Planning for Pregnancy

I hear a stork is delivering your baby in nine months. How fantastic!

Now you have time to get everything ready for the arrival. No worries about morning sickness, backaches and problems sleeping! And that baby weight- what baby weight?

It would be nice if that’s how the story goes, but sadly it’s not. On the positive side though, you get to determine how your child is nurtured during pregnancy and not a stork!

It’s best to start planning for pregnancy early if you can, so preparation is the best tip during this process. It all starts with figuring out if it’s the right time for you to get pregnant. If you are a student you should look into resources and accommodations provided by your institution. Find out what’s available for you to balance your pregnancy and your academic pursuits. If you’re working, look into maternity/parental leave policies and other programs offered through your employer and the government. For family leave resources and policies for students, staff and faculty at U of T, you can visit: http://www.familycare.utoronto.ca/family_leaves/index.html.

After looking at all that paperwork, it’s time to look at you. That’s right – you! Are you eating healthy? Are you active? Do you take your vitamins?  If not, you should start thinking about making changes to your eating and exercise habits. Two good resources to start with are: Toronto Public Health http://www.toronto.ca/health/nm_index.htm#pregnancy and the Exercise and Pregnancy line through Women’s College Hospital http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/888/exercise-and-pregnancy-helpline-1-866-937-7678446

Finally, it’s time to plan for after the delivery. This can be the hardest part because it’s difficult to know what to expect. Regardless of whether you’re planning on doing this alone or with a partner make sure to mobilize the troops, aka your family and friends. Take them up on their offers to help. Emotional support can be helpful especially if you feel signs of the baby blues. Food is also good, because it can feel like there is not enough time in the day to make a meal for yourself during the first few weeks after you bring home the baby. This post-pregnancy phase can be the most stressful time so get some support, even if it is just a home cooked meal.

The Family Care Office will be holding a workshop on February 28 about planning for pregnancy which will answer questions on risks during pregnancy, health care provider options, antenatal care and screening tests, post-partum issues and any other concern participants may have.

For a detailed description and information on how to register please visit:
http://www.familycare.utoronto.ca/events/index.html#planningForPregnancy

You may also be interested in our March 5 panel discussion about using a midwife and/or a doula. Check out the FCO website at: http://www.familycare.utoronto.ca/events/index.html#birthingExperien

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