Medical Care during Pregnancy
Your health care provider can help you have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. At the beginning of your pregnancy you should visit your health care provider every four to six weeks. After about 30 weeks, you will have visits every two to three weeks. In the last month, your health care provider will want to see you every one to two weeks or more.
- Tests that are usually done at all prenatal visits include:
- blood pressure and pulse
- urine test
- fetal heart rate
- measuring your abdomen to check the growth of your baby
You may need extra medical attention or health care advice from your health care provider if you:
- are underweight or overweight
- had problems with a previous pregnancy, for example, if your baby was preterm or weighed less than 2500 g (5 lb. 8 oz.)
- have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other medical conditions
- are over 40 years of age
- are carrying more than one baby
- have had uterine surgery (for example: caesarean birth, cone biopsy)
- use alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs
- are under emotional stress or there is violence in your life
- are dealing with depression or other mental health issues
What is the Pregnancy Passport?
The Pregnancy Passport is a companion for the book Baby's Best Chance. It is a small booklet that becomes your health record for pregnancy, birth and the early newborn period.
It will help you understand what to expect with your pregnancy care and help you think about how to care for yourself and your baby. It is also a place for you to keep your own record of check‑ups and tests and how to find more information.
Ask your health care provider or local public health office for your own Pregnancy Passport.
Before you visit your health care provider, write down any questions you may want to ask. The BC HealthGuide handbook has two tools you can use. These are the “Healthwise Self‑Care Checklist” and the “Ask the Health Care Provider Checklist” near the front of the book. Use these to write your questions and concerns. Pick up your free copy of the BC HealthGuide at your local pharmacy or call HealthLink BC at 8‑1‑1 for information on how to get a copy.
Take important information when you visit your health care provider. This can be a family medical history or changes in your condition. Have your partner or support person go with you. That way, they can ask questions, hear the same information, and share in the excitement of your growing baby.
Perinatal depression is depression that may happen any time from when you first become pregnant to one year after your baby is born.
Perinatal depression can impact you physically and affect your emotions, thinking, and behaviours.
It is important to get help. Without treatment, perinatal depression affects both you and your baby. A mother who is depressed for a long time can have difficulty bonding and caring for her baby.
For more information about Perinatal depression and sources of support, click here.