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Health Conditions and Pregnancy

Last Updated: March 20214

Sometimes, specific health conditions arise before or during pregnancies. Some symptoms are part of a normal pregnancy. Learn about some conditions that may require you to see your healthcare provider.

Some pregnancy symptoms like nausea or vomiting and urinary problems are usually normal. Other symptoms can become more serious.

Healthy Weight and Pregnancy

Obesity can make it difficult to get pregnant. It also increases your risk of problems during pregnancy. Eating a variety of foods, being physically active and losing weight before pregnancy may help reduce this risk. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can eat well and keep active during pregnancy.

Your Health Conditions and Pregnancy

If you have a pre-existing health condition, or develop a condition when pregnant, it is important to talk to your health care provider. If you are taking medication for a condition, discuss if you need to change your treatment. Some medications can pose risks to your baby. Your health care provider could recommend changes like lowering dosage or tapering off medication.

Health Screenings

Health screenings can help you determine how to best manage your pregnancy. Some, like genetic testing, can indicate if you have an increased risk of passing on a disease to your child. These can also show if your fetus has a disorder, such as Down syndrome. Others can prevent infection in newborns through timely diagnosis and preventative measures. Screening for potential complications can help you decide what to do in the future. Check out First-Trimester Examinations and Tests to learn more.

Abnormal Health Conditions and Pregnancy

Discovering you or your developing baby has an abnormal health condition is worrisome. Severity of these health conditions during pregnancy can range from mild to life-threatening. If you have concerns about the impacts on your pregnancy, speak to a health care professional. You may have tests for genetic conditions. Other tests include:

Useful Resources

BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre Pregnancy & Prenatal Care
BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre offers comprehensive pregnancy and prenatal care, including specialized prenatal diagnostic services and care for those who needmore intensive monitoring and support. Learn more about Pregnancy & Prenatal Care.

Perinatal Services BC
Perinatal Services BC provides evidence-based perinatal information resources. They provide information on prenatal genetic screening. This screening can identify the chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect.