||Home > Services > Pregnancy, Birth and Newborns > Hospital Care > Labour & Birth
Labour & Birth
The delivery suite rooms provide a relaxing and personal place for you to labour and give birth. You will remain in this room until after your baby is born.
You may have a doula and other support people with you during your labour and birth. For your own comfort and rest, we suggest no more than two or three support people at any one time. If you need to give birth by a Cesarean, one support person may stay with you in the operating room if your doctors agree.
There is a telephone in each room. Please ask your family and friends to wait for your support person to call them with news about your labour and birth. Cellular phones are not permitted inside the hospital.
Families may bring cameras into the labour and delivery room. You may also use a hand-held, battery operated, video camera if you have the permission of all staff in the room. Videotaping is not allowed with Cesarean Birth, forceps, vacuum, or breech births or during emergency procedures.
Coming to the Hospital
- ALWAYS call your doctor or midwife before coming to the hospital. If you are unable to
reach him or her, contact the hospital at 604-875-3070.
- Remember to bring your British Columbia Care Card with you.
- When you arrive at BC Women's, enter through the Admitting Entrance. A nurse will meet you, check your condition, and ask you a few questions about your labour.
- Depending on your condition at that time, you will be cared for in one of the following ways:
- You will go directly to a Birthing Room or a Single Room Maternity Care room, or
- You will remain in the Assessment Room where members of the health care team will check your condition further, or
- You may be sent home if you are in very early labour and we feel it is better for you to be in your own home during this time. We will give you clear instructions about when to return to the hospital.
Pain Relief During LabourPain relief medication is not routinely given during labour, but is available with your doctor's or midwife's orders. There are many methods of pain relief, including breathing techniques, water therapy, body positioning, walking and massage, as well as medications (narcotics, nitrous oxide, epidurals).
Medication is available on your request with a doctor's or midwife's orders. Not everyone needs it.
Anesthesiologists are available 24 hours a day to help you choose medication methods for relieving pain.
You may wish to talk to an anesthesiologist about your pain relief choices for labour, birth and/or
Cesarean birth in advance. This can be arranged through the BC Women's Ambulatory Clinic. Ask your doctor or midwife to arrange an appointment.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean BirthBC Women's supports women who have a vaginal birth after Cesarean section (VBAC). If you have previously given birth by Cesarean section, we encourage you to consider a trial of labour with your current pregnancy. You should discuss this option with your doctor or midwife.
Cesarean BirthIf you are having a planned Cesarean birth, your doctor will pre-book your surgery date. You will be admitted to the hospital under the Day of Cesarean Birth Program, allowing you to come in on the date of your baby's birth.
Immediate RecoverySoon after you give birth:
An antibiotic ointment is normally placed on your baby's eyes within the first hour of birth.
- you will be given your baby
- his or her health will be checked
- he or she will be weighed and identification bands will be attached to his or her wrist and ankle.
Breastfeeding is usually started very soon after birth. You and your family will normally
remain together in the Delivery Suite for about two hours after your baby is born.
Babies who are premature or who have other health concerns may be cared for in the Intermediate Nursery. Babies who need more intensive care are treated in the Special Care Nursery. In both nurseries, parents are encouraged to spend time with their newborn and participate in his or her care.
After the BirthAfter your baby is born, you will move to a postpartum room on the 2nd floor. The BrightStart Bundle, a program to offer private rooms to new moms, is available.
We strongly encourage you to have someone stay with you throughout your hospital stay to support you and to learn about caring for your new baby. This support person must bring his or her own pillow, bedding, towels and pajamas.
Your baby will stay in your room with you 24 hours a day unless he or she requires extra care. Keeping your baby with you, with lots of skin to skin care will help your milk to come in quickly.
Routine tests and procedures on all babies will be done during the first days after birth. These tests will be done in your room and you will be encouraged to hold, feed and settle your baby during procedures such as blood tests. You should discuss these tests and procedures with your doctor or midwife
Special procedures are in place to protect the safety of your baby. You can help. Never leave your baby alone. Never give your child to anyone you do not know and who does not have proper hospital photo identification. Your nurse will discuss this with you.