Other types of care
You can see a dentist during pregnancy, but be sure to let him or her know you’re expecting.
Generally speaking, there is no problem with receiving dental care during pregnancy. However, your dentist may suggest that non-emergency treatments be postponed until after delivery.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your eyes dry and cause discomfort. Your optometrist can recommend the appropriate treatment.
Your vision can also fluctuate while you are pregnant, which means your glasses or contact lenses may no longer be suitable for your vision. If this is inconvenient, you can consult an optometrist to obtain a temporary prescription.
Your vision will stabilize in the months after the birth. It is advisable to wait six to nine months after delivery or until you stop breastfeeding before obtaining a new prescription.
However, if you experience sudden vision loss, or if your vision suddenly becomes double or blurry, you should see a doctor promptly (see Severe headaches, upper abdominal pain, or sudden changes in vision).
You may occasionally require x-rays during pregnancy. If you need to have an x-ray, be sure to tell your doctor or dentist that you are pregnant. He or she will be able to determine whether the benefits of the x-ray outweigh the risks for you and your fetus. If you do have an x-ray, tell the medical technician that you are pregnant so that he or she takes all possible safety precautions, like having you wear a lead apron, for example.
At your first prenatal appointment, let your health professional know if you had any x-rays before learning you were pregnant.
Flu (influenza) vaccine
Pregnant women in the second and third trimester are more likely to suffer flu complications or be hospitalized. They may also transmit the flu to their baby. That is why it is recommended that you get the flu vaccine if you are 13 weeks pregnant or more. If you have a chronic health condition, you should get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, regardless of your stage of pregnancy.
Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract that can be serious for young babies. It is recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated against pertussis. The vaccine is usually given between 26 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. It protects you and your baby during the first few months of baby’s life. The vaccine must be repeated for each pregnancy.
Contact with people with a contagious disease
Some pregnant women may come into contact with people, especially children, who have contagious diseases. For healthy adults and children, many of these diseases will go undetected or have no serious consequences. However, they can affect pregnant women, the pregnancy, or the fetus.
To reduce the risk of contracting a contagious disease, see Preventing infections.
If you feel sick or have any physical signs that suggest you’ve caught one of these diseases, see a doctor promptly. As a precautionary measure, inform the healthcare facility before you arrive.
If you don’t feel sick but you think you have been in contact with someone who has a contagious disease, read the next pages for some advice.
If you think you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, call Info-Santé (8-1-1).
Pertussis (whooping cough)
If you’ve been in contact with someone who has pertussis (whooping cough) in the 4 weeks before your due date, see a doctor.
CMV can cause a number of problems in unborn children. It is mainly transmitted by young children, even if they don’t appear to be sick. You can reduce the risk of infection by following the guidelines on page Preventing infections. For more information, visit cmvcanada.com.
Fifth disease (also known as erythema infectiosum or parvovirus B19 infection)
About half of the adults in North America contracted fifth disease in their youth, which protects them against reinfection later in life. If an unprotected pregnant woman contracts fifth disease, there is a chance the fetus may become infected. In rare cases, she could miscarry.
The risk of complications is greatest before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The risk is much lower after. If you come into contact with someone with fifth disease, talk to your health professional. He or she will be able to assess your situation
Rubella (German measles)
Thanks to vaccination, rubella is very rare in Québec. If contracted, however, rubella can cause complications for the pregnancy and the fetus. If you think you have been in contact with someone with the disease, see a doctor.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. Pregnant women with measles can have a more serious form of the disease. They also are at greater risk of miscarrying or not carrying their baby to term.
If you think you have measles or have been in contact with a person with measles, promptly contact your doctor, CLSC, or Info-Santé to have someone assess your situation.
Thanks to vaccination, pregnant women in Québec have little exposure to chickenpox. When chickenpox is contracted, it can cause complications for the mother and baby. Here is what you should do if you come into contact with a person with chickenpox:
- If you are vaccinated against chickenpox or have already had the disease, your baby is generally not at risk.
- If you are not vaccinated, have never had chickenpox, or aren’t sure if you’ve had it, see a doctor within 48 hours. If you were born in North America, there is a more than 90% chance that you are protected.
Other contagious diseases
If you come into contact with a person with one of the following contagious diseases, there is no particular danger for your pregnancy or your baby: roseola, hand‑foot-mouth disease and scarlet fever. If needed, consult a doctor.
If you are worried you had sexual relations that put you at risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI) during your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to tell your health professional (see Vaginal swabs). STI screening is confidential.
At all times, Info-Santé (8-1-1) can advise you on what to do.
Anemia: Condition that can lead to severe fatigue, often caused by a lack of iron in the blood.
Antibodies: Substances made by the body to fight off disease. Also called immunoglobulins.
Contagious disease: An infectious disease that is transmitted from person to person.
Fetus: Developmental stage of a human being in its mother’s womb, from 10 weeks of pregnancy until birth.
Miscarriage: A spontaneous abortion, which can have a variety of causes (e.g., a deformity or disease).
Sexually transmitted infection (STI): Infection caused by a bacteria or virus transmitted through sexual contact.