Last Reviewed: April 2017
Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant
- Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away.
- Bleeding or a trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina.
- Lower back pain/pressure or change in lower back pain.
- A feeling that the baby is pushing down.
- Contractions or change in the strength or number of them.
- An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge.
- Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or a bad headache.
- Blurry vision or spots before your eyes.
- Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hand or face.
- A significant change in your baby's movements.
Go to a hospital right away and contact your doctor/midwife if you have any of these symptoms.
Adapted with permission from:
Best Start: Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre
Taking Care of Yourself
Abuse in pregnancy
Are you and your baby safe?
Abuse is a serious violation in which the abuser exerts power and control over another person. Pregnancy may either trigger the start of abuse or cause the current abuse to escalate. One out of six pregnant women is abused (Middlesex-London Task Force Report, 2000)
Do you know the signs of abuse?
There are different types of abuse
- Stalking (criminal harassment)
Examples of abuse during pregnancy:
- Forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy
- Forced to have an abortion because of fear or intimidation
- Controlled, limited, delayed or denied access to health care
- Denied sexual relations because you are pregnant
- Refused access to food
- Threatened to be abandoned by your partner because of your pregnancy
- Denied financial support
- Forced to work beyond your endurance during pregnancy
Examples of abuse during labour and delivery:
- Are not free to make your own decisions about pain control during labour
- Receive negative comments about your sexuality
- Receive negative comments about the baby's sex after birth
Examples of abuse after the baby is born:
- Being denied access to your baby
- Not receiving support or help with your baby
- Demanding sexual relations soon after childbirth
- Receiving negative comments about your appearance
- Making you feel bad for the time spent with baby
- Being put down for your parenting ability
- Receiving threats of abducting the baby
- Not being allowed to breastfeed
- Being blamed for baby's crying
- Making you stay home with baby
If you are being abused, you may:
- Feel depressed and anxious
- Feel scared and lonely
- Smoke or use drugs and/or alcohol
- Eat poorly
- Experience injuries
Abuse can cause your baby to:
- Be born too soon
- Have a low birth weight
- Have injuries
- Have health problems later in life
- Be abused after birth
If you suspect you are being abused, you are not alone. Help is available.
Woman Abuse Prevention Resources
For more information:
Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse
Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216