Holiday HoursBoth Atwell locations are closed December 23 – January 2nd. We will reopen for regular hours at Hamilton on January 2nd and Oakville on January 3rd.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please go to your nearest walk in clinic or emergency room. 

Merry Christmas from the Atwell team!

Signs & Symptoms Of Common Pregnancy Complications

Signs & Symptoms Of Common Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy is a period filled with anticipation and the navigation of new physical and emotional realities. Whether planned or unplanned, there are numerous logistics to organize, health considerations to keep in mind, and appointments to keep. As you adapt to the approach of motherhood, it is critical to be aware of your own health and the health of your unborn child. Pregnancy complications can put both of you at risk, and it’s essential to be able to recognize and address them as quickly as possible in case they arise.

At Atwell Centre: Pregnancy Support Options in Hamilton and Oakville, we are here to support you (and your partner) throughout the pregnancy journey. We offer education and guidance around pregnancy options and referrals to community resources and are always available to answer your questions. Below, we’ll explore some of the more common pregnancy complications as well as how to recognize and address them during your pregnancy:

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy affects approximately 46 out of every 1,000 Canadian women. It is important to monitor your blood pressure levels regularly throughout the second half of your pregnancy and watch for symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision or seeing spots
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased urine output
  • Pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, near the liver

High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a condition known as preeclampsia, which can be life-threatening if untreated. Risks associated with this condition include seizures and preterm labour.

Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure can affect women of all ages and backgrounds, but is most common in teenagers, women over the age of 40, obese women (BMI over 30), and women with a history of hypertension.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs due to high blood sugar during pregnancy. The rates of gestational diabetes have been increasing in the Canadian population in recent decades, and all pregnant women are tested for the condition. Gestational diabetes is usually manageable with diet and exercise but may require medication in more severe cases. It usually resolves once the baby is born.


Viral and bacterial infections during pregnancy can contribute to negative outcomes, including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects, maternal health complications, and more. It is vital to be aware of and treat any infections that arise during pregnancy exactly as recommended by a medical professional.

Common infections during pregnancy may include:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Yeast infections
  • Group B Strep infections
  • Bacterial Vaginosis

If you suspect you have an infection of any kind while pregnant, seek medical advice immediately.


Always report bleeding during pregnancy to a healthcare provider immediately. Bleeding late in pregnancy can be a sign of a vaginal or cervical infection, placental problems, or preterm labour.

Depression and Anxiety

Mental health issues are not uncommon during pregnancy. Depression and anxiety can negatively impact both you and your unborn child and should be addressed proactively. Even if you’re not experiencing distressing thoughts or feelings, speaking with a counsellor or mental health professional is a good idea during pregnancy. At Atwell Centre, we have staff available to support you and can also refer you to other mental health service providers.

Pregnancy Testing in Hamilton

If you are seeking Hamilton pregnancy testing or further information about pregnancy options, pregnancy complications, or sexual health, make an appointment at Atwell Center: Pregnancy Options Support today. We look forward to meeting you.

Atwell Info

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