Many Pregnancy Care Centre clients experiencing teen pregnancy go into the Centre with pregnancy questions. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about pregnancy.

Q: Will my body change much?

A: Pregnancy has been known to affect the way people look, feel, and act. Some women have major hormonal and physical changes while others do not.

Q: What is an episiotomy?

A: An episiotomy is a cut made in the back of the vagina to enlarge it for birth. With midline or median episiotomy (the type usual in the U.S. and Canada), the cut is made from the back of the vaginal opening straight toward the anus. With mediolateral episiotomy (the usual type in most of the rest of the world), the cut is made off to one side. (2014 National Partnership for Women & Families)

Q: What is a midwife?

A: Registered midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. As primary care providers, midwives may be the first point of entry to maternity services and are fully responsible for clinical decisions and the management of care within their scope of practice. Midwives provide the complete course of low-risk prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care, including physical examinations, screening and diagnostic tests, the assessment of risk and abnormal conditions, and the conduct of normal vaginal deliveries. Midwives work in collaboration with other health professionals and consult with or refer to medical specialists as appropriate.

Q: What is a Doula?

A: Birth doulas are women who are trained and experienced in childbirth. Doulas provide continuous physical & emotional support and assistance in gathering information for women and their partners during labour and birth. The doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, and positioning; and comforts the woman with touch, hot or cold packs, beverages, warm baths and showers, and other comforting gestures. Perhaps the most crucial role of the doula is providing continuous emotional reassurance and comfort for the entire labour.

Q: What is labour pain like?

A: The experience of labour pain varies markedly from woman to woman. It can also vary for the same woman in different parts of the labour and from one labour to another. Nearly all women experience lower abdominal pain during contractions. Many also experience low back pain, either with contractions or, less often, continuously. Women may also feel pain throughout the belly,  hips, buttocks, thighs, or in some combination of these locations. Pain may radiate from front to back, back to front, or down the thighs. It may be felt in several areas at once or just in one specific place. Words women use to describe their pain include cramping, sharp, aching, throbbing, pressing, and shooting. Pain intensity varies widely and generally increases as labour progresses. The sources and sensations of pain are different in the dilation and pushing phases of labour, and your experience may differ substantially as well. The pushing phase may be less painful.

Q: Should I breastfeed?

A: It is always recommended that “breast is best” as there are so many advantages for both mother and child with breastfeeding. There are cases, however, where breastfeeding is not the best option (not enough milk, recurring mastitis, etc.) and formula is a necessary substitute. Fortunately, the formula that is produced now is extremely similar to breastmilk and a comparable option for those who need it. Talk to your doctor about which formula is right for you and your baby.

Q: What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

A: The benefits of breastfeeding for the baby include:

  • Breastfed babies are less likely than formula-fed babies to have ear infections, allergies, lower respiratory infections (such as pneumonia), urinary tract infections, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Breastfeeding may enhance brain development.
  • Breastmilk is easy for a baby to digest, so a baby may have less gas, colic, and spitting up.

The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother include:

  • Breastfeeding helps the mother’s uterus heal more quickly.
  • Breastfeeding helps the mother lose her extra pregnancy weight.
  • Breastfeeding may help reduce a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer before menopause.
    (2014 National Partnership for Women & Families)

Dealing with an Unplanned Pregnancy is Scary

Let’s face it – this is terrifying news and not exactly what you had expected. But the reality is that she’s pregnant and now you need to know how to deal with it. What choices, if any, do you have? What are your rights? What will be expected of you? We’re not just here for her. We, at the Pregnancy Care Centre, have a group of guys who are standing by and ready to help. Some of them have been in your position, others are fathers who just really care and are ready to talk, meet for coffee, and share some hard-won parenting wisdom with you.

How Can I Help My Friend?

You want to help your friend – to be there through the tough times as well as the good times. It doesn’t mean telling her what to do but instead helping her to figure out what’s best for her.

To do this, she needs to get information on all her pregnancy options. She will need access to services, resources, and most importantly, support. You can’t do it all for her. Help her get the help she needs.

Pregnancy Care Centre
11223 100 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 0J1 Tel: (780) 424-2624
Toll-Free: 1-877-424-2685 info@pregnancycarecentre.ca