A healthy pregnancy

Pharmacists owners affiliated to Brunet can advise you on how to take care of your health and well-being at all stages of your pregnancy, from the planning of your pregnancy to the birth.

A young girl touches her healthy, pregnant mother's belly.

A few tips for mothers-to-be

To ensure your baby is getting the best nutrition possible, adopt a healthy and balanced diet

  • Follow the advice in Canada's Food Guide
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetable every day
  • Anticipate food cravings by stocking your fridge with your favourite healhty foods
  • Avoid non-nutritious, high-calorie foods and beverages such as soft drink, chocolate, potato chips, and junk food
  • Eat foods that are high in folic acid

Talk to your health care professionals, as they can do the following

  • Provide information on pregnancy tests and ovulation tests available at the pharmacy
  • Provide information about taking folic acid and other vitamins
  • Offer solutions for combating nausea, vomiting, and other digestive problems
  • Help you manage gestational diabetes
  • Answer your questions about pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, and medications to take or avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding

Quit smoking as soon as possible. If you need help doing so, talk to your pharmacist.

Don't drink alcohol or use recreational drugs, such as cannabis.

Nausea and vomiting

More than 50 percent of women experience nausea or vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Although referred to as morning sickness, these unpleasant symptoms can occur at any time of day. They typically go away around the 16th week of pregnancy. In rare cases, they may persist until delivery.

Tips to prevent or reduce morning sickness

  • Eat light meals every two to three hours
  • Eat crackers in the morning before slowly getting out of bed
  • Avoid eating food that are too spicy or greasy
  • Move away from sources of strong or unpleasant odours, such as cigarette smoke
  • Don't go to bed immediately after eating
  • Get enough rest and avoid stress, as it exacerbates nausea
  • If taking multivitamins increases your nausea, try taking them with food or just before bedtime

How to treat morning sickness

  • Your pharmacist may prescribe a treatment for nausea of pregnancy that is effective and safe for you and your unborn child. Don't wait to consult them!
  • If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor: weight loss, persistent and severe vomiting, signs of dehydration (e.g. very dry mouth and lips, dark urine, dizziness)

Here is a list of the essentials that you'll need to pack for the big day

List for mom

  • Health insurance card
  • Hospital card
  • Birth plan
  • List of medications
  • Nipple cream
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shower sandals
  • Lip balm
  • Hairband
  • Hair ties
  • Phone charger
  • Sanitary or incontinence pads
  • Dry shampoo
  • Comfortable clothing and underwear
  • Comfortable pillow
  • Reusable water bottle

List for baby

  • Pyjamas and bonnet
  • Changing blanket
  • Diapers for newborns and wipes
  • Mittens for newborn
  • Moisturizing cream and diaper rash cream
  • Bottles and formula if you are not breastfeeding
  • Mild soap and shampoo
  • Baby car seat

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is an essential nutrient from the B complex group of vitamins. It is also called vitamin B9, folate, or folacin. It ensures the normal growth and development of the baby's spine, brain, and skull during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Experts recommend that all women who want to get pregnant take a daily folic acid supplement. When possible, women should start taking it two to three months before conception.

Some vitamin and mineral supplements sold in pharmacies are specially formulated to meet the needs of pregnant women and contain the right amount of folic acid. Ask your pharmacist for more information.

The recommended dosage may vary depending on your health. Don't hesitate to speak to your pharmacist to learn more.

Risks of folic acid deficiency during pregnancy

Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy can prevent serious complications, such as neural tube defects, the most well-known of which is called spina bifida.

The baby's neural tube is formed between the third and fourth week of pregnancy. It is the precursor of the central nervous system: one end of the neural tube will form the brain and the remaining part will form the spinal cord.

During the sixth week of pregnancy, the neural tube closes. Neural tube defects occur when the neural tube fails to close.

Do you want to keep these informations handy?

Get the printable version right here.

Other tips for pregnancy planning and follow up


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A healthy pregnancy

Discover how your pharmacist can advise you on how to take care of health and well-being at all stages of your pregnancy.
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