Answers to Your Common Questions

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Pregnancy

APPOINTMENTS

  • After each visit, your next appointment will be booked at our front desk. If you need to cancel or change the appointment, we ask that you please give us advance notice.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO BE SEEN?

  • Up to 32 weeks' pregnancy, you will be scheduled for an appointment every 4 weeks.
  • Between 32 and 36 weeks, you will be have an appointment every 2 weeks.
  • After 36 weeks, a weekly appointment is required until delivery.
  • When you leave hospital, we ask that you call us as soon as you return home to schedule an appointment for you and your baby within 1 week.

CAN I EXERCISE WHEN I'M PREGNANT?

  • Exercise is encouraged during pregnancy except in certain circumstances such as if you have bleeding or are at risk of premature delivery.

HOW MANY ULTRASOUNDS WILL I GET?

  • A dating scan to confirm your dates will be arranged at your first appointment and is booked anytime before 14 weeks.
  • You will also have a detailed ultrasound at around 20-22 weeks.

CAN I FIND OUT THE SEX OF MY BABY?

  • Yes!  If you wish to find out the sex, please advise the ultrasound technician at the time of your scan and it will be noted on your report.  Your technician may also advise you of your baby's sex at this appointment.

WHAT BLOOD TESTS WILL I HAVE?

  • You will have initial bloodwork done after your first appointment.  This includes checking your blood counts, thyroid, blood type, and infectious disease screening.
  • Optional bloodwork for prenatal genetic screening will be discussed at your first appointment.
  • Between 24-28 weeks you will do another set of bloodwork to check your iron and to screen for gestational diabetes.
  • In certain conditions extra blood tests may be necessary, and these will be discussed by your physician.

WHAT IF I HAVE COMPLICATIONS?

  • As experienced maternity physicians, we can manage many complications that may arise in your pregnancy.  
  • If necessary, we will also consult with local and regional obstetrical specialists to ensure that you and your baby are well cared for.
  • You and your baby may require extra ultrasounds and monitoring, which we will organize and discuss with you.
Labour

WHICH DOCTOR WILL BE AT MY BIRTH?

  • Abbotsford Maternity Group physicians take turns being on call for labour & delivery. You will be cared for whichever physician is on-call at the time you are in labour.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY WATER BREAKS?

  • If you think your water has broken, you need to be assessed by a physician.  We recommend that you go to the Abbotsford Maternity ward and you and your baby will be assessed.
  • If your water is broken, the doctor will discuss options for management and make a plan together with you.

WHAT DO I DO IF I'M HAVING CONTRACTIONS?

  • If this is your first pregnancy, we encourage you to stay at home until your contractions are every 4 minutes or you require something for the pain.
  • If you have had a baby before, once you know you are in labour, you should come to Abbotsford Regional Hospital, as you may progress very quickly.
  • If you are unsure if you need to come in, please call the Maternity triage nurse and she can help you make a safe decision about when to come.

WILL I GET SOMETHING FOR MY PAIN DURING LABOUR?

  • We will try to help make your labour as manageable for you as possible. One way to do this is to offer pain control medications.  There are other methods of coping with pain including showers, baths, position changes, etc. and these are can be used at home or in hospital.
  • In labour, common medications used include morphine injections, intravenous Fentanyl, Nitrous Oxide gas, and epidurals.  
  • Epidurals are performed by the Anesthesiologist on-call.  If you request an epidural in labour, the physician taking care of you will arrange for it.

WHAT ABOUT EPISIOTOMIES?

  • An episiotomy is an incision made in the skin and muscle near the vaginal opening to make room for the baby at delivery. We do not do routine episiotomies, as research tells us that it is usually less traumatic for the skin to stretch and to let tears occur naturally. Sometimes, however, we do recommend an episiotomy, and in these instances, we would discuss it beforehand with you.

HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF I NEED A CAESAREAN SECTION?

