Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) on many different topics to do with pregnancy and prenatal care. Click on one of the questions to be taken to the answers section.

Q: I think I’m pregnant, what are my options?

Q: I just found out I’m pregnant, what should I do next?

Q: Why is care during pregnancy important?

Q: What are some of the health problems that can happen in pregnancy?

Q: When should I start going for care?

Q: I don’t have a regular health care provider. What do I do?

Q: Do I have to see a doctor?

Q: What is a midwife?

Q: Who might be involved in my care?

Q: I have family and friends who will take care of me, why do I need prenatal care?

Q: I’ve already been pregnant before. Why do I need to go for prenatal care for this pregnancy?

Q: What is the prenatal benefit?

Q: Who do I talk to about getting the prenatal benefit?

Q: I can’t afford care, what do I do?

Q: I can’t get to my appointments. What do I do?

Q: I don’t have child care during my appointments. What do I do?

Q: What if I miss an appointment?

Q: What are the Healthy Baby/Healthy Start groups? Do I get health care at them?

Q: Can I bring my partner to appointments or Healthy Baby/Healthy Start? Can I bring another family member or a friend?

Q: I don’t like needles. Do I have to get them?

Q: I live on the street. Can I get care? Where?

Q: Will I be judged if I smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs?

Q: I am pregnant and I smoke. Do I have to quit? How do I cut back?

Q: I am pregnant and drink alcohol. Can I go for prenatal care?

Q: I use drugs and I don’t think I can or will quit. What’s going to happen when I go for prenatal care?

Q: Where can I go to get help with my drug and/or alcohol use?

Q: If I tell my prenatal care provider I am drinking or using drugs, will they report me to Child and Family Services (CFS)?

Q: I’m afraid my baby will be apprehended, what should I do?

Q: I struggle with depression or anxiety, how can prenatal care help?

Q: I feel like I can’t cope anymore or I’m having thoughts of ending my life. Who can I talk to?

 

 

Q: I think I’m pregnant, what are my options?

A: If you think you’re pregnant, you should talk to a health care provider (doctor, nurse or midwife) as soon as possible. There are lots of things to think about when you find out you are pregnant.

These could be choices about continuing your pregnancy, who will care for you during your pregnancy and even decisions about parenting.

If you are going to parent or adopt, getting early and regular care is important for your health and the health of your baby.

If you are considering an abortion, the earlier you connect with your health care provider, the better.

The bottom line is, the earlier you see a health care provider the more information and options you will have when making choices.

 

 

Q: I just found out I’m pregnant, what should I do next?

A: Take a deep breath and check in with yourself. This may be a surprise, a wonderful discovery, a moment of panic – or all of the above.

If you just found out you are pregnant, you should see a health care provider (doctor, nurse or midwife) as soon as possible. Getting early and regular prenatal care is important for your health and for the health of your baby.

 

 

Q: Why is care during pregnancy important?

A: Getting prenatal care is good for you and your baby. Going for early and regular care can help spot health concerns early, before they become a problem. Women who go for prenatal care usually:

  • Have healthier babies
  • Don’t have their babies too early
  • Get treatment for health problems earlier so they are less likely to cause serious complications for them or their babies
 

 

Q: What are some of the health problems that can happen in pregnancy?

A: There are some common health problems that may happen during pregnancy. Prenatal care can help spot and treat these and other issues before they turn into serious problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Infections
  • Lots of vomiting
  • Low iron
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney problems
  • Pelvic pain
  • Constipation
  • Aches and pains
  • Cramping
 

 

Q: When should I start going for care?

A: It is good to see a doctor, nurse or midwife as soon as you think you’re pregnant. It’s best to start your care in the first few months of pregnancy, the earlier the better. Having early and regular visits during pregnancy is important.

 

 

Q: I don’t have a regular health care provider. What do I do?

A: If you are pregnant and live in the Downtown, Inkster or Point Douglas areas and need a health care provider, you can find one here.

If you live outside of Downtown, Point Douglas and Inkster, you can find a health care provider here.

 

 

Q: Do I have to see a doctor?

