Being Pregnant

If you become pregnant, you have certain options.

  • Keep the baby
  • Adopt the baby out
  • Abortion—a safe and legal way to end a pregnancy

Only you can decide which option is best for you. You may want to talk with someone you trust—friend, Elder, family member, counsellor, nurse or teacher.

Speak to a doctor or nurse if you want to consider an abortion or have questions about pregnancy options. Call Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights for more information (24/7): 1-888-642-2725.

If you decide to have the baby, the key to a healthy child is your own health. Make an appointment to see a doctor or nurse about prenatal care. 

A doctor or nurse asks questions to figure out when you will give birth.

To make sure your body is healthy, they may do blood tests, urine tests, and tests for STIs. They may talk to you about diet and exercise, and things to avoid.

Your doctor or nurse explains the physical and emotional changes you may go through during pregnancy. They tell you about things to watch for—signs of possible problems.

You see your doctor or nurse regularly throughout your pregnancy. They need to keep track of your health and your baby’s health. If you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to ask them—they are there to help you. 

Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs can harm an unborn baby. If you get pregnant, it is important to stop using these substances right away. If you need help, talk to a nurse at your local health centre.

Tobacco

Cigarette smoke makes it harder for unborn babies to breathe and grow properly, and increases the risk of miscarriage. Quit smoking and avoid people who smoke, so your baby can:

  • Be born at the right time—not too early
  • Have a healthy birth weight—not too small
  • Have lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Have lower risk of breathing problems
  • Have lower risk of ear infections.

Alcohol

Do not drink any alcohol when you are pregnant. Unborn babies exposed to alcohol are at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD].

FASD is a term that describes a range of effects that a baby may experience if a mother drinks during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioural, and/or learning disabilities. These effects last a lifetime, and are totally preventable, and they do not need to happen.

If you drink alcohol and discover you are pregnant, stop right away. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, but don’t panic. Stop drinking as soon as you know you are pregnant, and talk to a doctor or nurse.

Drugs

Tell your health care provider about any medication you take and how often.

  • Illegal drugs—heroine, marijuana, cocaine, meth, etc.
  • Legal and prescription drugs
  • Herbal supplements and vitamins

Some drugs harm unborn babies. Other drugs harm babies after birth, through the mother’s breast milk.

Support 

Some people who use alcohol, tobacco, and drugs have a hard time stopping.

If you or someone you know has trouble quitting smoking, drinking or drugs, there is help and support. Talk to your health care provider, mental health nurse, or social worker.

You can also contact: