A Healthy Beginning

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

You are pregnant? Congratulations!

Pregnancy is a time of happiness and promises but also a time of questioning and sometimes worries. It is the beginning of a new life for you, your partner, your baby, and your family.

There are several topics to discuss and many questions to ask during pregnancy. Do not hesitate to inquire and ask all the necessary questions in order to be well prepared to greet a new member to your family

A. A HEALTHY BEGINNING

A healthy pregnancy depends partially on prenatal care.

Good prenatal care begins with regular visits to your health care provider. If your health care provider cannot offer this care, he/she can tell you where this care is available. If you don't have a health care provider, check with your Regional Health Authority. 

Horizon Health Network

Website: http://www.horizonnb.ca/

Phone: (506) 623-5500

Toll-Free: 1-888-820-5444

Vitalité Health Network

Website: www.santevitalitehealth.ca

Phone: (506) 544-2133

Toll-Free: 1-888-472-2220

In the New Life on-line prenatal program we use the term “health care provider” to mean professionals who offer primary health care services to pregnant women, parents and families.

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a. The First Prenatal Visit

You probably have had the first prenatal visit. If not, make an appointment immediately. The first medical visit is usually longer than the following visits.

This visit consists of:

  • A pregnancy test
  • A pelvic and reproductive organ examination
  • A complete physical check-up

The health care provider will listen to your heartbeat and check your blood pressure. Your height and weight will be recorded.

You will also have a conversation with your health care provider about your health and your family's health in order to establish your medical history.

During this first visit, the health care provider usually requests a series of lab tests. If you want more information about these tests and their purpose, consult the following table.

 

b. Other Prenatal Visits

The following visits will be shorter. We will check your weight and blood pressure and take a urine test. The health care provider will measure the height of your uterus to assure that your baby is developing properly and listen to the heartbeat. All these tests help to determine if you are healthy and to keep an eye on your baby's growth.

Each visit is a great occasion to ask questions. It is a good idea to prepare your list of questions before your appointment.

In addition to the regular tests done during the first visit, your health care provider may request other prenatal tests such as an Ultrasound scan , an Amniocentesis , or a Reactive nonstress test . If the health care provider orders one of these tests, be sure to ask why.

Ask your doctor the following questions.

Between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy you should have a test for gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that only happens during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. Most women with GDM are able to control their blood sugar through diet and exercise, only a few women may need insulin. If you are diagnosed with GDM you will be followed closely by your health care provider.

Women who have had GDM are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. A blood glucose test should be performed between six weeks and six months after the baby is born.

http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/what/gestational/

 

c. Major and Minor Concerns

Your body will change a lot during pregnancy. Most of these changes are normal and healthy. You can discuss these changes with the health care provider or nurse during your visits.

When all these changes are new to you, it may be difficult to distinguish between what is normal and what is not.

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Test Your Knowledge

 
 

This exercise will help you recognize the symptoms that should encourage you to consult your health care provider.

Click on the option button that matches the correct answer and validate your answer by clicking on the «Check« button.

1

Vaginal bleeding is normal during pregnancy.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Certain women have delivered healthy babies even though light bleeding occurred during the first months of pregnancy. Bleeding must, however, be taken seriously because it may be the sign of a miscarriage. Consult your health care provider if bleeding occurs.Wrong answer! Certain women have delivered healthy babies even though light bleeding occurred during the first months of pregnancy. Bleeding must, however, be taken seriously because it may be the sign of a miscarriage. Consult your health care provider if bleeding occurs.

Check your answer

2

If a liquid other than blood flows from the vagina, you must see the doctor rapidly.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! An unusual vaginal flow, especially if there is a fever, could be a sign of a vaginal or cervical infection. It could also indicate a loss of water (if the pregnancy is advanced). Consult your health care provider if you experience this.Wrong answer! An unusual vaginal flow, especially if there is a fever, could be a sign of a vaginal or cervical infection. It could also indicate a loss of water (if the pregnancy is advanced). Consult your health care provider if you experience this.

