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Health During Pregnancy

Important signs to watch for if you are pregnant [hide]
  • 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

Last Reviewed: April 2017

Taking Care of Yourself

Common concerns

Managing nausea & vomiting | Coping with heartburn | Constipation & pregnancy | Exercising safely | Sex during pregnancy | Emotional changes | Sleep During Pregnancy |

Constipation & pregnancy

Many women get constipated when they are pregnant.

Constipation can be caused by:

  • Food passing through the body more slowly when you are pregnant so you can absorb the extra nutrients you and your baby need. This may make it more difficult to go to the bathroom.
  • Pressure of the growing baby against the bowels.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.

How to cope with constipation:

Eat more fibre

  • Fibre acts like a sponge in the intestine. It absorbs water and makes the stool softer so that it is easier to pass through the intestines.
  • Fibre can be found in whole grain foods, natural bran and flaxseed, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, split peas and lentils) and vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose grain and baked products that contain at least 2 grams per serving of fibre. Check the labels.

Drink more fluids

  • Drink 8-12 cups of fluid each day to prevent dehydration. Choose water, milk, 100% fruit juice, soup and other caffeine-free beverages.


Exercise regularly

  • Not exercising regularly gives you a greater chance of being constipated. Walking and swimming help the intestines work by stimulating your bowels. Try exercising three times a week for 20-30 minutes. Check with your doctor/midwife first before starting any new activity.

Foods to try

  • Prunes and prune juice
  • Vegetables like broccoli, peas, spinach, potatoes with the skin, corn, carrots and squash
  • Dried peas, beans and lentils
  • Whole grain cereals, muffins, pita bread, roti, rice and pasta
  • Natural bran, oats or flaxseed or flax powder added to meals. Sprinkle a little on cereals, in your baking, in your sauces just before serving.

Do not use laxatives to treat constipation without checking first with your doctor/midwife. Some laxatives are not safe while you are pregnant.


For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
905-799-7700
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


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Revised: Monday June 26 2017

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