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
Your doctor/midwife - what to expect
What is prenatal health care?
Prenatal health care is the health care you and your baby receive before the baby is born. This will include regular visits to your doctor/midwife and routine prenatal testing.
Why is prenatal health care important?
Seeking out prenatal health care is important because it is directly related to having a healthy baby. Throughout your pregnancy is it important to have your health and your growing baby's health monitored regularly.
Prenatal health care can be provided by:
- a family doctor (a doctor who treats all family members as well as new babies)
- an obstetrician (a health-care professional who provides care to pregnant women before, during and after the birth of their baby until six weeks postpartum (after delivery))
- a midwife (a health-care professional who provides care for women throughout normal pregnancy, labour, birth and six weeks after delivery)
Note: Not all family doctors deliver babies. You may have more than one doctor before, during and after your baby's birth. You may start off by seeing a family doctor who will later refer you to an obstetrician.
During your pregnancy, you will see your doctor/midwife:
- every month during the first 30 weeks of pregnancy
- every two weeks from week 30-36
- every week (or more frequently if needed) from week 36 until you deliver
During your first prenatal check up your doctor/midwife will:
- take your medical history
- discuss your medication use
- talk to you about how to be healthy during your pregnancy
At each visit your doctor/midwife will:
- test your urine
- check your blood pressure
- check your weight
During these regular visits your doctor/midwife should discuss any prenatal tests that may be required or recommended. Be sure you ask your doctor/midwife any questions you might have about these tests.
If you don't have a doctor, contact your local area hospital for a list of doctors accepting new clients. You can also contact Health Care Connect
If you would prefer to see a midwife during your pregnancy, contact the Midwifery Care of Peel and Halton Hills or the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
To learn more about pregnancy and childbirth you should attend prenatal classes. Prenatal classes fill up quickly, so register early in your pregnancy to ensure a spot.
Prenatal education will help you to:
- make healthy choices for you and your baby
- prepare for breastfeeding your baby
- make informed choices during labour and delivery
- know what to do after your baby is born
- be aware of community resources that are available
Hospitals in Peel Region
Trillium Health Partners
Credit Valley Hospital,
Mississauga Hospital and Queensway Health Centre
William Osler Health System - Brampton Civic Hospital/Etobicoke General Hospital
How to find a Family Doctor
Halton Health Care Services
Find a family doctor
Health Care Connect
Call to register for the Health Care Connect patient database.
For family doctors accepting new patients in Halton region
How to find a Midwife
Midwifery in Ontario
Ontario Ministry Health and Long Term Care - Public Information
Midwifery Care of Peel and Halton Hills
For midwifery care in Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Halton Hills and surrounding areas
How to find a Doula
Doulas are professionally trained women who provide emotional support during pregnancy. They can provide support during labour and delivery and after your baby is born. If you are interested in hiring a doula, contact any of the links below.