In an era where patients have access to a myriad of information, we encourage women to take an active role in their care by keeping themselves well-informed; however, it is important to choose our resources well and make sure they offer objective and accurate information. We have compiled information and links to various websites below that we think will be helpful to you.
BC Women's hospital is the only facility in British Columbia that provides a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary services for women and their newborns. It is adjacent to BC Children's hospital, British Columbia's primary referral center for children across the province that need expert care. Together, they house the province's leading experts in women's and children's health and provides the safest environment for you and your baby.
Click on the link above to go to the BC Women's website to find more information about your care at BC Women's Hospital and take a virtual tour.
There are many prenatal classes offered in various locations all around the lower mainland. Find one that fits into your needs. Prenatal classes give you information about what to expect from the labor and delivery process. You can also gather valuable information that can serve as starting points for conversations with your Terra physician regarding different aspects of your prenatal care, and options during labor and delivery. Many prenatal classes are offered as either a weekend course or a weekly series.
offers private home classes, as well as group classes.
runs classes in the Vancouver downtown area.
The Roundhouse community center in Vancouver offers prenatal classes as well as prenatal dance, yoga, pilates, etc.
offers links to different websites that offer different prenatal classes like hypnobabies, lamaze, etc.
Sylvia Chang, one of our excellent labor and delivery nurses at BCWH offers prenatal classes in Mandarin.
There are many more available in the community. Make sure you find one that is right for you!
Prenatal genetic screening is available to pregnant women. It is done with blood tests that will tell you your chance that your baby will be born with Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and open neural tube defects.
BC Genetic Screening Program
MSP covered genetic screening options, and private-pay options are reviewed on this website.
Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)
Information is available on the Lifelabs page about the private-pay NIPT option for prenatal genetic screening.
Doulas are women who offer non-medical support to you and your family during labor, childbirth and the post-partum period.
Vancouver Coastal Health : Public Health Prenatal Program 1-855-550-2229
This service exists for pregnant women under 24 years old, those who have a low income, or those who have concerns about how they are going to cope with their baby.
Healthiest Babies Possible
public health program serves
This is a service for expectant moms who are residents of Vancouver and Richmond. They offer nutrition and lifestyle counseling to promote a healthy pregnancy. They also hope to reduce the incidence of low birth weight babies among high risk pregnancies. Their staff includes dietitians, public health nurses and support workers fluent in 14 different languages. A quick Google search of Healthiest Babies Possible will bring you to the VCH page for this program, that includes a self-referral form.
Canadian Blood Services Public Cord Blood Bank
The Canadian Blood Services website gives you information about the benefits of donating your baby's cord blood to the public bank. Let your physician know ahead of time, and have a signed consent form when you come to the hospital so that we can collect this important donation for you.
Best Birth Clinic
The Best Birth Clinic at BC Women's hospital was created to lower the overall number of Caesarian sections performed by helping women make informed choices about how they want their baby to be born. Women who are carrying breech babies, or those who have had a previous Caesarian section and want to explore the option of a vaginal birth (VBAC) are sent here with a referral from their physician.
FOOD, MEDICINES and EXERCISE
MotheRisk.ca is a comprehensive website from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and has information and links to the latest information and research about medications, supplements, conditions and diseases that can affect pregnancy and breastfeeding.
They also have the following help lines, open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy Helpline - 1-800-436-8477
Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline - 1-877-327-4636
Exercise in Pregnancy Helpline - 1-866-937-7678
HIV and HIV Treatment in Pregnancy - 1-888-246-5840
Guidelines for Vaccines in Pregnancy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a comprehensive review of vaccines that are recommended, as well as contraindicated, in pregnancy.
This is a link to an excellent resource from the Society of Obstetricans and Gynecologists of Canada. It contains up to date information for mothers-to-be, from preconception to birth.
Healthy Families BC
This is a website that offers information on topics such as pregnancy, parenting and healthy eating. An online version of Baby's Best Chance is available here.
Food Safety in Pregnancy
The BC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information regarding food safety, and explains why we ask you to avoid consumption of certain foods while pregnant.
Fit to Deliver
This book is co-authored by Dr. Karen Nordahl, a family physician, together with a physical therapist and an exercise physiologist. You can order the book through the website, that also offers various helpful links. We believe that a pregnant woman should remain active in order to prevent pregnancy related problems, prepare your body for labor and delivery, and help you restore your body to it's pre-pregnancy state.
Exercise in Pregnancy
This is a handout prepared by Dr. Michelle Yuen that answers common questions about exercise in pregnancy.
They offer pre- and post-pregnancy fitness classes that help you incorporate proper exercise and nutrition.
This is a comprehensive website by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada regarding different topics about your pregnancy.
Breastfeeding Classes and Support
BC Women's Lactation Services
Expert lactation consultants are available to help you work through breastfeeding challenges. You can call 604-875-3135
to book an appointment. You do not need a referral from your doctor.
Vancouver Breastfeeding Center
This clinic located on West Broadway in Vancouver is staffed by excellent family physicians who specialize in and are passionate about breastfeeding. You will need a referral from your physician to access their services.
BC Women's Milk Bank
This special clinic at BC Women's hospital accepts donations of breast milk from moms who have an abundant supply and who are in good health and are free from communicable diseases. Donors are carefully screened, and donor milk is pasteruized. Donor milk is made available to babies while in hospital, if needed, as well as to those who are discharged with a prescription from your physician.
Circumcision is not an MSP covered service. Many do this for social, cultural and religious reasons.
Dr. Pollock has been offering circumcisions for over 20 years. You do not need a referral to book an appointment for this.
Dr. Bernard Anthony Behrmann is a Pediatrician in Richmond, BC. He has been doing circumcisions for over 15 years. You do not need a referral to book an appointment for this.
Having adequate space between pregnancies will give your body time to recover from the birth process, achieve a new balance in your life, and allow you to focus on your baby. There are many options for contraception after having your baby. Your care provider usually talks to you about this at the 6 week post-partum visit. Get to know your options in order to have a good discussion.
This website by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada helps provide information about sexual health, including different forms of contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and overall sexual health.
Compassionate Contraceptive Assistance Program
This is a program by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada that helps provide contraception to women who cannot afford it. A licensed physician has to order this on your behalf, if you are eligible for it. Contraceptive options available through this program are limited, as they rely on generous donations from sponsors.
BC Immunization Schedule for Children
Gives information regarding the recommended vaccine schedule for your kids, extra vaccines available, an online guide for parents about vaccinating your child, and an online version of the Child Health Passport.
Some women experience difficult births. Some have a history of trauma or abuse that make the birth experience challenging. Some end up with a birth experience very different from what they had hoped for. Counselling services through the Best Birth clinic are available, with or without a referral from your doctor. You can call them directly at 604-875-3281 to book an appointment.