At least 30 per cent of patients experienced higher risk pregnancies, many of whom were referred to BCWH for specialist care from across the province.
Over the past decade, the medical needs of pregnant patients have increased due to increasing parental age and advancements in infertility treatment, and pregnancy and neonatal care.
In addition to offering general labour and delivery care, BCWH also offers specialist services to pregnant and birthing people with unique care needs. Of the 2023 births, 46 patients delivered their infants at the hospital's dedicated Families in Recovery program. This specialized program - the first-of-its-kind in Canada - provides care to people who use substances and are pregnant and/or parenting, as well as their infant, during pregnancy and delivery, and following birth.
Speaking about the birthing data, Dr. Janet Lyons, senior medical director and obstetrician at BCWH said, "Each year, our dedicated providers support individuals and families in welcoming thousands of infants into the world. Many of the most complex pregnancies and deliveries come through the doors of our hospital. I am extremely proud of the specialist care we offer to all patients, but particularly for patients with complex care needs. Our providers also invest significant energy advancing obstetrics education and training among learners and providers across the province. This improves the standard of maternity care not just within the walls of our hospital, but across the province."
Most infants who are born at BCWH are healthy and do not require specialist care. A small number, who may have a congenital condition or are born prematurely, require specialist care led by BCWH's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Throughout 2023, the NICU provided care to 985 infants from across BC and the Yukon. This is an increase of approximately two per cent when compared to 2022 (966).
For further information about maternity services, including the FIR program and the NICU, visit bcwomens.ca/our-services.