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Pregnancy

Information for expectant parents and families about health care during pregnancy in B.C.

Here you will find resources and tools to provide education and guidance for newly pregnant and parenting individuals and families.  These resources and tools will help individuals and families gain access to valuable resources and support communication with their health care providers.

  • Celebrating the Circle of Life: Coming Back to Balance and Harmony is a guide to emotional health in pregnancy and early motherhood for Aboriginal women and their families.
  • NESTS for Well-Being (PDF) is a tool to write down some ideas that may help parents improve their health and well-being. To help remember the basics of well-being, think of the term: 'NESTS'.
  • NESTS infographic.PNG
  • As you prepare to welcome your baby into the world, it is important to think about what comes after the birth — this is called the postpartum period. This is a time of changes and new beginnings for you and your family. A Postpartum Support Guide (PDF) may help you and your family plan ahead for the weeks and months following birth.

  • Baby's Best Chance: Parents' Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care is intended to offer general information about pregnancy and parenting, with a focus on ensuring the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. It also provides guidance on how you can access additional support, should you need it. Topics covered include pregnancy, birth and parenting a baby up to six months of age.
  • Birth preference guides (PDF) are a supportive communication tool to help support you with labour and birth options. Communicating your labour and birth preferences is an opportunity to share with your care team what is important to you. You may find it useful to use this guide early and often to discuss with your care circle and your partner or supports.
  • The Labour and Birth Hospital List (PDF) offers parents some ideas of what they may want to pack in their labour and birth bag for the hospital.

Hospital packing list infographic.PNG

  • Deciding how to feed your baby (PDF) is an important part of parenting. You may find it helpful to use this resource to write down any questions that you might have. Explore these with your health care circle at any time during your pregnancy. It is important to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on how to feed your baby.

Pregnancy Passport

The Pregnancy Passport (PDF) supports you in having a healthy pregnancy, tracking your progress, and preparing for your baby.

The Pregnancy Passport includes:

  • information for you to think about and discuss with your care provider relating to your needs throughout your pregnancy, birth, and after your baby is born;
  • information about the care you can expect during pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks after your baby's birth;
  • a place to record check-ups and tests;
  • places to write down goals, questions, ideas, decisions, and hope and dreams for her baby; and
  • a list of resources for more information.

Ask your doctor, midwife, or local health unit for a Pregnancy Passport.

The Pregnancy Passport is published by Perinatal Services BC in partnership with the Ministry of Health and health authorities. The Pregnancy Passport is a companion to Baby's Best Chance.

Indigenous Pregnancy Passport

Our Sacred Journey: Indigenous Pregnancy Passport (PDF) can help take you and your family through your sacred journey of pregnancy, birth, and baby’s first few weeks. The passport provides an expectant mother with health information, resources, traditional teachings, growth charts, checklists, and a place to write down goals, thoughts, ideas, and dreams for your baby.

Ask your doctor, midwife, care provider, or health unit for an Aboriginal Pregnancy Passport.

The Indigenous Pregnancy Passport was developed by Perinatal Services BC in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and First Nations Health Authority.

A special thank you goes out to the First Nations and Aboriginal Elders, community members, and professionals who helped develop this resource; members of the Provincial Advisory Committee; expert reviewers from around the province; and the Population and Public Health Program at the Provincial Health Services Authority. Please see the full list of acknowledgements (PDF).

 

Please visit the Prenatal Genetic Screening Program section in Our Services.

 

COVID-19

Vaccine appointments are open for pregnant people in B.C. Pregnant women and individuals (age 16 and over) have been prioritized for vaccination and can now book appointments.

To book an appointment, call the provincial Get Vaccinated number at 1-833-838-2323 and inform the operator that you are pregnant. It is important to also register with Get Vaccinated to ensure you receive an invitation to book your vaccination.

For most people, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the safest choice to protect them from severe COVID-19 disease. The Canadian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (PDF), the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, and public health experts in B.C. all agree that COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people who are pregnant and breastfeeding or chestfeeding.

You will need to make a decision based on your own comfort, individual risk of getting COVID-19, and the chance of becoming seriously ill if infected.

Syphilis screening

As part of routine prenatal care, women are offered many different screens and tests during their pregnancy in order to promote optimal health for both the mother and the baby. Screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as syphilis is routine in the first trimester of pregnancy, or at your first prenatal visit if you present later. New recommendations in BC (and other Canadian provinces) is to continue to screen for syphilis early but to also screen again at delivery. Screening a 2nd time at delivery is now being recommended for all women delivering in BC because of the risk of congenital syphilis. Congenital syphilis can occur when the woman who has untreated syphilis transmits the infection to the baby, either during pregnancy or during delivery. The new BC recommendations are to try to prevent that from happening. You can read more information about syphilis screening (PDF) and talk to your health care provider who is supporting you with your pregnancy.


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