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Congratulations! You're starting an exciting new chapter in your life. The road ahead won't always be easy and you probably have lots of questions, but that's okay – we're here to help. If you're a mom or dad to-be, we can answer questions about:

Keeping baby & you healthy
Learn about healthy choices you can make before and during pregnancy

Labour & birth
Although it may be hard, giving birth is a natural process

Find out the benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby

Access services & resources

As you go through your pregnancy and birth, it's important that you have the support of a health care professional that you trust. In British Columbia, this person can be a family doctor, obstetrician or registered midwife. Learn more about the each of these professionals by visiting these websites:

Once you've decided what kind of professional you'd like to work with, find one that is going to be a good fit for you and your family.

  • Ask trusted friends, family or co-workers for recommendations

  • Ask other health care providers for recommendations

  • Search the listings in the websites linked above for a professional in your area accepting new patients

To find a physician in Vancouver, have a look at

  • Youth health clinics: We provide emergency contraception, free or low-cost birth control options, pregnancy testing and counselling options for youth.

  • Youth Pregnancy and Parenting Program (YPPP): More information on this free program for pregnant women age 24 and under living in Vancouver or Richmond is available in the YPPP brochure.

  • Nurse-Family Partnership: This free Healthy Families BC program is for women having their first baby and ensures they both receive support during pregnancy and after the child is born up to two years of age.

Prenatal classes are a great way to get more information, learn new skills, and meet other parents-to-be in your community.

If you would like to take prenatal classes, but are not able to afford them, please contact your local public health nurse.

VCH also provides the following community prenatal programs:

  • In Vancouver and Richmond, Healthiest Babies Possible (HBP) provides nutrition and lifestyle counselling to promote a healthy pregnancy. This helps reduce the incidence of low-birth weight babies among high-risk pregnancies. The staff include dietitians, public health nurses and support workers in 14 different languages. Self-referrals are accepted using the referral form.

  • Sheway program provides services to pregnant women and women with infants under 18 months with drug or alcohol issues. No referral is needed for this program located at 533 East Hasting Street in Vancouver.

Public Health Nurses are available to help you before and after the birth of your baby. We can help you:

  • Make healthy choices in pregnancy

  • Learn about feeding & caring for a new baby

  • Find community services that are right for you

  • Pregnant women who contact public health will be screened for risk factors and offered services based on their needs. These services could include:

    • Follow-up by public health nurse for clients with identified concerns

    • Group programs for health education and support (based on local availability)

    • Referrals to other programs and professionals

Access to Public Health Nurses

  • Contact your local public health nurse to learn more

  • Call 1-855-550-2229 to talk to a public health nurse

If you are 24 years old or under, have a low income, and concerns about coping while caring for your new baby, there are services for you. Call 1-855-550-2229 and talk to a public health nurse or complete the self-referral form.


If you're struggling emotionally during your pregnancy, you're not alone. These emotions are all a normal part of such a big life change. Many expectant parents want to be happy and excited, but instead they feel anxious, worried, overwhelmed or numb. If they're stopping you from doing your daily routine or taking good care of yourself, you need to reach out for help:

If you're having thoughts of suicide or feel that you are in crisis, get help immediately. Go to the nearest emergency department or call the Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.


Probably not, so try not to get too upset. Most women who have bleeding in early pregnancy go on to have healthy babies. However, bleeding can be a sign that something is wrong, so see a doctor as soon as possible. Do not insert anything into your vagina while bleeding; use pads, not tampons. If you have any of these symptoms while experiencing bleeding, go to your nearest emergency department:

  • You're bleeding so much that you are soaking though more than two pads per hour

  • You have a fever

  • You have painful abdominal cramps (more than mild menstrual cramps)

  • Your pain is one sided

  • You feel dizzy or light-headed

Learn more about bleeding during early pregnancy.


Go to the emergency department or contact your doctor/midwife right away if you are in any motor vehicle accident. You should seek care even if it is a minor accident. You should also get medical attention right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Bad cramps or stomach pains that don't go away

  • Any bleeding from your vagina

  • A trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina; a big increase in vaginal discharge

  • Sudden lower back pain/pressure

  • A feeling like the baby is pushing down

  • Contractions, or a change in how strong and often they come

  • Fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting or bad headaches

  • Blurred vision or seeing spots before your eyes

  • Sudden or severe swelling of your feet, hands or face


SOURCE: Pregnancy ( )
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