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Find a Maternity Care Provider

Pregnancy care has been shown to improve the health and wellbeing of both pregnant people and their babies.

You will find information on this webpage on eligibility to give birth at BC Women’s Hospital and details on how to select your maternity care provider, including the key factors to consider when making this decision. 

If you have general questions about selecting a suitable maternity provider, please speak to your primary care clinician, such as a family doctor or nurse practitioner.  

Who is eligible to give birth at BC Women's Hospital 
  • Individuals who live in Vancouver
  • Patients who have previously delivered at BC Women's Hospital
  • Self-identified Indigenous people
  • Individuals with type 1 diabetes
  • All triplet pregnancies  
  • Complicated twin pregnancies
  • Patients receiving care through our Maternal Fetal Medicine service
  • BC Women's Hospital employees and/or their partners
Note:  As with all BC maternity hospitals, patient eligibility is adjusted each year to meet changing community needs. If you have queries about your eligibility, speak to your primary care provider or referring doctor/nurse practitioner for guidance.

How to select your maternity care provider

In general, pregnant people choose one type of care provider for their pregnancy and postnatal (post-delivery) care. Provider options include obstetricians, midwives or family doctors. Between providers, there are differences in the services offered to patients and their infants.

Some factors to consider when selecting your maternity provider include:

  • Labour and delivery location options- at home or in hospital, including waterbirth options;  
  • Clinic location- most routine pregnancy care is offered outside of BC Women's Hospital; you may prefer to select a provider who has a clinic located in your community;
  • Postpartum (post-delivery) care- the level of provider care following delivery may vary; if you have questions, raise this with your provider of choice to ensure you are clear on available services;
  • Pregnancy risk- if you have a higher risk pregnancy including type 1 diabetes, complex medical needs, a multiple infant pregnancy, concerns with the placenta placement or function, or infant medical concerns, you may be referred to an obstetrician for care.
Care provider options

Midwives provide comprehensive care for pregnant people during healthy, low-risk pregnancies. They also support the new parent and their newborn for the first six weeks postpartum (post-delivery). The majority of midwives offer the choice of both home or hospital birth, including waterbirth.

Midwives usually work in small groups. Prenatal visits tend to be lengthier compared to physician appointments. Midwives are primary care providers that specialize in low-risk pregnancy, birth and post-partum care. 

If pregnancy or labour and delivery becomes higher risk, midwives may consult with specialists, such as obstetricians. For example, if an assisted vaginal delivery or C-section is required, an obstetrician will perform the procedure.

Some family physicians provide maternity services for both patients of their practice and patients referred to their office for pregnancy care. Care options may include pregnancy/prenatal care only, or both pregnancy/prenatal care and delivery.

Most family physicians provide maternity care in groups that care for patients and their newborns for the duration of the pregnancy and the first six weeks post-delivery After this time, patients and their newborns return to their regular family physician or nurse practitioner. Family physicians deliver infants in the hospital setting. They do not offer home birth options to patients.

Family doctors manage routine medical concerns that arise during pregnancy, including issues unrelated to pregnancy. They attend routine/normal deliveries, and may perform vacuum deliveries in some cases, if required.

Obstetricians are physicians who have completed five years of additional training in obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetricians have the clinical expertise to manage pregnancies from low-risk through to high-risk and multiple infant pregnancies. They also offer all types of delivery . 

Obstetricians deliver infants in the hospital setting only. Home births and waterbirths are not available to their patients. The obstetricians at BC Women's Hospital work together to provide 24/7 on-site coverage. Deliveries and all other emergency care is delivered by the on-call obstetrician, with the exception of planned C-sections, which are typically done by a patient's chosen obstetrician.

Newborn care in hospital is provided by the pediatrician on-call, and then returns to the patient's primary care provider, such as their family doctor or nurse practitioner, in the community.  Alternatively, postpartum midwifery care is available, by referral, for the first six weeks following delivery.

Other support services

You will find a range of websites listed below with details of providers who offer maternity care. While these websites are not managed by BC Women's Hospital, these providers have clinical connections to our hospital, including providing labour and delivery care.

Some community health facilities offer a hybrid model, where a range of providers including nurses and physicians, provide care to a pregnant person and their infant from pregnancy through to six weeks postpartum.


Doulas are labour support people.  Their main duty is to provide a continuous source of comfort, encouragement and support to patients during labour. Postpartum doulas can assist with newborn care and breastfeeding.  They are generally hired on a private fee-for-service basis. For further information: Doula Services Association of BC.

Families in Recovery

Families in Recovery (FIR) is a dedicated service at BC Women's Hospital that supports pregnant people and new parents who use substances. Pregnant people can self-refer by calling the FIR unit directly at 604-875-2229 and request to speak with the Patient Care Coordinator or Social Work Lead. 

Providers who wish to refer a patient to this service may submit a referral form via fax at 604-875-2221.

SOURCE: Find a Maternity Care Provider ( )
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