A: You have the choice of a family doctor, obstetrician, midwife or nurse practitioner to care for you during your pregnancy. Family doctors, midwives and nurse practitioners care for low-risk pregnancies, while obstetricians care for both low and higher risk pregnancies.

 

 

Q: What is a midwife?

A: A midwife is a registered health care professional (usually a woman) who is trained to care for women and their babies during pregnancy, labour and delivery and 6 weeks after. They are able to walk with you throughout your entire pregnancy and support you even after your baby is born.

 

 

Q: Who might be involved in my care?

A: Many people may be involved in your care. You will be connected with the right care providers for your pregnancy so you get welcoming care you want and need. Some of these may include:

  • Doctor
  • Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurses
  • Dietician
  • Pharmacist
  • Social worker
  • Lactation consultant (breast feeding)
  • Counsellor
 

 

Q: I have family and friends who will take care of me, why do I need prenatal care?

A: Your friends and family can be a great source of support, guidance and wisdom.

Health care professionals can take care of you in a different way than your family can. They take care of many pregnant women and have information for you about healthy pregnancy, so that you can take care of yourself and the baby inside you. For example, they can get you an ultrasound, check your blood sugar and blood pressure, check the baby’s size, heart beat and growth and much more.

They can also help you find out if something is wrong and get you the right care you need at that time.

 

 

Q: I’ve already been pregnant before. Why do I need to go for prenatal care for this pregnancy?

A: Every pregnancy is different. Getting prenatal care is important and good for you and your baby during every pregnancy you have.

 

 

Q: What is the prenatal benefit?

A: The Prenatal Benefit is financial assistance for healthy food during your pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, live in Manitoba and have a net family income of less than $32,000 a year, you may be able to receive the benefit. You can start to receive monthly cheques after you’re 3 months pregnant until the month your baby is due.

 

 

Q: Who do I talk to about getting the prenatal benefit?

A: You can talk to your prenatal care team about the benefit when you go to your first visit. They can also help you apply for the benefit. To apply for the prenatal benefit, you need to fill out an application form that can be found here.

If you don’t have a printer, you can also pick up the form in medical offices, community agencies, and government offices, or from the Healthy Child Manitoba Office:

3rd floor – 332 Bannatyne Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3A 0E2

Phone: (204) 945-2266

Toll Free: 1-888-848-0140

 

 

Q: I can’t afford care, what do I do?

A: Prenatal care is free for residents of Manitoba.

If you need to get a Manitoba Health Card, contact:

Registration and Client Services
Manitoba Health

300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3M9

Phone: (204) 786-7101

Toll free: 1-800-392-1207

http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/mhsip/

If you don’t have a Manitoba Health card and you are an immigrant or refugee, you can still get some care. Mount Carmel Clinic has services for newcomers. Find out more about Mount Carmel on our list of sites for care.

 

 

Q: I can’t get to my appointments. What do I do?

A: There might be free transportation options to help you. If you don’t think you can get to your appointment, call the clinic and let them know. Ask to speak to a nurse and explain why you can’t get to your appointment. They can try to help you or find someone who can.

 

 

Q: I don’t have child care during my appointments. What do I do?

A: It is important that you attend your prenatal appointments. Most of the time, it is OK to take your children with you to the appointment.

Some places have child-minding available. For example, Healthy Baby/Healthy Start sites have child-minding available while you are at these programs.

 

 

Q: What if I miss an appointment?

A: If you miss an appointment don’t worry, you can always reschedule! Please call your health care provider to make another appointment.

 

 

Q: What are the Healthy Baby/Healthy Start groups? Do I get health care at them?

A: Healthy Baby/Healthy Start groups are community programs that help pregnant women and new parents connect with other parents, families and health professionals. These groups are fun and offer food, coupons and prizes. The sessions give you a chance to meet other pregnant women in your community, provide support and teach you important information and helpful skills for during and after pregnancy.

The staff at Healthy Baby/Healthy Start can assist you to access health care. As well, a midwife can provide prenatal care at these sites.

 

 

Q: Can I bring my partner to appointments or Healthy Baby/Healthy Start? Can I bring another family member or a friend?

