Services and information about pregnancy, labour, delivery and postpartum to help keep you and your baby healthy.
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 parent or caregiver to be, we can answer questions about keeping baby and you healthy, labour and birth and breastfeeding/chestfeeding.
Support for your concerns during pregnancy
Something's wrong! Do I need to go to the emergency department?
Go to the emergency department at a hospital 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
I'm bleeding! Am I having a miscarriage?
You are probably not having a miscarriage, so try not to get too upset. Most pregnant people 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 and complications during early pregnancy.
I know I should be happy, but I'm not. What's wrong with me?
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.
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:
- Talk to your family physician or midwife about your feelings
- Look into these local VCH resources for an introduction to the postnatal depression scale
- Call the Pacific Post Partum Support Society
Public Health Nurses are available to help you before and after the birth of your baby.
Contact your local public health nurse to learn more or call 1-855-550-2229 to talk to a public health nurse.
Find a health-care provider during pregnancy
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 physician, obstetrician or registered midwife. Learn more about the each of these professionals by visiting these websites:
- Types of birth: BC Women's Hospital
- Obstetrician: College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Family doctor: College of Family Physicians
- Registered nurses and midwives: British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives
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 PregnancyVancouver.ca
Supporting breastfeeding success
Find out the benefits of breastfeeding for you and your babyLearn more about breastfeeding
Types of birth
Registered nurses and midwives
Physicians in Vancouver
Baby's Best Chance handbook
Richmond Hospital Birth Centre
Planning a pregnancy
Your physical health
Dental care during pregnancy
Coping with stress
Domestic abuse while pregnant
Mother Risk website
Douglas College - Prenatal Program
Prenatal classes, including virtual options