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Active Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
Ankle Sprains
Active Kids, Healthy Kids
Active Kids in Winter
Athletic Skin Infections
Children, Nutrition & Exercise
Beat the Heat!
Cold Weather Workouts
Concussions
Core Stability
Cross Country Skiing
Exercise and Disabilities
Exercise and Menstrual Irregularities
Exercise in the Cold
Exercise in the Heat
Exercise is Medicine
Exercise Options
Exercising in Pregnancy
Female Athletes
FITT Prescription
Footwear for Running
From Surviving to Thriving
Flexibility
Gadgets & Gizmos
Get Moving!
Get Motivated
Golf Exercises
Golf Injury Prevention
Head Injuries
Hockey Injuries
Home Gyms
Immunization
Jump Start Weight Loss
Knee Cap Pain
Knee Ligament Injuries
Live Actively
Low Back Pain
Osteoporosis & Exercise
Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Plantar Fasciitis
Prehistoric Workout
Prevention of Sports Injury
Proprioception
Recreational Safety Equipment
Running
Safe Snow Shovelling
Shin Splints
Ski Conditioning
Shoes & Fit
Sore Elbow
Sore Shoulder
Spinal Cord Injuries
Staying Active
Staying Fit in the Cold
Sports Nutrition & Supplements
Strength Training
Swimming Injuries
Teen Sports Injuries
Walking
Water and Exercise
Weight Training
7 Wonders of Walking
Adolescent Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Acne
Adolescent Behaviour Problems
Adolescent Growth & Development
Body Image
Body Piercing
Bullying
Chronic Diseases in Teens
Communications Skills
Concussion in Sport
Cosmetics & Skincare
Dangers of Artificial Tanning
Depression
Depression - Causes
Drug Use
Female Physical Exam
First Period
Internet Safety
Junior High
Mentoring to Quit Smoking
Mononucleosis
Parent-Teen Communication
Parent -Teen Interaction Patterns
Personal Care
Psychological Assessment
School Problems
Self Esteem
Self Esteem & Body Image
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Talking About Sex
Taking Chances
Tattoos
Teaching Respect
Teens & Smoking
Teenage Blues
Teen Bedwetting
Teen Drivers
Teen Girls
Teen Health
Teen Immunization
Teen Independence
Teen Rebellion
Teens & Divorce
Teenagers and Sexual Issues
Teens & Exercise
A Woman's Physical
Your First Job
Youth Violence
Childbirth
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
Birthing Etiquette
Birth Plans
Birthing Procedure Trends
Bleeding in Pregnancy
Breastfeeding Benefits
Caesarean Section by Request
Care for the New Mother
Cord Blood Banking
Delaying Motherhood
Blue after Baby or Postpartum Depression
Diabetes in Pregnancy
Eating Well for Pregnancy
Evolving Ideas about Pregnancy and Birth
Exercise in Pregnancy
Flying During Pregnancy
Folic Acid in Pregnancy
High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
Induction of Labour
Infections During Pregnancy
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
In-Vitro Fertilization
Low Birth Weight Babies
Medication & Pregnancy
Miscarriage
Managing Your Own Labour
Monitoring Your Labour
Nausea & Vomiting in Pregnancy
Pain Relief in Labour
Prenatal Classes
Preterm Labour
Planning a Pregnancy
Pregnancy Weight
Prenatal Care Providers
Postpartum Repetitive Strain Injuries
RH Disease
Rupture of Membranes Before Labour
Sex During Pregnancy
Skin Changes in Pregnancy
Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
Travelling While Pregnant
Ultrasound for Fun & Photos
Natural Remedies in Pregnancy
Vaccinations During Pregnancy
Vacuum & Forceps for Delivery
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
When Baby Comes Home
Childhood
Full Listing with story descriptions
Asthma in Children
Attention Deficit Disorder
Babysitter
Bed Wetting
Chickenpox
Childcare Options
Children's Headaches
Childhood Obesity
Choosing A Babysitter
Circumcision
Colds & Flu
Common Childhood Skin Infections
Croup
Developmental Milestones
Diaper Rash
Daytime Wetting
Introducing Solid Foods
Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
Diarrhea
Discipline
Earache
Eczema
Feeding Your Baby
Feeding Your Toddler
Fever
Head Lice
Hearing
How Children Grow
Hearing Loss
Hearing Issues in Newborns
Heart Murmers
Hip Clicks
Influenza
Iron
Is it an Emergency?
Children and Sports Injuries
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Learning Disabilities
Leg Problems
Not Just Baby Fat
Orthodontics
Preparing for Lab Tests
Recognizing Learning Disabilities
Red Rashes
RSV-Childhood Respiratory Virus
Safe Summer Fun
School
Scoliosis
Sick Toddler
Sleep Struggles
Sniffles, Fevers, Rashes & Coughs
Sore Throats
Speech Problems
Strep Throat
Toddler Safety
Thumbsucking
Tooth Injuries
Tummyache
Urinary Tract Infections
Vaccinations
Vaccination and Autism
When to go to the Doctor
Whooping Cough
Worried Sick
Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
Nutrition
Opioids
Pacing
Pain Medications
Prevention
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Children's Dental Injuries
Choosing a Dentist
Cosmetic Dentistry
Mouth Guards
Dental Exam
Dental Care Devices