A: Yes! You are welcome to bring anyone who you feel is helping with your pregnancy or who will be there when your baby is born and after.

 

 

Q: I don’t like needles. Do I have to get them?

A: As part of your prenatal care you will be offered blood tests. All the tests are done to make your pregnancy safer or to check that the baby is healthy, but you don’t have to have them if you don’t want to. Talk to your health care provider and get more information to help you decide.

 

 

Q: I live on the street. Can I get care? Where?

A: Yes, you can. Prenatal care providers will do their best to get you the care you need, regardless of where you stay.

Please check out our places for care.

 

 

Q: Will I be judged if I smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs?

A: No, you should not be judged for any reason. Your health care providers are there to care for you regardless of your substance use. They know that quitting drinking or using drugs in pregnancy can be incredibly difficult for some women and they can work with you whether you are able to quit or not.  They will work with you where you are at right now.

Being judged is not helpful, so if you ever feel judged or like you are not getting the care that you need, other health care providers are available to help. Visit our list of sites to get welcoming care.

 

 

Q: I am pregnant and I smoke. Do I have to quit? How do I cut back?

A: Your prenatal providers are there to help you, so talk to them about smoking. It’s your decision if you want to quit or cut back. Prenatal care providers want to work with you so you can get the care that you want and need. There are also some helpful links on cutting back or quitting.

 

 

Q: I am pregnant and drink alcohol. Can I go for prenatal care?

A: Yes, of course you can. Prenatal care is important for everyone. Prenatal care providers want to work with you so you can get the care that you want and need. By going for early and regular prenatal care you can get the support you need to work towards giving you and your baby a healthier start. Find out where you can get care in your area.

 

 

Q: I use drugs and I don’t think I can or will quit. What’s going to happen when I go for prenatal care?

A: It can be hard to talk about drug use any time, especially if you’re pregnant. Sometimes having someone to talk to who really listens can be a big help. Your prenatal care provider might be that person, or they might know someone who can be that person for you.

It is important to know that getting prenatal care can help, especially if you are using. Your health care providers will be able to closely monitor your pregnancy and make sure your baby is as healthy as possible. Check out our sites for care.

 

 

Q: Where can I go to get help with my drug and/or alcohol use?

A: Well, you’ve got a few choices. Get in touch with your health care provider to go over your options and what will work best for you.

Some of the places you can think about going include:

  • Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe / The Mothering Project 204-589-9409
  • Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre Insight Mentoring Program 204-925-3750
  • NorWest Co-op Community Health Insight Mentoring Program 204-940-6646
  • Or call the Manitoba Addictions Information Line 1-855-662-6605
  • There are more options on our resources page

If you want addictions treatment or counselling, your prenatal care provider can help find an option that is best for you.

 

 

Q: If I tell my prenatal care provider I am drinking or using drugs, will they report me to Child and Family Services (CFS)?

A:  Your prenatal care team want to support and plan with you for a healthy pregnancy. It is important for your medical care that your provider is aware of alcohol and other drug use. Contact with Child and Family Services is not always needed. Your prenatal care provider can help you plan for when your baby arrives.

 

 

Q: I’m afraid my baby will be apprehended, what should I do?

A: The goal is for you to have healthy pregnancy. Your prenatal care team would like to help you with all of your concerns. Should Child and Family Services become involved, your prenatal care team would like to help you plan with your CFS worker and support you through the process.

 

 

Q: I struggle with depression or anxiety, how can prenatal care help?

A: You do not have to be alone with this. Depression, anxiety or any mental illness can be really rough. Many people struggle with mental illness during pregnancy.

Your prenatal care provider can help you get treatment, counselling and support for any mental health issue. Please talk to your health care provider about this.

If this ever becomes a crisis, please call Mental Health Mobile Crisis Services at 204-940-1781.

 

 

Q: I feel like I can’t cope anymore or I’m having thoughts of ending my life. Who can I talk to?

A: If you feel like you can’t cope or are experience thoughts of suicide, phone the Manitoba Suicide line at 1-877-435-7170 to talk to someone who is trained to help.

 

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