Check your answer

3

Sudden swelling of the hands, feet, or face, during pregnancy is very disturbing.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! If you have a sudden swelling of your hands, feet, or face, different from swellings you may have had before, see a health care provider immediately.Wrong answer!If you have a sudden swelling of your hands, feet, or face, different from swellings you may have had before, see a health care provider immediately.

Check your answer

4

A major headache may be a symptom of a more serious problem.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! True. It may be caused by high blood pressure. Consult your health care provider. Wrong answer!It may be caused by high blood pressure. Consult your health care provider.

Check your answer

5

Dizzy spells are frequent during pregnancy.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Dizzy spells are often caused by hormonal changes, a modification to blood circulation, or a decrease of sugar in the blood. If this happens, try eating something sweet. Dizzy spells may be alleviated if you snack regularly and eat light nutritional meals. However, if the dizzy spells persist, consult your health care provider.Wrong answer! Dizzy spells are often caused by hormonal changes, a modification to blood circulation, or a decrease of sugar in the blood. If this happens, try eating something sweet. Dizzy spells may be alleviated if you snack regularly and eat light nutritional meals. However, if the dizzy spells persist, consult your health care provider.

Check your answer

6

A pregnant woman who feels pain or a burning sensation while urinating should discuss this with her doctor.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! A pain or a burning sensation while urinating may indicate a bladder infection. Consult a health care provider. He/she may prescribe antibiotics.Wrong answer! A pain or a burning sensation while urinating may indicate a bladder infection. Consult a health care provider. He/she may prescribe antibiotics.

Check your answer

7

Having a chill or fever during pregnancy may be more serious than you think.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! These symptoms may be the indication of a condition which is more than a bad cold. Consult a health care provider without delay.Wrong answer! These symptoms may be the indication of a condition which is more than a bad cold. Consult a health care provider without delay.

Check your answer

8

At the end of the pregnancy, it is normal to feel the baby's movements less.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Near the end of the pregnancy, the baby has less room to move, but the mother should feel the baby's movements regularly. If you have the feeling that your baby is moving less or not at all, consult the health care provider without delay.Wrong answer! Near the end of the pregnancy, the baby has less room to move, but the mother should feel the baby's movements regularly. If you have the feeling that your baby is moving less or not at all, consult the health care provider without delay.

Check your answer

9

Sight troubles such as blurred vision or seeing spots are disturbing symptoms during pregnancy.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Vision problems are symptoms of toxemia. Other symptoms are pain in the right upper abdomen, headaches, and unusual swelling of the face. If you experience one of these symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.Wrong answer! Vision problems are symptoms of toxemia. Other symptoms are pain in the right upper abdomen, headaches, and unusual swelling of the face. If you experience one of these symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.

Check your answer

 

 

B. HEALTHY CHOICES

When you are expecting a baby, there are a lot of things to think about. There are also several choices to make. Should you change your eating habits? Can you travel without risk? Can you take medication? This section will give you the opportunity to think about these questions.

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a. Diet

During pregnancy, your diet is important because you are also feeding your baby. You must, therefore, make good healthy food choices.

Certain pregnant women have more appetite and others less. It may happen that you crave for certain foods that you are not used to eating. Each woman's experience is unique.

The important thing is to eat a variety of healthy foods. By eating healthy, you will gain the necessary weight for your baby's proper development.

You will find more information about healthy eating during pregnancy in Module 5 entitled "Healthy Diet".

b. Dental Care

Taking care of your teeth is very important during pregnancy. Pregnancy affects every part of your body including your teeth and gums. Plaque develops more rapidly and your gums can become red, sensitive, and infected. It is very important to brush and floss your teeth regularly.

It is recommended that you visit a dentist during your pregnancy. Don't forget to tell him/her that you are pregnant.