Dental Caries
Dental Care Offshore
Dental Implants
Dental X-Rays
Dentures and Healthy Jaw
Esthetic Dentistry
Fluoride
Fluoride Findings
First Dental Visit
Headaches
A Healthy Mouth
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Jaw Joint and Muscle Problems
Keeping it Clean
Laser Use in Dentistry
Mouth Protection Equipment
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Healthcare
Oral health and long term care
Oral Health Care Products
Orthodontics
Orthodontist First Visit
Painless Dentistry
Periodontal Disease
Removable Dentures
Root Canal
Seniors Oral Care
Sensitive Teeth
The Smile You Want
Sore Mouth, Aching Jaw
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
Tongue Piercing
Tooth Whitening
Travel Dentistry
Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
Full Listing with story descriptions
10,000 Steps
A1C Test
Accurate Blood Glucose Testing
Alchohol and Diabetes
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Glucose Testing Tips
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Financial Support for Diabetes
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization & Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
Insulin Handling
Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Insurance
Ketones
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Metformin
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media & Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Walking
Wise Choices About Natural Medicines
Wonderful Water
Natural Medicines & Diabetes
World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
Full Listing with story descriptions
ADHD in Children
Allergic Rhinitis
Allergies
Antibiotic Use
Arthritis
Aspirin Every Day?
Asthma
Back Pain
Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
Birth Control
Bladder Problems
Blood Transfusions
Breaast and Prostate Cancer Screening
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Check-Up
Colon Cancer Screening
Contact Lenses
Contraception
COPD
Cost of Doctor's Visit
Diabetes Management
Diarrhea
Diagnostic Tests
Do I Need a Bone Density Test?
Doctor Visit
Driving Vision
Dizziness
Dealing with Dry Eyes
Does My Sore Knee Require an MRI?
Do I Need an Annual Physical?
Eczema
Electronic Medical Records
Epilepsy
Eye Exam
Family Doctor
Fibromyalgia
Floaters and Flashes
Food Poisoning
5 Ways to Stay Healthy
Gallbladder
Get Active!
Glare
Headaches
Healthcare Teams
Heart Health
Hemorrhoids
Hepatitis C
Human Papilloma Virus
High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure Risks
How to Talk to Your Doctor
Hypothyroidism
Insomnia
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Joint Replacement Surgery
Kidney Disease
Lazy Eye Blindness (Amblyopia)
Medical Digital Technology
Migraine
Meningitis
Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Myeloma
Obesity
Opioid Myths
Primary Healthcare Reform
Prostate Problems
Quitting Smoking
Red Eyes
Respiratory Tract Infections
Restore Your Core
Rosacea
Screening Tests
Shingles
Sinusitis
Special Diagnostic Tests
Stopping Stroke
Stroke
Superbugs
Thyroid
Ulcers
Urine Tests
Vaccination Controversies (ask the doctor)
Win by Losing
Urinary Tract Infections
Vision Flickers
First Aid
Full Listing with story descriptions
Bites and Stings
Burns
Choking
Cuts and Scrapes
Eye Injuries
Fainting and Convulsions
First Aid Travel Kit
Hypothermia and Frostbite
Nosebleeds
Poisoning - Household
Emergency Care Guidelines
Sunburn
Growing Older
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advance Care Plans
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Alzheimer Disease
Avoiding Memory Loss
Building Strength
Dementia and Agitation
Cataracts
Can I see Well Enough to Drive?
Cholesterol
Congestive Heart Failure
Coping with Dementia
Constipation
Controlling Medications
C.O.P.D.
Delirium
Dizziness (Vertigo)
Eating Well
Elder Abuse
Exercise Benefits
Erectile Dysfunction
Eye Care
Eyesight and Driving
Feet
Frailty
Fungal Nail Infections
Get Active!
Glaucoma
Grief
Have Health, Will Travel
Health Tips for Seniors
Hearing
Incontinence
Joint Replacement
Lab Tests
Living Longer With Diabetes
Macular Degeneration
Male Menopause (Andropause)
Maintaining Quality of Life as You Age
Memory Loss
New Corneal Treatments
Nutrition for Seniors
Osteoarthritis
Osteoporosis
Parkinson Disease
Problem Gambling
Prostate Health
Retirement
Seniors and Medications
Senior Sexuality
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Screening Tests
Seniors and Driving
Sleeplessness
Skin Structure
Skin Protection
Skin Over 50
Solving Sleep Issues
Staying Healthy
Stroke Prevention
Travel Tips for Snowbirds
Wills and Personal Directives
Modern Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
Abuse
Acupuncture
Adult ADHD
Aging and Memory
Alcohol and Your Health
Anger Management
Antidepressants
Barbecue Basics
Bathtub Safety
Binge Drinking
Bisphenol A
Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computer Stress
Coping With Change
Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Pesticides
Depression
Diabetes Epidemic
Discipline
Diseases from Pets
Downsizing
Dying at Home
Erectile Dysfunction New Treatments
Exotic Travel
Fertility Issues
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
Grief
Harassment
Healing Through Music
Healthy Computing
Humidex
Hypnotherapy
Ice Safety
Indoor Air Quality
Lymphedema
Mature Student
Melamine in Food
Middle Age Health
Mind-Body Connection
Mom Time
Money Matters
Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
Planning for End of LIfe
Reproductive Freedom
Safe Drinking Water
Schizophrenia
Smokeless Tobacco
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Soy
Stigma of Mental Illness
Street Drugs
Stressed or Depressed?
Stress in the Workplace
Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
Sunburn
Time Management
Travel Health Protection
Travel Comfort Tips
Travel Immunization
Understanding Change
Unplugging
Whiplash
Wind Chill Index
Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace Health
Nutrition
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Breakfast is Important
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter & Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits & Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
Fat Phobias
Fats & Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Fibre
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Iron
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits & Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Probiotics
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
Sodium
Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
Sugar Substitutes
Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
Tips for a SuperDiet
Understanding Food Biotechnology
Vacation Eating
Vitamins D
Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian Diet
Weight Loss
Weight Wise Tips
Pharmacy Care
Full Listing with story descriptions
After a Heart Attack
Adverse Drug Reactions
Adult Vaccinations
Allergy Attack
Antibiotic Overuse
New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
Arthritis Medications
Biologics
Biological Response Modifiers
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood Thinners
Calcium and Iron Supplements
Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
Choosing Sunscreens
Cold Relief
Cold Sores
Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
Drug Interactions
Emergency Contraception
Erectile Dysfunction
Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
Feminine Hygiene
Generic or Name Brand?
Heartburn
Heart Health
Insomnia
Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
Metabolic Syndrome
Natural Medicines
New Blood Thinners
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Obesity Medication
Over-the-Counter Drugs
Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
Packing Medications for Travel
Pharmaceutical Studies
Preventing Summer Hazards
Research Studies
Quit Smoking
Skin and Cosmeceuticals
Sports & Nutrition Supplements
Sunscreen
Taking Medication
Take as Directed
Using Antibiotics Wisely
Viagra
Vitamin D
Yeast Infections
Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
Prevention
Full Listing with story descriptions
Accident Prevention
Alcohol
Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bedbugs
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Caffeine
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
Chronic Disease Prevention
Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Distracted Driving
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
Meningitis
Norovirus
Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
Seniors and STIs
Should You Immunize?
Sun Safety
Surviving Disaster
Sushi Preparation
Teens, Drugs and Driving
Travel Health Considerations
Travel Medicine 101
Travel Tips
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Water Smarts
Vision Damage
Water Wisdom
West Nile Disease
Whooping Cough
Workplace Alcohol Abuse
Women's Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Anemia
Approaching Menopause
Birth Control
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
Breastfeeding Myths
Cervical Cancer Screening
Contraception
Contraception for Mature Women
Cosmetic Procedures
Cystitis
Endometriosis
Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
Fibroids
Heart Attack
Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The IUD
Menopause - What Men Should Know
Menstrual Bleeding - Abnormal
Menstrual Bleeding - Heavy
Menopause
Menstruation Myths
Menstrual Pain
Third Generation Birth Control Pills
Osteoporosis
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Oral Contraction (The Pill)
Pap Test
Premenstrual Syndrome
xx
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Urinary Incontinence
Vaginitis
Varicose Veins
Viagra for Women
Yeast Infections
Your Pelvic Floor
Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
Family Health Magazine - CHILDBIRTH

