Labour and Birth
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Interior Health’s birthing units provide family-centered care. This means that you, your family and the important people in your life are as welcomed and involved in your care as you wish.

  • Our aim is to support you and your family through a safe and satisfying birthing experience.
  • Our birthing units encourage breastfeeding. We support all families to make informed decisions
    on infant feeding.
  • Interior Health encourages you to ask questions about your care, the services we offer, and
    to give us feedback about your experience.

Take a maternity ward virtual tour

Getting prepared

It helps to plan ahead. Learn tips on planning for your hospital stay and more.

Birth plan

If you choose to have a birth plan write down your wishes. Sometimes things happen that you cannot control and your plan may have to change. Find a sample template and what to include in your birth plan.

Interior Health strives to meet you and your family’s religious, cultural and personal wishes. If you have special needs, talk about these with your doctor or midwife well in advance.


During the early stages of labour, the best place for you is in the comfort of your own home. Watch this video about labour and birth.

There are four stages of labour. Discover what happens and how you might feel during each stage, and what you and your support person can do during these stages. Learn more about the birth stages.

Stay comfortable

  • Change positions often: walk, stand or sit. See more comfort positions.
  • Rest or nap
  • Take a warm shower or bath
  • Read, watch TV or listen to music
  • Sit in a rocking chair
  • Use a hot water bottle on the back
  • Eat a light, easily digested snack
  • Drink plenty of fluids

Know about the differences between pre-labour and true labour.

When should I come to the hospital to deliver?

Talk to your doctor or midwife ahead of time about when is the best time for you to go to the hospital.

Call your doctor, midwife or birthing centre when:

  • Your contractions are regular and uncomfortable, usually about 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds,
  • Your water breaks or leaks (membranes rupture), You may feel a trickle or a sudden gush. Put on a sanitary pad as your nurse will want to know how much fluid there is and the colour.
  • You have vaginal bleeding, or “show” (pink tinged mucous),
  • You are uncomfortable staying at home,
  • You have been advised to call for other reasons. 
  • If you are unsure and/or have concerns.

Seek medical attention immediately if:

  • You are less than 37 weeks pregnant and you experience contractions every 10 minutes or less
  • You feel constant abdominal pain that does not go away
  • Your water sac is broken and you develop a fever or if the fluid from your vagina is coloured yellow, green or red
  • You have bright red bleeding from your vagina
  • Your baby’s movements have slowed down (less than six movements in a two-hour period)

Labour resources


There are different types of births. Know the differences, benefits and risks associated with each:

  • Vaginal Birth
  • Assisted Vaginal Birth
  • Caesarean Birth (C-section)
  • Vaginal Birth after Caesarean
  • Breech

Pain relief

Labour pain is different for every woman. Know your options for pain relief medications prior to delivery; this will assist you and your partner in making choices while in labour.

Skin-to-skin contact

Immediately after birth, or as soon as possible, your baby will be placed on your chest skin-to-skin. Keep your baby skin-to-skin until after the first feed. Learn more about the importance of skin-to-skin.

Babies who need extra care

If your baby needs some extra care adjusting to life, he or she may be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Sometimes situations may arise where you and/or your baby need special care and may require transfer to another hospital. Learn about what to expect and how to care for your baby in NICU.

After Birth

Your body has spent months nurturing and growing your baby. Understand the changes that occur after giving birth.

For Dads/Partners

Being a new parent can be overwhelming, confusing, intimidating, tiring, but also amazing and just really cool. Visit our For Dads and Partners.

Hospital Visitors

  • To prevent the risk of infection to new babies, we recommend that small children, other than your own, do not visit while you are in the hospital.
  • Remember to wash your hands and tell your visitors to wash their hands when they come to see you and before handling your newborn.
  • Visitors should not come if they have flu-like symptoms, colds or other illnesses that can be passed on to you and your baby.


For more information on these services please contact your local health unit.


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