When you discover that you are pregnant it is important to visit a health practioner (family physician, nurse practioner, or nurse) to get the information you need so you can make the best decisions possible.
You have three options:
The Student Wellness Centre has the resources and knowledge to assist you. The decision of what to do is up to you, but keep in mind that you only have a certain window of time before you may be limited in your options. Counselling is available for additional help.
Prenatal Care (Parenthood or Adoption)
When you know you are pregnant you should see a health practioner as soon as possible. This is because there are several important tests that can only be done during the early weeks of pregnancy; ideally, 8-11 weeks after your last menstrual period. Getting your medical care underway early will also ensure that you and your baby have the best possible start.
You can make a first appointment with your care provider or, if you do not have one, you can make an appointment with a health practioner at the Student Wellness Centre. They can provide you with prenatal care from 0-26 weeks and, after that, or at any other time that might be medically indicated, they can refer you to a specialist called an obstetrician and gynecologist, or a mid-wife. Student Wellness Centre offers medical services to all University of Saskatchewan students and their dependents.
When booking your appointment remember to tell the receptionist what the appointment is for so an appropriate amount of time can be scheduled.
How Often Should I Be Having Prenatal Appointments?
For a woman with a straight-forward pregnancy:
- For the first 30 weeks of pregnancy you should see your care provider every 4-6 weeks.
- From 30-36 weeks of pregnancy you should see your care provider every 2-3 weeks.
- After 36 weeks of pregnancy and until delivery, you should see your care provider every 1-2 weeks.
And of course, if you ever have any health concerns that arise between your appointments, don’t hesitate to make an additional visit to Student Wellness Cetnre or to your health care provider.
It is very helpful to book appointments as soon in advance as possible. At any scheduled meeting, you can schedule a next appointment.
What to Expect During Your First Appointment (0-14 Weeks)
This is an exciting and potentially scary time in your life. There is a lot of information the care provider will need from you, and to give you. Don’t be afraid to take along a piece of paper to write some of the information down, or to ask any questions.
You may be asked you to make two appointments to cover all of the things that need to be done during the early stages of pregnancy since there is quite a lot to go over.
It is important to be open and honest with all of the information that will be requested of you; all of which is important for you and your baby’s health.
Some Things You Can Expect to be Asked
- Date of last menstrual period
- History of any previous births, abortions, or miscarriages
- Your personal medical history
- Your family medical history, including the medical history of the baby’s father and that of his family
- Your lifestyle (alcohol, smoking, drugs, sexual history, diet, exercise, abuse)
- Any medication use, including prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and supplements
You Should Discuss the Following With Your Care Provider
- Prenatal genetic screening for Down Syndrome, trisomy 18, and neural tube defects
- Folic acid supplementation
- Estimated due date
- Your use of medications and supplements and their effect on your baby
- Alcohol cessation during pregnancy
- Tobacco use and exposure
- Use of any other substances
Tests and Measurements to be Expected
- A complete physical examination, including a pelvic exam
- Height, weight, and body mass index
- Blood pressure
- Listening to your heart and lungs
- Urine checked for urinary tract infection and sexually transmitted infection
- Ultrasound to determine gestational age and detect multiple babies, if deemed necessary
- Blood work to check your general health, immunization levels, blood type, and for sexually transmitted infection
You have every right to refuse a test but be sure to ask for an explanation of why it is important. This will allow you to make an educated decision about what is right for you and your family.
What to Expect During Your Next Visits
- Discussion about options on your preferences for maternity care – referrals will be made to a obstetrician and gynecologist or mid-wife if necessary or requested
- Discussion about your adjustment to pregnancy (mood, work, stress, and family)
- Discussion about financial, housing, and other supports
- Discussion of symptoms that you may be experiencing (e.g., nausea, vomiting, fatigue)
- Offerings of seasonal flu vaccination, when indicated
- Any tests that were not completed during earlier appointments
Routine Testing and Care That Should Occur During Each Visit
- Blood pressure measurement
- Fetal movement assessment
- Fetal heart tones listened to, after 10-11 weeks
- Weight measurement
For more information about the specific tests and measurements that have been mentioned above be sure to ask your health care provider.
Some decide they are not ready to raise a child at a certain point in their lives. They may decide that adoption is the best option. There are different types of adoption to choose from that range from completely private to fully open.
Adoption Support Centre Saskatchewan
Toll-free: 1-866-VOX-ASCS (1-866-869-2727)
While some women know right away what they will do, others aren't so sure. Some decide the best decision is to discontinue their pregnancy. Health Care Practitioners at Student Wellness Cetnre will confirm your pregnancy and offer you counselling. Student Wellness Centre staff can perform medical abortions and will refer you to another clinic for a surgical abortion.
The Saskatoon Community Clinic supports women's rights to reproductive choice and provides quality care in a supportive, safe and confidential atmosphere. No referral is needed. To make an appointment, call 306 652-0300 Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
The costs associated with termination are sometimes covered under the provincial health plan when performed in Saskatchewan (see below for others). Terminations can be performed up until the 16th week of pregnancy if performed in Saskatchewan.
- Saskatoon up to 12 weeks
- Regina up to 16 weeks
- Alberta up to 20 weeks (Edmonton 19 weeks; Calgary 20 weeks; covered by SaskHealth)
- Vancouver up to 23 weeks (not covered by Sask PHN)
- Toronto up to 23 weeks (not covered by Sask PHN)
- Some clinics in the United States up to 24 weeks (not covered)
There are two kinds of abortion – medical and surgical.
- Involves the use of medication to terminate the pregnancy
- Performed before 7 weeks (from the first day of your last regular period)
- Cost of medication may not be covered by insurance (maximum cost - $75)
- Not every woman is a good candidate for this method – your doctor will assist you in determining which method is best for you
Important to consider:
- This method of termination is considered to be a much more complicated process than surgical termination. Women who choose this option may do so because it is done a lot earlier in the pregnancy in comparison to surgical termination.
- Performed in a hospital – most women go home the same day
- First appointment with specialist will be a consult and assessment only
- The second appointment will be the actual termination procedure
Important to consider:
- Just like all surgeries, surgical termination carries some risks. Risks include possible bleeding, infection, and injury to tissue or surrounding organs. Though these complications are rare, you must contact your physician right away so that you can be treated effectively.
Resources and Supports
- Counselling Services
Mental Health Centralized Intake
- Adoption Support Centre Saskatchewan
Toll-free: 1-866-VOX-ASCS (1-866-869-2727)
- Saskatoon Sexual Health
- USSU Women's Centre just above Louis'