Questions about Pregnancy
Answers to common queries

When you become pregnant, you suddenly worry about the safety of things you’ve never thought twice about doing. Can I paint the baby’s bedroom? What about nail polish and hair dye? Can I travel by airplane? Is it okay to exercise? Maternity doctors and midwives hear questions like these every day.

Q. Can I paint the nursery?

Latex paints are safe to use in pregnancy. Oil-based paints should be avoided because they contain more organic solvents, which can cause birth defects in excessive concentrations. Don’t worry about brief exposure. Current research suggests that the risk of birth defects only rises with abusive sniffing or prolonged occupational exposure to oil-based paints. Even so, it is always a good idea to wear protective clothing and gloves while painting. Nausea may be made worse by paint fumes, so adequate ventilation is important.

Removing paint can be more harmful than applying it, especially if you live in a house built in the 1970s or earlier. In those days, indoor paints were lead-based. Peeling off this paint can release lead dust, which can be harmful to an unborn baby if inhaled in high concentrations by the mother. To reduce your risk, spend some extra cash and hire a professional to do the job.

Q. Is airline travel safe during pregnancy?

Air travel is safe for most pregnant women. There is no risk at any time in the pregnancy from altitude or cabin pressure. They will not cause labour to start. Nevertheless, airlines will not allow any pregnant woman to fly after 36 weeks (8 months) because she may go into labour naturally. Airline staff do not want to deliver a baby at 35,000 feet! If you are planning to travel by air, ask your doctor for a note to avoid problems at check-in. Once on board, walk the aisle every one to two hours to reduce the risk of developing blood clots in your legs.

Q. Can I use hair dye and nail polish?

Hair dye is safe in pregnancy. As with any chemical substance, use it in a well-ventilated space. Hair dye does not penetrate the scalp; it simply colours the hair shaft, so there is no risk to the baby. Other cosmetics and hair products, such as straighteners, nail polish, and perfume, are also considered safe.

Q. Can I go to a tanning salon?

Tanning beds are not recommended during pregnancy (nor should they be used by anyone, pregnant or not). There are other risks apart from the possibility of skin cancer which is not eliminated in tanning salons. Overheating may harm the baby. Also, as the baby grows, a woman should avoid lying directly on her back. The weight of the baby may cut down on the blood supply to both the placenta and baby. (Oxygen and nutrients pass from the mother to the baby through the placenta.) Tanning creams sit on the skin but do not penetrate it, and are safe to use in pregnancy. Sunscreens are also safe and should be used during pregnancy because hormonal changes make your skin more sensitive to the burning (UV-B) rays of the sun.

Q. Can I lift weights?

Exercise, including weightlifting, is encouraged throughout pregnancy, as long as you remember a few key points. Avoid holding your breath as you lift. If you find yourself holding your breath, decrease the weight. To ensure a good workout, increase the number of repetitions in each set if you do decrease the weight. Stay cool and well-hydrated through the workout. If you are thirsty, then you are already mildly dehydrated. Exercise in moderation. Never push yourself to exhaustion. Finally, avoid doing exercises while lying flat on your back after the first three months (first trimester). You may wish to avoid doing straight abdominal exercises, like crunches, late in pregnancy, as they may cause the muscles of the abdomen to separate. Some women have special health considerations that can possibly make exercise harmful. Check with your doctor if you plan to start an exercise program during your pregnancy.

Q. Are household cleaning agents harmful to the baby?

When used alone, all household cleaning agents are considered safe for use by pregnant women. Since fumes may cause nausea, make sure the area is well ventilated. If nausea is an issue, consider using natural cleansing agents such as baking powder or vinegar.

Q. Is it okay to have an x-ray during pregnancy?

Although x-rays are generally avoided in pregnancy, they are safe if needed for health reasons. For instance, a dental x-ray contains 0.01 millirads of radiation. You would need 50,000 dental x-rays to reach five rads of radiation, which is the currently accepted maximum limit in pregnancy. The American College of Radiology says that no single procedure for diagnosis results in a radiation dose that threatens the well-being of the developing baby. Nevertheless, the x-ray technician should always provide you with a protective lead apron during pregnancy.

Q. Is it okay to be near someone who has had radiation therapy for cancer?

Yes. There is no evidence that a cancer patient undergoing radiation therapy will give off enough radiation to harm a developing fetus. Those with radiation implant therapy are told to avoid prolonged close contact with pregnant women and newborns for the first four months after their procedure. (Close contact is within 1.5 metres for more than a few minutes.) These are very conservative recommendations, as the amount of radioactivity given off by these patients cannot be detected once the detector is one metre from the patient.

Q. Can I use insect repellent during pregnancy?

Natural insect repellents such as citronella oil are safe. Unfortunately, the best insect repellent available, DEET, is absorbed across the skin and is not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Q. Should I worry about the numb area at my upper abdomen?

Near the end of pregnancy, some women have a patch of numbness at the top of the abdomen. By this time, the uterus (where the baby is growing) may be sitting just under the ribcage. Stretching of superficial nerves wrapping around the body from the spinal cord is the likely cause of the numbness. It should go away once the baby is born.

Q. Can I have a flu shot while I’m pregnant?

There is no evidence to suggest any negative effects on the fetus in women who have had a flu shot at any stage in pregnancy. Health Canada recommends that pregnant women have the influenza vaccination after the third month of pregnancy.

Q. Is eating sushi harmful to the baby?

The issue here is that raw fish may contain tapeworm, which can affect your ability to digest food for your growing baby. Freezing raw fish kills tapeworms, as does cooking it. Most sushi restaurants use frozen fish these days. If you are ordering cooked fish, ask for it to be ‘well done.’

Q. Can I change the cat litter while I’m pregnant?

No. Pregnant women should not be changing the cat litter. Cat droppings may contain the single-celled parasite toxoplasma gondii. This parasite can cause an illness called toxoplasmosis. Cats get this parasite by eating infected birds or mice. In the fetus, toxoplasmosis is a serious illness. It can cause blindness, brain damage leading to mental retardation, and even death. An acute infection in children and adults usually has a mild course, with few or no symptoms. Fortunately, 25 to 35 per cent of women have already had the infection before pregnancy. There is no threat to the developing baby in these women.

Humans mostly get toxoplasmosis from contaminated food or water. The most common source of toxoplasmosis is raw or undercooked meat. It may also be found in unpasteurized dairy products. Precautions can be taken to ensure that you don’t become infected. Cook meat properly, wash your hands well after touching raw meat, and carefully wash utensils used in meat preparation. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Wear gloves in the garden, and wash your hands after gardening. Always wash or cook vegetables before eating. Have someone else change the cat’s litter box daily, and wash their hands well afterwards.

