This section provides information about doulas, blood tests, delivery, prenatal classes, suggested reading, and more. If you do not find the information you are looking for here, please feel free to ask your doctor for guidance to get the resources that are best for you. Click on the headings below to review helpful tips and information, or follow the links to other sites our doctors trust.
Coping with nausea
Here are a few tips from our OB doctors to help reduce, eliminate, or manage nausea during pregnancy.
Eat small, frequent meals
Eat something when you wake-up, before getting up
Get up slowly – sudden movement can aggravate nausea
Avoid fried, fatty, or highly spiced food
Reduce or eliminate fluids with meals – be sure to take these fluids between meals
Try to avoid odours when cooking – turn on the hood fan above your stove, open windows or have another person do the cooking
Eat foods that are “soothing” – carbohydrates tend to be more appealing
Avoid milk and red meats – they are most upsetting
Have fresh air while sleeping
Occasionally, iron containing vitamins can worsen stomach upset. If these bother you, just take folic acid supplements and restart prenatal vitamins when morning sickness subsides.
Eat a high protein snack at bedtime
Take food with you wherever you go
Listen to your body and do whatever works best for you
kegel exercises - strengthening the pelvic floor
Strengthening the Pelvic Floor with Kegels Pelvic floor exercises can help you improve your bladder control. When done properly and regularly, this series of exercises, called Kegels, can build up and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor to help you hold your urine during your pregnancy and after childbirth. These exercises can be started during pregnancy and be continued after delivery.
What is the pelvic floor? Layers of muscle stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone in the front to the end of the backbone. These firm, supportive muscles are called the pelvic floor and they hold the bladder and bowel, as well as the uterus, in place.
How does the pelvic floor work? The muscles of the pelvic floor are firm and slightly tense to control the flow of urine from the bladder or feces from the bowel. When you urinate or have a bowel movement, these muscles relax. Afterward, they tighten again and stay that way to restore control. Pelvic floor muscles can sag, however, because of an injury, lack of exercise, childbirth, or just getting older. When this happens, there is less control and urine and feces can leak.
How can pelvic floor exercises help? Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the pelvic hammock so it will once again give support. This will help you improve your bladder control and reduce or stop the leaking of urine.
Learning to do pelvic floor exercises: Pelvic floor exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic hammock. Make sure you learn how to do the exercises the right way and check from time to time that you are doing each exercise correctly.
How to feel the muscles of the pelvic floor: It is important to learn how to feel the muscles of the pelvic floor as you contract them – to be sure that you are exercising correctly. Here are ways to identify the muscles:
Next time you go to the toilet, try to stop the stream of urine about halfway through emptying your bladder. Then relax the muscles and allow the bladder to empty completely. The muscles you use to stop the flow of urine are the same muscles you will be squeezing when doing the Kegel exercises. Do not repeat this as an exercise!
The woman may place one or two fingers into her vagina. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles to squeeze your fingers. Your doctor or your health care professional may be able to help you with this the next time you have a vaginal examination.
Imagine trying to stop yourself from passing gas from the bowel. You would squeeze the muscle around the anus. Try squeezing that muscle as if you really did have gas.
Do it now. You should be able to feel the muscle move. The buttocks and thighs should not move at all. You should be aware of the skin around the anus being pulled up and away from whatever you are sitting on.
HOW TO DO THE KEGEL EXERCISES: Exercise 1 Lying on your back, on the floor or bed, breathe deeply (don’t hold your breath) and tighten the anal muscle, pulling inward and upward. Exercise 2 Tighten the vaginal muscle, pulling inward and upward. Hold the anal and vaginal muscles tight, slowly counting “one and two and three and tighten.” All the while continue to breathe deeply and evenly, then relax. A Few Simple Rules to Remember:
Do them properly – check often to be sure that you are using correct muscles.
Do them regularly in sets of 5-10 contractions at a time in the morning, at noon, in late afternoon, and before going to bed. After 3-4 weeks, increase the number of contractions in each set and hold each one longer, up to the count of 10. When you can comfortably hold the contractions for 10 seconds, you might consider gradually increasing the length up to 20 seconds.
Do the exercises intelligently – learn to use the muscles when you need them the most, especially during times of stress, excitement, or when you feel you need better bladder control.
Keep doing them- muscles work best when they are exercised. Once you have learned how to improve your bladder control, continue to do the exercises to keep the pelvic hammock in good shape.
Watch your weight- keeping yourself fit also means staying at your best weight
Drink plenty of fluids – 6-8 glasses of water every day.
Don’t fall back into the habit of going to the toilet “just in case”. Go only when you feel the need to pass urine.
Do you have any questions? This information is designed to teach you how to control your bladder, so that you’ll be dry and comfortable. If you have problems doing the exercises, or if you don’t understand any part of this information, ask your doctor for help. Do the Kegel exercises regularly. Have faith in them. You should begin to see good results in a few weeks. Kegel Exercises – The Mayo Clinic Kegel Exercises – Web MD (Slideshow & video)
There is evidence to indicate there is a greater risk of infection if you shave your pubic area prior to vaginal delivery or caesarean section. Research shows that shaving causes tiny cuts in the skin. These cuts give bacteria a way to enter the skin, which could cause infection. Do not shave or wax your abdominal or pubic area for 7 days prior to your due date or booked caesarean section. Avoiding shaving and waxing prior to delivery is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Canadian Patient Safety Institute.
depression in pregnancy
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 10 % of women will experience depression during pregnancy. If you are experiencing symptoms such as crying spells, thoughts or feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, difficulty concentrating or organizing thoughts, feelings of guilt or inadequacy, changes in sleep or appetite, withdrawing from family and friends – please seek help. Come talk to your doctor.
What to Expect when you’re Expecting, Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E Murkoff, Sandee E. Hathaway The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Sheila Kitzinger The Complete Book of Mother and Baby Care, The Canadian Medical Association The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League International Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, Jack Newman Your Baby and Child from Birth to Age 5, Penelope Leach Growing With Your Child: Pre-Birth to Age 5 – the Complete Guide to Your Baby’s Development (From Canadian Living Magazine), Christine Langlois (editor) What to Expect the First Year, Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway
OMama Bilingual website and app, OMama is a joint project by the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN Ontario), a program of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), with the funding support of eHealth Ontario. You will find trusted information on over 150 topics related to pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. Safe Sleep Environment for Baby Ottawa Valley Doulas Association