Continue to take care of your teeth after the birth of your baby. Your teeth, as well as those of your children, must last for life.

c. Cigarettes

If you are a smoker, there is no better time to quit. When you smoke, so does your baby. Think of what this means before lighting a cigarette.

Even if you don't smoke, secondhand smoke can harm your baby.

This is what happens to the baby when the mother smokes or breathes secondhand smoke.

Creating a Smoke Free Environment for Your Children

A video on the social impact of second-hand smoke on young families. Created by the Best Start Resource Centre

For information about stopping smoking, you can contact the Smokers Helpline.

Smokers' Helpline is a free, confidential service operated by the Canadian Cancer Society

offering support and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use

Website: www.smokershelpline.ca

Phone: 1-877-513-5333

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1. The Dangers of Cigarettes

Cigarettes can cause problems both to the mother and the child.

The dangers of cigarettes

 

 

 

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Test Your Knowledge

 
 

The following exercise will help you understand why cigarette smoke is dangerous during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.

Click on the option button that matches the correct answer and validate your answer by clicking on the «Check» button.

1

Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! A woman who smokes doubles her risk of having a miscarriage when compared to a woman that doesn't smoke.Wrong answer! A woman who smokes doubles her risk of having a miscarriage when compared to a woman that doesn't smoke.

Check your answer

2

Smoking increases the risk of premature birth.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! When the mother smokes, the risk that her baby will be born too early is much higher. Premature babies are hospitalized more often and have more long-term health problems and die more often than the full term babies.Wrong answer! When the mother smokes, the risk that her baby will be born too early is much higher. Premature babies are hospitalized more often and have more long-term health problems and die more often than the full term babies.

Check your answer

3

Smoking can have an effect on the baby's weight at birth.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Your baby has a chance of being smaller at birth if you smoke. Small babies are more at risk of being sick.Wrong answer! Your baby has a chance of being smaller at birth if you smoke. Small babies are more at risk of being sick.

Check your answer

4

Smoking can have an effect on labour and delivery.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! If you smoke, you may have problems during labour and delivery.Wrong answer! If you smoke, you may have problems during labour and delivery.

Check your answer

5

Smoking increases the risk of death in newborns.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! The risk of death before birth or sudden death during the first weeks of life is greater if you smoke. The use of tobacco by the parents could be the first risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Wrong answer! The risk of death before birth or sudden death during the first weeks of life is greater if you smoke. The use of tobacco by the parents could be the first risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Check your answer

6

Nicotine found in a cigarette enters the breast milk.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! A baby who is breastfed by a mother who smokes cries more and is more difficult to calm because of the nicotine. It is proven that breastfeeding reduces the negative effects of tobacco on the baby's lungs and can protect against respiratory illness. Breastfeeding is good for the baby and the mother. It is better if the mother does not smoke but if she can't stop or reduce her consumption, it is better to smoke and breastfeed then to smoke and not breastfeed. Smoking should be done outside and after the breastfeeding to limit the amount of nicotine in the breastmilk. Nicotine replacement therapy is safe while breastfeeding (ie Nicorette gum, the patch). Wrong answer! A baby who is breastfed by a mother who smokes cries more and is more difficult to calm because of the nicotine. It is proven that breastfeeding reduces the negative effects of tobacco on the baby's lungs and can protect against respiratory illness. Breastfeeding is good for the baby and the mother. It is better if the mother does not smoke but if she can't stop or reduce her consumption, it is better to smoke and breastfeed then to smoke and not breastfeed. Smoking should be done outside and after the breastfeeding to limit the amount of nicotine in the breastmilk. Nicotine replacement therapy is safe while breastfeeding (ie Nicorette gum, the patch).

Check your answer

7

After the birth, the presence of cigarette smoke in the baby's environment causes less damage.

a) True
b) False
Right answer! Children living with smokers run a higher risk of having breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis, colds, and throat and ear infections. Wrong answer! Children living with smokers run a higher risk of having breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis, colds, and throat and ear infections.