Q. Why am I so tired?

This is a common question at all stages of pregnancy. In the first three months, hormone changes, mood swings, nausea, and the need to pass urine frequently all contribute to fatigue. Most women need more sleep in the first trimester – 10 to 12 hours – and don’t always allow themselves the extra time. The second trimester (four to six months) is usually the best time in pregnancy. Women have more energy and some women feel better than ever. In the third trimester (seven to nine months), the baby is pushing not only on the bladder, but also on the stomach, ribs, ligaments of the pelvis, and lungs. Getting comfortable in bed can be a major challenge. There are many other reasons for fatigue. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned.

Q. Why am I so swollen?

Also common near the end of pregnancy, swelling is usually harmless and results from an increase in blood volume. Your body contains almost 50 per cent more fluid at the end of pregnancy. In some women, this extra fluids seeps into surrounding tissues, swelling the hands, feet, and face. Some parts of the body, like the carpal tunnel in the wrist, cannot accept too much extra fluid. Symptoms here include hand numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain. Fluid levels drop during the first few weeks after delivery and most symptoms related to swelling resolve on their own. Although swelling is usually harmless, it is sometimes associated with high blood pressure in pregnancy. Check with your doctor or midwife.

Q. Can I eat tuna when I’m pregnant?

The concern with tuna and other types of fish is high mercury levels. At high levels, mercury is a neurotoxin. It can harm the baby's developing brain leading to cerebral palsy. Not all fish contain dangerous levels of mercury. Canned tuna, for example, contains only a trace of mercury, and is safe in any amount. In addition, there are no restrictions on salmon, cod, pollock, sole, shrimp, mussels, and scallops. Limit the amount of shark, swordfish, and fresh and frozen tuna you eat to one meal per month.

Q. I’m so moody. Is this normal?

It can be. Hormone changes in the first trimester, along with nausea and fatigue, can make you feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster. It usually improves in the second trimester. Your body is experiencing more changes than at any other time in your life, and many women don’t have time to listen to the signals to slow down. Get extra help, hire a babysitter, run yourself a warm bath, and try to schedule some time every day just for you. Other factors, including whether or not the pregnancy was planned, financial stress, and planning for a major life change, can also play a role. Low mood can affect appetite, sleep, concentration, and energy. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned.

Q. It feels like my baby has hiccups. Is this okay?

You’re probably right. Hiccups are very common in the fetus and are harmless. They can go on for hours, and just as when you get hiccups, there is no good way to make them stop.

Q. If I lift my arms over my head will that cause the cord to wrap around the baby’s neck?

No. This is a great example of an ‘old wives’ tale.’ There is no evidence that putting your body in any position will lead to the cord becoming tangled around the baby’s neck, arms, body, or legs.

Q. Is it okay to sit in front of a computer screen during pregnancy?

Yes. There is no evidence that radiation from a computer screen is harmful to a pregnant woman or her developing baby. Similarly, there is no risk from microwave ovens.

Q. Can I have intercourse during pregnancy?

Yes. As long as you don’t have a placenta that is low down in the uterus (called placenta previa), or threatened pre-term (too early) labour, sexual intercourse is safe in pregnancy. Since the cervix has more blood vessels in it during pregnancy, some women experience mild spotting after intercourse. Always report any bleeding in pregnancy to your doctor or midwife.

Q. When should I begin my maternity leave?

This decision is different for every woman. It depends on the physical demands of your work, and whether you have any problems or concerns with your pregnancy. Jobs requiring heavy physical exertion may require an earlier maternity leave than a desk job. High blood pressure or pre-term labour may also require women to stop working earlier than planned. Maintain open communication with your employer throughout pregnancy to help prevent surprises. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not predictable and your plans may change suddenly depending on the circumstances.

These are just a few of the many questions women ask during pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor or midwife. They may not always be able to tell you why something happens, but can reassure you when it is nothing to be concerned about.

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FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
While effort is made to reflect accepted medical knowledge and practice, articles in Family Health Online should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specified medical problem or concern and Family Health accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. © Copyright 2015, Family Health Magazine, a special publication of the Edmonton Journal, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., 10006 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 2S6    [CB_FHc03]
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