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The BC Women’s Antepartum Unit helps pregnant women who need specialized care for themselves and/or their unborn babies. Our goal is to help women have healthy pregnancies, births, and babies.
Our staff of experienced, competent and caring nurses work in teams of four people. As your advocates, they will answer your questions, lift your spirits, coordinate care, and communicate your needs to your family.
Teaching & Research
BC Women’s Hospital is a teaching hospital. We have a responsibility to teach students from many health professions. These students are always under the supervision of a fully qualified staff. When you agree to having a student accompany your physician or nurse, you play an important and essential part in preparing the health care team of tomorrow.
The unit provides these services:
- Antepartum care in the hospital
- Antepartum home care
Antepartum Care in the Hospital
Approximately two thousand pregnant women needing specialized care are admitted to the Antepartum Unit each year. The length of stay may be hours for some women to months for others.
Who needs antepartum care?
Pregnant women with concerns about:
Women with a medical or surgical concern:
- Preterm labour (contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
- Premature rupture of membranes (unexpected “water bag” leak)
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes management
- Small than expected baby growth
- Multiple pregnancy (more than one baby)
- Polyhydramnious (more than the normal amount of fluid around the baby)
- Fetal conditions (e.g. cardiac concerns, anemia)
- Ongoing hyperemesis (constant nausea and vomiting)
Your Midwife or Family Doctor, in consultation with an Obstetrician or Perinatologist, will continue to care for you while you are involved with the Antepartum Unit. A Resident (a doctor specializing in obstetrics) may also help in your care. The Resident is available twenty-four hours a day.
- Chronic pain (e.g. back pain)
- Kidney conditions
- Cardiac/lung conditions
- Physically challenged (e.g. paraplegia)
- Post surgical procedures during pregnancy
Antepartum Home Care Antepartum Home Care provides care at home for women with special pregnancy needs. Approximately 170 women use this service every year. The goal of the program is to help women with select complications have a safe pregnancy at home with their families and have a healthy birth and baby.
What do the Home Care Nurses do?
Home Care Nurses are available for advice:
- Help you understand the special needs of your pregnancy
- Teach you to monitor your own health and the baby's health
- Help you plan your day
- Phone daily
- Visit you regularly to assess you and your baby
- Report to your doctor/midwife when needed
- Answer your questions about pregnancy, labour, and birth
If you need help outside the service hours, you can contact your doctor or midwife.
- Seven days a week
- 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Each visit will last about one hour. If you need extra time, you can arrange this with the nurse before the visit.
Is this "care" for you?
Do you need hospital care because you have:
Other questions are:
- high blood pressure
- preterm labour
- early rupture of membranes
- a small growing baby
If you answered "Yes" to the above questions, ask your doctor/midwife if "Home Care" is for you.
- Do you speak English or are you with someone that does?
- Do you live within thirty minutes travel time from the hospital?
- Do you have family and/or friends that can help with everyday chores?
- Do you have a phone?
Is this care at home safe for you and your baby?
Yes, many programs across North America have shown that helping families stay together, with support from a Home Care Team, is better for the families and is as safe as hospital care.
Who is the Home Care Team?
How can your family help you get the rest and care you need?
- A group of nurses with special skills and knowledge of pregnancy.
- Your own family doctor/midwife or obstetrician
They can help by:
- doing the housework, shopping, cooking, and washing
- looking after the other children
- Antepartum Care at Home Program at Surrey Memorial, Surrey, B.C. – serving women in the Fraser Valley
- Antepartum Care at Home Program at Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, B.C. – serving women in Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam.
Contact UsAntepartum Home Care Program
4500 Oak Street, Rm 2P56A