Check your answer

2. How to Avoid Smoke

Maybe you think that quitting smoking during pregnancy will increase your stress. However, remember that smoking is a stress for your body. If you smoke, your baby's heart and yours beat faster and your blood pressure is higher. If you quit smoking now, you will protect your baby from the most harmful effects of tobacco. In addition, once at home, your baby will not be exposed to cigarette smoke.

If you live with smokers, explain to them that their smoke can harm your baby. Even when they are not ready to quit, you can set certain rules to decrease the amount of cigarette smoke in your home.

Here is what you can do to reduce cigarette smoke in your environment.

Smoking is an addiction. Everyone knows that it is very difficult to quit smoking but millions of people have succeeded. When you are pregnant, the most important thing you can do for your baby is quit smoking. Talk to your health care provider before using a nicotine patch or nicotine gum.

If you need help to quit smoking, contact Addiction Services, Public Health Offices, Canadian Lung Association, Canadian Cancer Society, your health care provider, the New Brunswick Anti-tobacco Coalition or the Smoker’s Helpline.

Smoker’s Helpline: 1-877-513-5333 or www.smokershelpline.ca/

 

d. Alcohol

When you drink, so does your baby. If you consume alcohol, your baby may be born with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).

FASD includes the abnormalities caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is the main known cause of congenital malformations in Canada.

This is what can happen to the baby if the mother drinks alcohol.

Certain damages are not visible at birth but their long-term consequences are serious.

The following table summarizes harm done by alcohol consumption during pregnancy as well as the long-term consequences. Food for thought...

Alcohol, even the smallest quantity, is dangerous during pregnancy. The best thing to do is avoid alcohol during pregnancy.

If you drink alcohol, note that all types are dangerous and that there is as much alcohol in a bottle of beer as in a glass of wine or an ounce of liquor.

If you are a heavy drinker, you may need help to stop. For your health and the health of your baby call the support service agencies for help. You can contact a local addiction service, ask your health care provider or a public health nurse about the programs available in your area.

New Brunswick Addiction Centres: http://www.gnb.ca/0378/centers-e.asp

Public Health Agency of Canada: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fasd-etcaf/index-eng.php

 

e. Medication

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, tell your health care provider about the medications you are taking. These include the medications prescribed by a health care provider and all the products you can purchase in a drugstore such as aspirin, pain killers, cough and cold preparations and even vitamins.

For safety measures, take only medication prescribed by your health care provider and follow the directions carefully.

If you consult with more than one health care provider, be sure that they are all aware of your condition. They should be informed if you are taking medication.

All the medications that you take can affect your baby. Therefore, before taking any type of medication, ask your health care provider, pharmacist, or dentist the following questions.

Here is a list of the most common medicines. You may consult this table to find out more about the risks these medicines represent for your baby during pregnancy.

f. Drugs

If you take drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or speed, your baby also takes these drugs. All drugs affect your baby who could develop a dependency to these drugs. Drugs are dangerous for you and your baby.

When a woman smokes, drinks, or takes drugs, the baby is subjected to the same effects. 

If you take drugs, you may need help to stop. For your health and the health of your baby call a support service agency for help. You can contact a local addiction service or ask your health care provider or a public health nurse about the programs available in your area.

Here is a list of the most common drugs. You may consult this table to find out more about the risks these drugs represent for your baby during pregnancy.

 

g. Caffeine

Many people take caffeine without knowing it. Did you know that there is caffeine in coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, and many medicines?

Example of caffeine

Nobody really knows the effects of caffeine on the fetus. We do know that caffeine is a stimulant and it makes people nervous. It is a good idea to reduce the quantity of caffeine.

To what level should you reduce the amount of caffeine? The following suggestions will help you remain within the acceptable limits:

  • Drink no more than one or two cups of coffee or tea daily.
  • Read the labels on foods, beverages and medicines.
  • Select the products with less caffeine.

