“Is our baby developing normally?”, “Who will our baby look like?”, “How will our older child react?” Here are 25 facts about pregnancy to help guide you through this period.
OLO (an acronym taken from the French to mean eggs, milk and oranges) is the name of a program set up for pregnant women living in low-income situations. The women participating in the program receive an egg, a litre of milk, a glass of orange juice and multivitamins every day from their l ocal CSSS. This allows them to meet a significant portion of their daily requirements in protein, calcium and vitamins C and D to help ensure they deliver a healthy baby with a healthier weight. Emmanuelle Touchette, who has 1-year-old twin girls, was one of the moms who benefited from the program. “Every Thursday, the nurses would weigh us and take our blood pressure. Then they’d talk to us about different subjects like the delivery, breastfeeding, and colicky babies,” she says. “I loved these sessions because I learned so many things and I felt ready for the arrival of my twins. They would also give us coupons for free orange juice, eggs and milk from the grocery store. That encouraged me to eat well.”
Even if the expecting dad is not experiencing any physical changes, pregnancy is an important period for him as well. He often has the same fears and worries as the expecting mom with regard to the delivery and his new role as a parent. Fathers can get involved in different ways throughout the pregnancy. For example, they can support their partners by talking to them about their concerns, accompanying them to medical appointments and coming to prenatal classes. Caressing mom-to-be’s tummy, talking to the baby and preparing baby’s room are also ways for dad to start establishing a bond with his unborn child. The father’s involvement is also good for the expecting mom. “His presence is reassuring,” says psychologist Karine Lapointe. What’s more, it reduces the mother’s stress and the risk of complications during delivery. Recent studies even show that expecting dads’ life habits can also impact their children’s health. So, just like moms, dads should eat well and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
“When will my baby start to move?”, “Can I drink coffee?”, “Can I still drive towards the end of my pregnancy?” It’s normal to ask yourself all kinds of questions. Finding the answers will help you have a more positive experience of pregnancy and reduce the stress related to all these changes. A good idea is to note your questions down and ask your doctor, midwife or a nurse at your next appointment. Prenatal classes, books and reference sites that talk about pregnancy are also good tools. “We went to prenatal classes and I read a little from the book my girlfriend was reading,” says Daniel, father to 20-month-old Éloi. “But Véronique would read a lot more, and before each visit to the doctor she would prepare a list of questions to ask.”
There are many resources available to support and guide you through your pregnancy to help make it a positive experience.
Tobacco, drugs and alcohol
Twins and triplets
Association de parents de jumeaux et de triplés de la région de Montréal
Someone to talk to
Source: Naître et grandir magazine, October 2015
Research and copywriting: Kenza Bennis
Scientific review: Marie Fortier, nurse and prenatal class instructor