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What to Expect During Pregnancy

This is an exciting and challenging time as you are going through one of the most important times of your life and experiencing many changes in your body as your pregnancy progresses.

In early pregnancy, many women experience light spotting, nausea (morning sickness) and mild abdominal discomfort. If you experience bleeding or cramping that is mild, it is best to rest and stay off your feet.

If you have severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or other serious problems, please come directly to the emergency room, unless directed otherwise by your clinician.

Things you may experience in early pregnancy:

  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Learn how to begin to strengthen your pelvic muscles here. This may help prevent urinary incontinence after birth and maintain your sexual function.
  • Planning for breastfeeding: you may need extra support in planning for breastfeeding if you have a history of breast surgery (breast reduction or implants with areolar incision), previous unsuccessful breastfeeding experience or are planning to breastfeed multiples. Call 416-586-4800 ext. 7409 to request a consultation with a certified lactation consultant. You can also register for a Prenatal Breastfeeding class, or consult other community resources.  

During this stage of pregnancy, several tests will be offered:

  • 24-28 weeks: Glucose challenge testing for diabetes screening and complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia.
  • 28 weeks: Anti-body screening for mothers who are Rh negative; these mothers will also receive an injection of Rhogam at this time to prevent Rhesus disease.
  • 35-37 weeks: Group B Strep swab.

Depending on your health and the baby’s needs, you may be offered other tests such as an ultrasound.

Consider signing up for prenatal classes early and completing them before your 37th week of pregnancy. There are programs for both new and experienced parents.

During the third trimester, you will have more frequent appointments. Initially, every two weeks and then every week as your due date approaches. More frequent visits are needed as certain medical problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are more likely to occur at this time. In addition, we can check the position of the baby by examining your abdomen.

Here are some things to watch for during this time:

What to watch for What to do

Uterine contractions that become painful, last at least 45 seconds and occur regularly once every five minutes.

If this is your first pregnancy, these cramps should continue regularly at least every five minutes for 1–2 hours before you leave for the hospital. If you are in your second or subsequent pregnancy, these cramps should continue for at least ½ hour before coming into the hospital. If you come to the hospital before your pains persist regularly, you may not be in labour, and may be asked to go home until labour is well established.

Membranes that rupture, whether or not you are having contractions.

You may notice a large gush of fluid or a small continuous trickle of fluid from the vagina. The fluid is normally clear. You should come to the hospital within a couple of hours of your membranes rupturing unless you also have regular contractions every five minutes or less. If the fluid is green or brown, please come to the hospital immediately.


Several hours or days before labour starts, some women will lose their mucous plug. This is a thick discharge that may be a bit bloody. You may also have some pink to light red discharge called bloody show. This is normal. However, if there is bright red bleeding, like a menstrual period, this may be a concern. If you are concerned, please come directly to labour triage on the 15th floor.

Decrease in the baby’s movements

If you feel your baby moves less than six times over a two-hour period and you are past 26 weeks of pregnancy, please come directly to Triage on the 15th floor of the hospital.

Not sure if it’s time to go to the hospital?

Click here to for our decision tree.

If you are past your due date, you will need to come to the office for frequent checks and monitoring of your baby. We will also discuss the timing of your birth. You may require stimulation of labour through a process called induction.

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