 

h. Infection and Illness

Avoiding sick people while pregnant makes sense. Stay away from people who have a cold, a cough, a sore throat, or the flu.

If you are ill during your pregnancy or have flu symptoms, consult your health care provider. Do not take any medication without first consulting your health care provider. If you have a cold or a minor illness, rest, drink a lot of liquid and use a humidifier.

If you have been exposed to a serious illness including Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), consult your health care provider.

i. Travels and Trips

Your decision to travel depends on your health and the length of the trip. If in doubt, consult your health care provider.

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1. Travelling by Car

As long as you are at ease at the wheel, you can continue driving. Don't forget that you must always wear your seat belt. If you cannot adjust your seat belt appropriately, extensions are available.

Here is the best way to wear your seat belt.

Here are a few tips when travelling by car.

 

2. Travelling by Plane

Most airline companies require an authorization letter from a doctor before allowing a pregnant woman to travel during the last month of pregnancy. To avoid problems, check with the airline company before buying your tickets.

Here are a few tips for traveling by plane.

  • Wear wide and comfortable shoes in case your feet swell.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.
  • Walk up and down the aisle at least once every hour. If not, move your legs in order to help blood circulation. Support stockings could be useful.
  • Avoid crossing your legs.

3. Mandatory Vaccination

If you intend to travel to a foreign country which requires certain vaccinations,consult the Canadian Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in your area.

Tell them which country you intend on visiting and that you are pregnant. They will tell you if the vaccines you need are safe during pregnancy.

Travel Health: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/index-eng.php

j. The Hazards in Your Environment

During your pregnancy, you should be aware of potentially dangerous elements present in your environment.

The following table contains a summary of the products to watch out for and recommendations regarding these products.

 

k. Pregnancy and Work

In most cases, you can continue working during your pregnancy. You may have to rest more and change certain things to be more comfortable at work.

Many women require more rest during the first three and the last three months of their pregnancy. If you can lay down a while on your side during your dinner hour or during the breaks, do it.

 

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1. Strenuous Work During Pregnancy

Certain women have a job that can be too strenuous during pregnancy. Do the following test to check your situation.

 

 

 

2. Hazards in the Workplace

In certain workplaces, there are products or devices that can cause malformations or miscarriages. The most important sources of danger are chemicals, solvents, gases, metals, and radiation. If you have any concerns, consult your health care provider. It is up to you to inquire about the risks at your job.

You can also get information from your health and safety committee at work. If there is no committee in your workplace, this may be a good time to organize one with your colleagues.

 

C. FEELINGS OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN

Pregnancy is a period of growth and changes. Your body changes and so do your feelings.

You may notice that your feelings change often and sometimes very quickly. You will have emotional ups and downs. One minute you will feel happy and the next minute you will feel depressed. These mood swings can be surprising but are normal reactions to all the changes that occur during pregnancy.


 

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a. Sharing Your Feelings

Pregnancy is a normal step in life, but it is also a time when you have to face many changes. Even if you and your partner are happy about the pregnancy, all these changes can be stressful for the couple.

If important events happen in your life that increase your level of stress, try to get outside help to decrease this stress.

Here are a few tips to decrease your level of stress.

Don't let your worries pile up. Talk about your problems and solve them before they take over. If you feel overwhelmed by certain events and can't find a solution, you may need professional help. For your well-being and the well-being of your baby, do not hesitate to ask for help.

b. Violence Against Women

Violence against women often begins during the first pregnancy. All forms of violence can be harmful and must be taken seriously.

There are different types of violence. The following table will help you recognize the different types.

A woman victim of violence can feel anxious, depressed, have little self-esteem, take drugs and alcohol, have difficulty sleeping and lose her appetite.

Physical aggressions during pregnancy can cause serious injuries to the mother and bring about a premature birth or a low birth weight baby. The baby could also have broken bones or a hemorrhage. Certain mothers have lost their babies following physical violence.

If you are a victim of violence during your pregnancy, you probably feel alone. You need help immediately.

Nobody deserves to be treated badly, certainly not your baby. Talk to someone about your feelings and concerns. This person may be your health care provider, a public health nurse, a member of the clergy, or anybody you trust can help you.

c. Sexuality

Your sexuality is part of you. Since your life, your body, and your feelings change during your pregnancy, so do your sexual desires.

In most cases it is normal and without risk to have sexual relations. If your pregnancy is going well, sexual relations will not harm the baby.

However, the health care provider may advise you to avoid sexual relations in the following situations:

  • If your placenta is attached on the lower part of your uterus near the cervix. This situation is referred to as placenta previa.
  • If your cervix opened too soon during a previous pregnancy. This situation is referred to as cervical incompetence.
  • If you had premature labour without a reason during a previous pregnancy.
  • If there is a possibility that you could go into labour too soon or have a miscarriage.
  • If your water has broken.
  • If you or your partner has an infection including sexually transmitted infections (STI)

If your health care provider advises you to avoid sexual relations, don't forget to ask when you can begin having sexual relations again.

It is normal that your sexual desires as well as your partner's sexual desires change during your pregnancy. Many things can influence you and your partner's attitude regarding sex. The best thing to do is to talk to each other and try to understand each other's feelings.

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Test Your Knowledge

 
 

The following exercise will answer many questions you may have about sexuality during pregnancy.

Click on the option button that matches the correct answer and validate your answer by clicking on the «Check» button.

1

During pregnancy sexual relations with penetration

a) can cause a miscarriage during the first months.
b) can cause a premature delivery during the last months.
c) can continue without risk.
d) can harm the baby.
Right answer! There is no scientific proof that sexual relations can provoke a miscarriage at the beginning of pregnancy and a premature delivery at the end of pregnancy. Sexual relations cannot harm the baby because the baby is well protected in its amniotic fluid sac inside its mother's uterus. Wrong answer! There is no scientific proof that sexual relations can provoke a miscarriage at the beginning of pregnancy and a premature delivery at the end of pregnancy. Sexual relations cannot harm the baby because the baby is well protected in its amniotic fluid sac inside its mother's uterus.

Check your answer

2

During the three first months of pregnancy, the woman's sexual desires

a) don't change.
b) increase a great deal.
c) are non existent.
d) are often diminished.
Right answer! During the three first months of pregnancy, women who are often nauseous and tired could see their sexual desires decreased considerably. The breasts which are often very sensitive can cause unpleasant sensations or even pain during sexual intercourse. Don't worry it will get better over the next few months.Wrong answer! During the three first months of pregnancy, women who are often nauseous and tired could see their sexual desires decreased considerably. The breasts which are often very sensitive can cause unpleasant sensations or even pain during sexual intercourse. Don't worry it will get better over the next few months.

Check your answer

3

During pregnancy, the man's sexual desires

a) don't change.
b) increase a great deal.
c) are non existent.
d) vary from one man to another.
Right answer! Men's sexual desires vary a lot. Certain men keep a very vivid desire for their partner while others distance themselves. Certain men don't like the thought of having sexual relations with a woman about to become a mother. Many men consider the breasts and the round belly of pregnant women to be quite sexy. Others think differently. The important thing is to talk about it in order to understand his feelings.Wrong answer! Men's sexual desires vary a lot. Certain men keep a very vivid desire for their partner while others distance themselves. Certain men don't like the thought of having sexual relations with a woman about to become a mother. Many men consider the breasts and the round belly of pregnant women to be quite sexy. Others think differently. The important thing is to talk about it in order to understand his feelings.

