If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to know how to care for yourself before, during and after your pregnancy.
Last updated: June 30, 2022
On this page:
- Information and resources for pregnant people
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Depression during and following pregnancy
Having accurate information will help you to make the best choices so that you, your child and family can be as healthy as possible.
For reliable information about pregnancy planning and having a healthy pregnancy visit:
- HealthLink BC information about pregnancy and parenting
- The Pregnancy HUB to find pregnancy outreach programs
There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink alcohol. All types of alcohol can be harmful for the pregnant people and their fetus.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the harms caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol can affect the fetus at any time during the pregnancy, resulting in physical, mental, behavioural and/or learning disabilities. FASD can be prevented if pregnant people do not drink during pregnancy.
It is never too late to cut down and stop drinking during pregnancy. Information and resources are available to help you:
- HealthLink BC offers confidential health information and advice. Call 811 or review information on pregnancy and alcohol abuse
- Here to Help provides easy-to-understand self-help resources on mental health and addictions
- For resources, support and treatment, contact the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service on 1-800-663-1441 (toll-free) or 1-604-660-9382 (Lower Mainland). The service is confidential, multilingual, free, and available 24 hours a day
Breastfeeding is a healthy first choice for you and your baby. It provides all the nutrition your baby needs in the first 6 to 12 months of life.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. Talk to your doctor, midwife, public health nurse or lactation consultant about breastfeeding and infant nutrition. You can also call 811 to speak with a registered nurse or dietitian.
It takes time and practice for you to feel comfortable with breastfeeding your baby. People are more successful at breastfeeding when they are in a supportive environment.
Find information and resources about breastfeeding:
- HealthLinkBC offers information, support and videos about breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding Buddy is a web-based tool that provides helpful information, how-to videos and links to public health support and other resources
Depression can occur during pregnancy as well as after the baby’s birth. Perinatal/postpartum depression affects as many as 1 in 5 people in B.C. who have been pregnant.
People who experience perinatal depression may have difficulty bonding with their baby or caring for themselves and their infant. Untreated depression can have serious long-term consequences for your health.
Partners of people experiencing depression may also become depressed. Treatment, medical care and non-judgmental supports are available for everyone:
- Call the Pacific Post Partum Support Society on 1-604-255-7999 (Lower Mainland) or 1-855 255-7999 (toll-free), Monday to Friday 10 am to 3 pm
- Reproductive mental health information and self-care guides are available for people experiencing depression during and after pregnancy
- Call the B.C. Crisis Line on 310-6789, 24 hours a day Crisis lines are not only for people in crisis. You can call for information on local mental health or substance use services or if you just need someone to talk to
- Call HealthLink BC on 811 for confidential health information and advice, or view online information about perinatal depression and postpartum depression