Our team assists substance-using pregnant and early-postpartum women achieve an optimum health to minimize the effects of alcohol, drugs, malnutrition, and neglect on themselves and their infants. We have five antepartum and six postpartum beds for women wishing to stabilize or withdraw from drug use during pregnancy. There is also a centralized nursery for babies in need of specialized treatment.
We help women and their newborns stabilize and withdraw from substances, keeping mothers and babies together whenever possible and continuing to provide care from antepartum to postpartum and between hospital and community.
Women at Fir Square have access to counseling and instruction to enhance critical life skills, parenting techniques, and coping mechanisms. Babies receive specialized care that meets their needs if withdrawing from prenatal substance exposure to ensure the healthiest possible start. Babies room with their mothers on the ward.
Our philosophy of care is one of harm reduction. Our aim is to help reduce substance use and risky behaviors that can cause harm to mothers and their babies. We support Mothers and their babies to safely stay together after they leave hospital, and help them to gain confidence with parenting.
We offer alcohol and drug counseling, assessment and support as well as a referral service as needed.
- Caring, non-judgmental support
- Assistance with finding housing
- Referrals to community services as needed
- Access to medical care
- Parenting groups
- Recreational and music therapy
- A First Nations Advocate available
- Spiritual Care
Working within a model of woman centered care, women participate and guide every aspect of their care and discharge planning.
Women and their babies are kept together on the ward, and women learn to care for their baby if the baby is withdrawing.
The FIR Triage Protocol was created in collaboration with the FIR interdisciplinary team, Sheway and the Provincial Perinatal Substance Use team. The purpose of the Triage Protocol is to provide the parameters in which equal access to care at FIR is provided to individuals who require and will benefit from services at FIR. This process will help connect women to care that are not admitted on the unit.
The FIR Patient Orientation Guide provides new patient information and resources to support newly admitted pregnant women in preparation for labour and delivery and afterbirth care.
We work in close partnership with community agencies such as the Sheway Downtown Eastside program providing support and prenatal care to pregnant substance-using women and women with children up to 18 months of age, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, and the alcohol and drug treatment system.
Research & EvaluationEvaluation is ongoing. Research is looking at three month outcomes.
Please contact us with any research inquiries:
Research Projects Manager, FIR Unit, BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre
The physicians and staff are available as a resource and for consultation and education in your community.