You took the test. Positive! What now?
If you live in Halton (Oakville, Milton, Burlington, Georgetown, Halton Hills), here are some things to consider.
Who will provide care for me and my baby?
Throughout most of Ontario you can be followed by an obstetrician (OB-GYN), a midwife, or a family doctor depending on what’s available in your community as well as your medical history and your personal preferences. OHIP fully covers your care in all three of these scenarios but you can only have one prenatal care provider. If you choose to be cared for by a family doctor or a midwife and it turns out you need more specialized care, you’ll be referred to an obstetrician or another specialist.
If you have questions or concerns in early pregnancy, make an appointment with your family doctor. You can discuss your options and if you choose to seek the care of an obstetrician, you’ll need a referral from your doctor.
If you opt for a midwife, you don’t need a referral; you can apply through the midwives’ website. Midwifery care is in high demand in Halton Region and throughout the GTA so apply as early as possible! You’ll need to apply to the midwives group that serves your area:
- For Oakville, Milton or West Mississauga: Community Midwives of Halton
- For Milton or North West Mississauga: Hawthorne Midwives
- For Burlington: Burlington & Area Midwives
- For Georgetown, Halton Hills, Mississauga or Brampton: Midwifery Care of Peel & Halton Hills.
All three types of care providers can order the necessary ultrasounds and tests. Your tests will be conducted in either a hospital or a community clinic.
Where will I give birth?
Your choice of care provider will determine your options for where you can deliver your baby. Care providers (i.e. doctors and midwives) have hospital privileges (i.e. they are allowed to attend births) at specific facilities so if you would like your baby to be born at a certain hospital in your area, consider this when you choose a care provider.
Oakville is home to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Milton has Milton District Hospital, and Georgetown has Georgetown Hospital. Depending on which doctor or midwife cares for you during your pregnancy, Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington and Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga might be options for you as well.
Ontario midwives also attend home births for those who are eligible candidates. If you’re interested in home birth, speak with a midwife.
What else should I be doing?
Get your folate. If you’re not already eating folate-rich foods (dark green vegetables, corn, or legumes) or taking a folate supplement, Health Canada recommends supplementing with 0.4 mg of folate per day to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Neural tube defects are formed in the first four weeks of pregnancy so supplementing as early as possible, ideally before getting pregnant, is recommended. Speak with a doctor or a pharmacist about this for more information.
Get ready for the roller coaster of the first trimester! Fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, food aversions, constipation…you’ve heard it all. Whatever the first trimester looks like for you, just know that it won’t last forever. And hey…not everyone experiences a barrage of symptoms and you could be one of the lucky ones.
Consider seeking the support of a birth doula. It’s never too early to hire a doula. Although birth doulas tend to work more with you in the later stages of pregnancy, you’re more likely to get your first choice if you book early.
Fun/cutesy pregnancy stuff that you don’t *need* to do but you might want to for funsies. You know what I mean…you don’t *need* to brainstorm names, choose colours for the nursery or buy maternity clothes just yet but you do you, boo, if it makes you happy.
Finally, join this Facebook group!
Pregnancy and Parenting in Halton Region is an online community for mothers and mothers-to-be in Oakville, Milton, Burlington and Halton Hills who are expecting and/or parenting little ones. It’s a judgement-free zone for sharing experiences, tips and recommendations and supporting each other on our paths. Pregnancy and motherhood can be isolating and stressful but but it doesn’t have to be like that. Join us!