Check your answer

4

If you do not feel like making love during pregnancy, the best thing to do is

a) make your partner understand that he must leave you alone until after the delivery.
b) discuss with your partner and find other ways to share physical intimacy.
c) continue having sexual relations in order not to displease your partner.
d) talk it over with your doctor.
Right answer! Sex and sexuality are two different things. Even though you do not feel like making love or have fewer desires, you may have more need for other forms of intimacy such as kissing, hugging, and petting. Don't hesitate to enjoy this with your partner.Wrong answer! Sex and sexuality are two different things. Even though you do not feel like making love or have fewer desires, you may have more need for other forms of intimacy such as kissing, hugging, and petting. Don't hesitate to enjoy this with your partner.

Check your answer

5

For the pregnant woman, the best time to appreciate sexual relations is usually

a) during the first three months (first trimester).
b) between the 4th and 6th month (second trimester).
c) during the last three months (last trimester).
d) throughout the entire pregnancy.
Right answer! The second trimester is generally the most pleasant period of the pregnancy. The woman can feel the baby move and her bellyis not too big yet. For certain women there is an increase of sexual desire and pleasure. Even though an orgasm provokes contractions of the uterus, there is no danger for the baby if the pregnancy is going well. Enjoy! Wrong answer! The second trimester is generally the most pleasant period of the pregnancy. The woman can feel the baby move and her bellyis not too big yet. For certain women there is an increase of sexual desire and pleasure. Even though an orgasm provokes contractions of the uterus, there is no danger for the baby if the pregnancy is going well. Enjoy!

Check your answer

6

Near the end of the pregnancy when the belly becomes too large, the best thing to do is

a) stop having sexual relations with penetration.
b) continue sexual relations even if they are uncomfortable.
c) be creative in your way of making love.
d) find a comfortable position for the woman.
Right answer! As your body and shape change, certain preferred positions become difficult if not impossible. This is the occasion for both of you to become creative. You may try new positions, manual stimulation, oral sex, but with the following precautions: blowing air in the vagina during pregnancy can cause serious complications. If neither one feels like having sexual relations, try other forms of intimacy. Massages, petting, kissing, and hugging are some examples. Wrong answer! As your body and shape change, certain preferred positions become difficult if not impossible. This is the occasion for both of you to become creative. You may try new positions, manual stimulation, oral sex, but with the following precautions: blowing air in the vagina during pregnancy can cause serious complications. If neither one feels like having sexual relations, try other forms of intimacy. Massages, petting, kissing, and hugging are some examples.

Check your answer

d. The Importance of Taking Time For Yourself

Enjoy your pregnancy and take care of yourself. Remember that taking care of yourself is a good way to get ready to take care of your baby.

Here are a few suggestions for taking care of yourself during your pregnancy.

D. BUYING FOR THE BABY

Assuring the baby's security is the parents' responsibility. Babies cannot recognize danger. You must consider security and comfort when you are purchasing new or used items for your baby or when you receive a gift. There are many items for babies on the market but only a few are essential.


 

If you receive or buy a used article for your baby, make sure that it is safe, solid, and in good condition. Check to be sure there are no missing parts, cracks, sharp edges, loose parts, holes, or spaces large enough for the baby to get caught.

Articles sold for babies in Canada are subjected to certain standards. Make sure that the manufacturer's instructions are included and that the article is not the object of a recall. A label containing information on the manufacturer should be attached permanently to the product that you buy or receive as a gift. For more information about the security of baby products, consult Health Canada's web site.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/index-eng.php

The security of baby products will be discussed later in Unit 8 entitled The Healthy Family.

CONCLUSION

Pregnancy is a privileged moment filled with promises and changes. It can be a happy time but also a time of worry. It is a good time to begin a new, healthy lifestyle that will be beneficial for you, your baby, and your family.

The more information you have about your pregnancy, the more you will learn and the more self confidence you will have. You will be able to enjoy this special time and hold on to souvenirs that you will be able to share later with your child.

Take care of yourself. Let your close ones spoil you and share with them these precious moments of your pregnancy.

Enjoy a healthy pregnancy!