  • About one out of three babies is delivered by Caesarean section. Common reasons include breech presentation, failure to progress in labour, and concerns about baby's heart rate in labour.
  • In most cases, we do not reach this decision until you have been in labour for some time.  As much as possible, this is a decision that we will make together with you.
  • If you do need a C-section, it will be done by the Obstetrician on-call, with our assistance.

WHAT ABOUT FORCEPS OR VACUUM DELIVERIES?

  • Many babies are delivered with very little help needed.
  • Occasionally, we may need to use a vacuum suction cup or forceps to deliver a baby.  These can be used once you are pushing and they are usually used if we have concerns about baby's heart rate or your baby is a bit stuck.
  • This procedure would only be done if your baby is very close to being delivered and after discussion with you.

WHO CAN I BRING TO MY LABOUR?

  • You are welcome to bring along whomever you choose.  It is helpful to have one or two support people present during your labour.
I'm Worried

WHAT IF I HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES?

  • If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you will be referred to the Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
  • You will meet with a dietitian, nurse, and doctor and receive teaching about appropriate diet and exercise, as well as teaching about how to check your blood sugar.
  • In most cases, gestational diabetes can be controlled with changes to diet and exercise.
  • In some instances, medication will be required and this will be decided in discussion with the doctor at the Diabetes Clinic.

WHAT IS GROUP B STREP?

  • Group B Strep is a bacteria present in the vaginal and rectal area of approximately 25-30% of all women.
  • It is of little concern to the mom, but it can pose a risk to your baby during labour or once your water breaks.
  • For this reason you will do a vaginal-rectal swab at your 36 week visit, and if it is positive, you will receive antibiotics intravenously during labour.
  • This will be discussed in the office at your appointment.

WHAT IF I HAVE BLEEDING?

  • If you have vaginal bleeding during office hours, call and we will be happy to arrange to see you. If it is after hours, please go to Abbotsford Regional Hospital. If you are more than 20 weeks gestation go directly to Maternity (Cheam 4) and we will see you there. Vaginal bleeding may indicate a threatened miscarriage or else a problem with the placenta. If your blood type is Rh negative you may require an injection after you bleed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T DELIVER BY MY DUE DATE?

  • Many healthy pregnancies continue after their due date - this is very normal.
  • If you do not go into labour on your own, we will plan to induce labour at 7 days past your due date.  We will discuss induction at your office visit. This is done at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Emergencies

DAYTIME EMERGENCIES

  • If you need to be seen urgently during our office hours, please call the office and we will speak with you directly, and arrange to see you in the office or at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

AFTER HOURS EMERGENCIES

  • If you are less than 20 weeks pregnant and need emergency care, you will need to go to your nearest emergency room for assessement.
  • If you are over 20 weeks pregnant and you have an urgent question, or need to be seen outside of our office hours, we ask that you call the Triage Nurse on the Maternity Ward at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. The phone number is 604.851.4814. They will give you advice and if necessary, request that you come in for assessment.
Other

DO I NEED A BIRTH PLAN?

  • You may make a birth plan if you wish; however, labour is very unpredictable.
  • It is helpful to discuss your preferences for delivery with the physician at your office appointments.
  • Prenatal classes can help alleviate concerns about labour and delivery
  • During your labour we will make every effort to communicate all options to you, so that you are part of the decision-making process.
  • Most women do not have a written out birth plan.

HOW LONG DO I STAY IN HOSPITAL?

  • After a vaginal delivery, most moms stay in hospital for 1 night.
  • After a C-section, the usual stay is 2 nights.
  • You may stay longer if there are complications for mom or baby.
  • While in hospital you will be seen each day by the Abbotsford Maternity Group physician on-call.

DO YOU RECOMMEND CIRCUMCISION?

  • We do not recommend or perform circumcision, as it is thought not to be medically necessary.
  • If you have questions about circumcision, please bring them up at an appointment in the office.
  • Circumcision is paid for privately and, if you wish, we can direct you to physicians providing this service.