101 Lerwick Rd
If you may be pregnant and are considering your options, you can find more information on the Unexpected Pregnancy page.
Register with the Right From The Start program early in your pregnancy.
A healthy baby begins before birth with a healthy mother:
In British Columbia, family doctors or midwives provide prenatal health care. Both types of care are covered under the Medical Services Plan. If your family doctor does not provide maternity care, he or she will refer you to a doctor accepting maternity patients.
If you need specialized care during your pregnancy, your maternity doctor will refer you to an OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) doctor.
Visit these links for more information:
By making regular visits to a doctor or midwife you ensure you and your baby are as healthy as possible and any dangers or complications are discovered as early as possible.
Once you have confirmed your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife will let you know when to schedule appointments for your prenatal care.
Prenatal visits to a doctor or a midwife should be scheduled about once per month in the first and second trimesters and more often in the third. It may be helpful to have a partner or birth support person with you at prenatal care visits since they are part of your prenatal care and birth support team.
If you are new to your midwife or maternity doctor, you will be asked for a complete medical history at your first visit.
At each visit, you will give a urine sample, have your blood pressure taken, and be weighed and measured. Your care provider will also allow you to listen to the baby’s heartbeat when it becomes loud enough to hear.
At each visit, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and talk to your care provider about any concerns you have. You may want to write your questions down before your visits.
Depending on your medical history and current health, your doctor or midwife may request a variety of tests. These can include blood type, RhoGAM, glucose, HIV, hepatitis B, some sexually transmitted diseases, and Group B Streptococcus testing. An amniocentesis may be conducted to detect birth defects. Non-stress tests and fetal movement counting help monitor the health of your baby.
Prenatal care involves planning for the birth. Discuss your options, plans, and wishes with your care provider.
Ultrasounds are commonly performed once or twice throughout the course of a pregnancy. What is an ultrasound and when it is done? For answers to frequently asked questions, read our Ultrasound Fact Sheet
Every birth is guided by choices but governed by circumstances. This section contains planning information and resources to help you prepare for labour, birth, and welcoming your baby into the world.
The members of the birth team and their roles are similar for each mother and each birth. The following is a general guide to the people who may assist with your home or hospital birth.
Mother and Baby - You and your baby are the most important members of the birth team.
Birth Support Person - A birth support person provides emotional support and helps with relaxation techniques and comfort measures. Some mothers wish to have more than one birth support person. Hospitals may have a limit on the number of personal support people that can attend your labour and delivery.
Doula - A doula is a trained labour support person hired by some mothers to share experiences and knowledge before, during, and after the birth. Doulas charge a fee (not covered by MSP).
Labour Nurse / Registered Nurse - Your labour nurse is assigned to you when you are admitted to the hospital. She or he will provide care throughout your labour by assessing your stage of labour, monitoring your progress, checking your vital signs, and monitoring the baby’s heart. Your labour nurse also assesses your pain and provides comfort measures, which may include position changes, warm blankets, massage, and verbal/emotional support and coaching. The nurse works with your midwife and doctor, and maintains frequent contact, to provide care during your delivery. Depending on hospitals shifts, your labour nurse may change.
Midwife - You will likely call your midwife at the first signs of labour. Generally, your midwife will meet you as soon as necessary at home or at the hospital. Your midwife works with you to manage your labour. She will assess your stage of labour, monitor your progress, check your vital signs, and monitor the baby’s heart. She will also assess your pain and provide comfort measures and verbal/emotional support and coaching. Providing your labour progresses well, your midwife will deliver your baby. At any sign of complication, your midwife will move you to a hospital, if you are not already there. There she will work with a physician or specialist, as your birth requires.
Doctor - You should notify your doctor when your labour has progressed far enough that you are heading to the hospital. When she or he arrives in the labour and delivery unit depends on the individual, the progress of your labour, and any other circumstances. Once at the hospital, he or she will assess your progress and be available if any difficulties arise. You may be seen by resident physicians at the hospital, in additional to your maternity doctor. Your labour nurse will be in frequent contact with your doctor and, when necessary, will ask your doctor to return to the delivery room. Your doctor will consult a specialist to assist with your birth when necessary.
Specialists - At various times during labour and delivery, you may see an obstetrician, an anaesthesiologist, and/or a pediatrician. Your doctor or midwife may consult with an obstetrician about your care if any difficulties arise. If you require a caesarean birth, an obstetrician and a doctor will perform the delivery. An anesthesiologist will administer an epidural, if required for pain relief in labour or for anesthetic for a caesarean. Your doctor or midwife may consult with a pediatrician if your baby needs special care.
The best approach to birth planning is to discuss your hopes, wishes, and plans cooperatively with your doctor or midwife. A formal, written birth plan is not necessary but it can be a useful way to communicate your plan with your labour nurse or another doctor/midwife if your care giver is not on call.
A birth plan includes deciding where you would like to deliver your baby, at home or in your local hospital. It can include the types of comfort measures you want available (massage, warm baths, etc.) and the options you prefer for pain relief.
Questions to ask your midwife or doctor:
We believe people heal best when surrounded by family and friends. As such, we welcome visitors and do not impose limited visiting hours at our hospitals. In certain situations, care staff may regulate the number of visitors and length of visits based on patient needs and/or requirements of the unit. Read our visitor guidelines.
A pre-admission package is available from the Central Vancouver Island Health Unit, or the admitting department of the hospital. Pre-registration helps the hospital process your admission and address your accommodation preference. Call 250.755.3308 to arrange a tour of the department.
Preregistration for your birth can be done any time prior to to admission. You may want to do this during your hospital tour. Private room request forms can be filled out at that time. Call 250.727.4212 to arrange a tour of the department.
You are ready. You have a plan for your labour and birth. The following is a short guide to a “typical” labour and birth.
Labour is divided into three stages.
If you think you are in labour, call your doctor or midwife. If you cannot reach your doctor or midwife, call the labour and delivery unit of your hospital.
(Source: Having Your Baby at Victoria General Hospital pamphlet.)
101 Lerwick Rd