In reality, there are probably three hundred things you need to do before the baby arrives, but getting these first choices right can make all the decisions that come later a little easier.
So, where should you begin? A good place to start is researching your options for maternity services in Vancouver and choosing the one that’s the best fit for you.
MSP covers three types of maternity services in Vancouver; patients can choose to receive care from:
Currently, the majority of women begin their care with their family doctor or specialized maternity care clinic. Women choosing to receive care from their family doctors are often referred to an obstetrician during their third trimester. They will continue care with their OB until birth, returning to their family doctor for postpartum care.
There are also focused maternity clinics that employ a team of nurses and GPs who follow their patients from the first few weeks through postpartum care.
Obstetricians, who spend several years studying the female reproductive system, pregnancy, and childbirth, provide pregnancy care after the 27th week, unless there are complications that require closer monitoring. OB care before the third trimester is typically reserved for high-risk pregnancies.
The final option for maternity services in Vancouver is a midwife. Midwifery has been around for a very long time and became officially recognized as an autonomous medical practice in BC since 1998. Since then, midwives in BC have rapidly gained in popularity, and today midwives attend over 21% of births in BC.
Midwives have become increasingly in-demand for expectant women due to the flexibility and freedom of care. A pillar of midwifery is providing women with the information and guidance they need to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancy, labour, and delivery, in an environment that feels safe rather than sterile.
Midwives are also the only medical practitioners who can support homes births, which are also becoming an increasingly popular alternative. However, the vast majority of midwife-assisted births occur in hospitals.
First-time parents and even second- or third-time parents can all benefit from prenatal classes. These classes go over a ton of essential information, not only on childbirth but also on pregnancy care, what to expect after birth, and caring for a new baby. They can also provide points that you may want to discuss further with your maternity services provider and offer the opportunity for your partner to get involved.
Another underestimated benefit of a childbirth class is the ability to meet and connect with other women who are due to deliver at around the same time. Making these connections can be a great way to establish a support network for later on, and develop lasting friendships.
By the time the third trimester rolls around, you are probably consumed with thoughts of baby and everything baby-related. While that’s perfectly normal, there will be plenty of time later to focus on the baby. Before the baby arrives, it’s a good idea to take some time, by yourself or with your partner, to do some of the things you may not be able to for the first little while after bringing your new addition home. If you have other children, choose an activity that the family can enjoy together.
The first few months after bringing a new baby home can be a little hectic and more than a little exhausting, so enjoy a few moments to reconnect with your loved ones before delivery.