Discovering that you’re pregnant can be an incredibly exciting and life-changing time. Oftentimes, pregnant people get excited about a positive test and then find themselves thinking “now what?” In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few things that pregnant people should consider once they find out they’re expecting.
Confirm your pregnancy
Pregnancy test strips are great at-home ways to confirm your pregnancy. You may wish to also book an appointment with your general practitioner to confirm your pregnancy via blood work, if there is any question about that at-home test.
Getting bloodwork done is a great idea because Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) will not be the only thing tested during your appointment. Your doctor will also likely look at your complete blood count, STI panel, blood type, urinalysis and more. Based on your health history and risk factors, tests like thyroid stimulating hormone, vitamin D, and even ferritin should be tested. If you’re working with a Naturopathic Doctor, while they are unable to requisition hCG, they are able to requisition other tests based on any reproductive concerns going into pregnancy (ex. PCOS, hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis).
Thinking about a midwife? Call them right away!
In Ontario, an obstetrician, specific family doctors and midwives are able to provide obstetric care during pregnancy, and it is covered by OHIP at no cost to you. If you’re interested in learning how a midwife can support you during your pregnancy, and after your baby is born, it would be best to request care as soon as you can (ex. after getting a positive pregnancy test). Requesting care doesn’t mean that you’ve committed to a midwife – it simply is a meeting to determine if midwifery care is appropriate for your pregnancy.
It’s important to note that each midwife collective has privileges at specific hospitals as well as potentially at the Toronto Birth Centre. Each midwifery clinic serves a specific geographical area. You may want to google a number of collectives to determine if you are in their geographical catchment area.
Please note: if you have your heart set on having a midwife and you aren’t able to find one right away, all is not lost. Make sure you stay on their waitlist. Often spots open up later on because of transfer of care to OBs, etc. so it’s possible that you could still end up getting a spot in midwifery care later on in your pregnancy.
Thinking about a doula? Get started now!
A doula provides non-medical care for the birthing person and assists their partner with supporting the mother or birthing person throughout their labour. Doulas are an essential part of any birth team, helping people advocate for themselves and their wishes during their labour. In addition, while your medical team will likely switch at some point during your care, your doula will be there for the duration of your birth – they are often the only member of the birthing team that does not change during birth, providing much-needed guidance and consistency.
Much like midwives, doulas also book up quite early, so if you are at all interested in doula care, it’s best to inquire as early as possible. Doulas can also provide postpartum care for the mother and baby after the baby is born, so if you’re interested in that, also make sure you look into that sooner rather than later.
First Trimester Nutrition
Did you know that eating for two is a myth? While there are certainly guidelines on how to eat during pregnancy, you definitely don’t need to multiply each meal by two. In fact, during the first trimester there aren’t any caloric or protein increases you need to be aware of.
During the first trimester, pregnant people often tend towards carbs to cope with nausea and food aversions. If possible, try to include some form of protein with your meals, as a means to help balance your blood sugar levels. Our Naturopathic Doctors can help you navigate nutritional requirements in pregnancy to ensure that you’re thoughtfully fuelling your body. Here’s our recommendation for the top 10 foods to eat during pregnancy.
Navigate first trimester symptoms with ease
The most common symptom in early pregnancy is nausea and vomiting. Our Naturopathic Doctors are well versed at treating this common, yet exhausting concern using evidence-based supplementation and acupuncture (yes, acupuncture is safe during pregnancy!).
Speaking of supplements, our NDs can also help you navigate which supplements you can continue taking during pregnancy, and which you should stop.
Overall, pregnancy can be an incredible experience, and we are here to help guide you through it. No matter which week you may find yourself, our team is here for you. If you need support, please don’t hesitate to connect with us and to book an appointment with one of our highly experienced practitioners.
Survival Guide for New Parents
Becoming a parent is an incredible experience but isn’t always easy. That’s why we put together this survival guide that has an abundance of resources that can help you navigate through your pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.