Healthy Pregnancy

Public Health programs work with the community to support healthy pregnancies so that all babies have the best possible start in life.

Here you can find useful information and resources regarding healthy lifestyles, pregnancy and work, emotional changes, physical changes, prenatal testing and monitoring, and health care.

You can also check the information from the Promoting Comfortable Pregnancy brochure.

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Healthy lifestyles

Active Living

It is important for women and men to be healthy before becoming pregnant. This will increase their chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy baby.

Being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle! Women who exercise regularly before becoming pregnant may continue to do so during their pregnancy unless a health care provider has given different advice.

It is not only healthy for them, but also for the unborn baby. If a woman is not regularly active before becoming pregnant, she should talk with her health care provider before starting an exercise program. For most women walking at any stage of pregnancy is encouraged.

For more information about walking in Waterloo Region join us on Facebook at Waterloo Region Walks.

Being active with a partner or friend makes active living more fun and more likely to be continued.

For information about active living, please contact Region of Waterloo Public Health 519-575-4400. The following links may also help you be active:

Active Living: Before, during and after pregnancy

Physical Activity Readiness - Medical Examination for Pregnancy Form
Bring this form to your health care provider to review and ensure you do not have any contraindications prior to exercising in pregnancy.

Move for Two - Physical Activity and Pregnancy DVD
This DVD, produced by the Middlesex-London Health Unit in partnership with Dr. Michelle Mottola, Director of the Exercise and Pregnancy Lab at Western University, answers many of the questions women have about the safe and healthy ways to be active during pregnancy.

Move For Two provides a workout that can be adapted and expanded based on a pregnant woman's energy and experience levels. The DVD includes muscle conditioning as well as stretch and flexibility segments.

You can also call Motherisk at 1-877-439-2744 for questions about exercise and pregnancy, or speak to your healthcare provider.

Healthy Eating and Healthy Weights

Please check the Public Health Agency of Canada for information on grain products, vegetables and fruit, milk products, meat and alternatives, important vitamins and minerals, water, fibre, vegetarian eating, cravings and aversions.

Read more about healthy eating and healthy weights in pregnancy at these links:


Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation during Pregnancy

Healthy Eating and Weight Gain

Nutrition Booklet

Canada's Food Guide

Herbal Products

Nutrition in Pregnancy

Calcium The Non-Dairy Way

Fibre Facts for Pregnancy

Alcohol, Drugs / Prescription Drugs & Smoking in Pregnancy

These factors have the potential to complicate pregnancy in many ways. For information about alcohol, drugs and smoking in pregnancy, check these websites:

Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking Facts for Dads-to-Be

Second-hand Smoke During Pregnancy

Alcohol, Nicotine, and Substance Use: Myths and Facts

Alcohol and Pregnancy Don't Mix

Alcohol Free Pregnancy

Making Your Home Smoke Free

Drugs in Pregnancy

For a nicotine dependency test, online discussion board, common questions, and information on second-hand smoke and how to talk to your doctor, please check the Pregnets website.

Oral Health

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy has many benefits for you and your baby. Find out more information from this fact sheet:

Pregnancy and Oral Health Fact Sheet

Creating healthy environments

Home Environments

Toxic substances are common in our environment, both indoors and out. Harmful chemicals that stick to dust, fumes from cleaning and renovation products, chemicals in plastics, mercury in fish - all of these can have serious impacts on the health of a child even before birth. The good news is that prospective parents can take some simple steps to reduce risks in the home.

To view the newly released video "Creating Healthy Home Environments for Kids" visit the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment website at  

To learn more about the five top action areas visit

General Environment Information

Early Exposures to Hazardous Pollutants/Chemicals and Associations with Chronic Disease - A Scoping Review

A Father's Day Report - Men, Boys and Environmental Health Threats

Report on: Health and the Physical Environment, Region of Waterloo Public Health

Environmental Contaminants - Health Canada

Pregnancy and work

Working during pregnancy does not usually cause problems. Read more about work and pregnancy at the following links:

How to Be a Family Friendly Workplace

Occupational and Environmental Exposures

Work and Pregnancy Do Mix

Emotional changes

In pregnancy you may notice that your feelings change often. These mood swings are normal reactions to all the changes that occur during pregnancy.

For information about emotional changes and emotional health in pregnancy check these links:

Common Questions about Emotional Health

Emotional Changes in Pregnancy

Physical changes

Pregnancy is a time of change and each pregnancy is different. Many physical changes are possible during pregnancy, including nausea and vomiting, tiredness, breast changes, stuffy nose, heartburn, backache, varicose veins, stretch marks, shortness of breath, going to the bathroom often, vaginal discharge, groin pain, constipation, hemorrhoids, leg cramps and dizzy spells.

Keep in mind that eating healthy and remaining active will help prevent or alleviate some discomfort.

Please check these links to learn about the physical changes in pregnancy:

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Morning Sickness

Prenatal testing and monitoring

HIV Testing in Pregnancy

HIV Treatment in Pregnancy

Health care

If you have not had your first prenatal visit, make an appointment with your healthcare provider immediately so you can discuss your pregnancy and get answers to your questions.

For more information about health care in pregnancy, please check:

Information on Midwives

Midwifery in Waterloo Region