-on approach might be required — whether that means extra monitoring, medications or other management options. Either way, your maternity care provider will be a key connection to help you stay informed about your potential risks and warning signs and what proactive steps you may be able to take to maintain the best possible health for you and your baby. Some of the more common complications have different ways they can show up. Check out the resources we’ve compiled for you on topics from high blood pressure or high blood sugar during pregnancy and more.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

As COVID-19 continues, it’s natural to have concerns about how it may affect you today and throughout your pregnancy journey. Check out our COVID-19 page for resources and support, including information on vaccination during pregnancy. Stay informed and discuss any concerns with your maternity provider to discuss your specific situation.

Thinking Ahead?

As you get closer to the tail end of your pregnancy journey, it can be common to experience pain in your lower belly and pelvis (and sometimes in your tailbone too!) Knowing what lies ahead, your body begins to prepare itself at the appropriate time so that hormones will begin to relax the ligaments in this region, which makes space for your baby to maneuver more. From Braxton Hicks contractions (are those the real deal?) to swollen feet, we’ve got you covered. By staying informed and taking proactive steps to manage discomforts and pain, you can spend more time enjoying and experiencing your pregnancy. Check out our Common Questions and Concerns in Late Pregnancy for more information, and follow up with your maternity provider for more clarity.

Your Mental Health

When things are outside your comfort zone, what tools do you intuitively use to re-centre? Box breathing, recognizing thinking traps, treating yourself kindly. If you want to add more tips and strategies, check out our reliable resources to support you further. While nurturing emotional resilience and sound mental health is always important, this is even more critical during your pregnancy journey. If you’re in tune with your feelings, it can be helpful to understand your triggers and how you can safely and effectively deal with them. Remember, seeking support is a sign of strength. In addition to our trusted resources, your maternity care provider is well-positioned to help you manage any bumps you face along your pregnancy journey.

Food and Nutrition

By choosing a balanced and healthy diet, you can actively fuel your baby’s growth — particularly during this phase when your body requires extra calories to do this important work! At this time, some women also begin to experience heartburn. Thinking of what and when to eat can minimize these discomforts as well. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, consider recipes that include palak (spinach), daal (lentil), methi (fenugreek), matar (peas) and gobi (cauliflower) to garner the important vitamins and nutrients that nurture growth. Exploring similar foods with new flavours can enhance and expand meal times and perhaps even offer conversation starters at the meal table! Checking in with your maternity provider with respect to healthy weight gain in pregnancy can also be valuable so that you’re getting the appropriate information for your situation. If you’re curious and want to get a sense of what might be recommended for you, check out Health Canada’s Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator. Find these and other ‘food for thought’ resources here.

Substance Use

While there is no safe amount of substance use during pregnancy, total abstinence can be challenging for some individuals. If you’re struggling with alcohol, marijuana or other substances, it’s important to be as transparent as you can be with your provider for guidance and support. They can help you work with your goals and/or discuss safer alternatives that you could consider. Pregnancy offers a special opportunity to take stock — are you perhaps ready to consider other choices you might not have been ready for until now? If you’re looking to take a plunge into making some positive changes, or need more support along the way, check out these reliable resources. Any change we make in life (or that happens to us) will likely cause some bumps along the way. Since a change in this area can impact not only you, but also others as well, we encourage you to tag team with your provider. Here’s to a healthier more resilient you, your little one and all your loved ones!

Thinking Ahead?

You’ve come halfway! As you look back and reflect on your pregnancy journey so far, perhaps you were able to do all your ‘usual things’ and as you look ahead, have you considered the ways in which things may change? For example, perhaps you’ve been fine sleeping on your back until now, but recently, it seems like you prefer being on your side. As your baby grows, sleeping on your back puts more pressure on the vessels that supply blood to your uterus, so sleeping on your side is a quick fix. Of course, your maternity provider can provide more insights and tips as you begin to round the bend to late pregnancy! Check out these resources on late pregnancy that we’ve curated for you for your next chapter.

Healthcare Visit Schedule

Are you ready for your mid-pregnancy checkups? Visits during this phase are primarily about monitoring the development and growth of your baby. Here’s what you can expect from these checkups:

Thinking Ahead?

Now that you may be feeling, experiencing and perhaps even looking pregnant, you may begin wondering about logistics and lab results or perhaps thinking way ahead to labour and delivery, what it means to be a parent — maybe even the cost of university education! So let’s take a slow, deep, mindful and loving breath in….and then exhale. To help streamline some of the more relevant questions, your maternity provider likely has some key areas to focus on at this stage. If your curiosity has been piqued, check out the visit schedule descriptions and links to what to expect at these checkups. As you balance between attending appointments and being present to the holistic changes – body, mind and spirit — that are happening for you, this mid-way period offers opportunities to not only think ahead but also to perhaps be in awe, gratitude and wonder as you look back to where you started at the beginning of your pregnancy journey! Past, present and thinking ahead, we’ve got you covered.