Women's Hospital Prenatal Tour

Health Sciences Centre Women's Hospital
735 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0L8

Phone: 204-787-3647


Welcome to Women's Hospital - where Obstetricians, Family Physicians and Midwives have admitting privileges and deliver babies.

The video below will answer some important questions you may have as you prepare for childbirth at HSC. Such as:

  • What do I need to bring with me?
  • How do I know when I'm ready to go to hospital?
  • What will happen when I arrive?
  • What will happen during childbirth?
  • What happens when I'm ready to go home with my newborn?

Click the following links to learn more about:


Checking Your Baby's Movements

Feeling your baby move is reassuring. From about the 7th month onward, you should notice periods of movement throughout the day every day. You may want to write down 'active' in a diary or on your calendar, for morning, afternoon and evening.

If you notice a decrease in your baby's movement, or less than ten movements in twelve hours, you should:

  • Lie down on your left side and pay attention to the baby's movement. You can put your hands on your tummy to feel for them. Count for as long as it takes to feel 3 or more.
  • You should feel 3 or more moves, kicks, rolls, flutters or stretches in an hour.
  • If your baby does not move 3 or more times in this hour, call your doctor, midwife or go to the hospital the same day.

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Prelabour and True Labour: What’s the Difference?

Click her to download (PDF)

Late in pregnancy as your body gets ready for delivery you may experience a burst of energy (nesting urge) and contractions or cramps that do not progress (they do not become longer, stronger and closer together). Your uterus may tighten (contract) and relax for hours or even days.

Sometimes called "false labour", this prelabour can be tiring and confusing. If you feel contractions, get up and walk around to see if they continue or if the time between them becomes longer. If the time lengthens, you are probably experiencing prelabour. If the time between contractions becomes shorter, you may be starting true labour. Still not sure? The following comparison chart should help.

True Labour
Pre-labour
Uterine Contractions
  • Become longer, stronger and
    closer together with time
  • Accompanied by increasing
    discomfort or pain in your
    abdomen, back and/or thighs
  • Rarely last longer than one
    minute in early labour
  • Often accompanied by
    increasing restlessness
  • Are not reduced by mother's
    activity and don’t subside
    because of a change in activity
  • Tend to stay at about the same
    length, strength and frequency
  • Are usually not painful. If
    painful, the pain stays at the
    same level
  • May last 30 seconds to four
    minutes
  • May be accompanied by
    "restless" backache
  • Are affected by change in
    mother's activity; will subside
    as the mother becomes more or
    less active
Show
  • Blood-tinged mucus is often
    present before or during early
    labour
  • May have bloody show,
    increased watery or mucousy
    vaginal discharge
Intestinal Symptoms
  • Frequent soft or loose bowel
    movements, often mistaken for
    stomach upset
  • May have soft or loose bowel
    movements
Changes in the cervix
(determined by a vaginal exam
by your health care provider)
  • Progressive effacement or
    thinning
  • Progressive dilation or opening
  • Cervix may move forward,
    soften and thin
  • Possible dilation of 1 to 2 cm

Another sign that labour will start soon is your water breaking (rupture of membranes). You may experience small leaks or a sudden gush of fluid. Any suspicion that your membranes have ruptured should be reported to your health care provider (doctor or midwife). If you are still unsure about labour or rupture of membranes, call your health care provider.

Role of Support Person

Click here to download document (PDF)

Women are helped by support during labour and birth. Constant support in labour is linked to shorter labours and use of less pain relief. Support may come from a partner, relative, close friend or doula. Women’s Hospital encourages one primary support person to stay 24 hours a day.

It is important to carefully select your primary support person before coming to Women’s Hospital. You should share your plans with your family and friends. You will be asked who your primary support person is when you come to hospital. Your primary support person can stay with you through your entire labor and birth. This primary support person also communicates with family members and friends.

Some women want to have family and other friends with them during labour and birth. Women’s Hospital supports women’s choice as much as possible. Too many people in a room however may interfere with the safe care of you and your baby. If this happens friends and family members may be asked to wait outside of the labour and delivery area. Your primary support person will be able to stay with you at all times.

Role of support person during labour:

  • Physical support
    • Help with mother’s comfort during labour
    • Options are to stand, kneel, squat, straddle a chair or lie down
    • During contraction, use the 3 T’s
      • Touch, talking, and timing contractions
    • Between contractions offer sips of water, cool cloths and comforting words
    • Pain relief is a personal choice; support mother’s decision
  • Information is vital
    • Let mother know that baby is coping with labour
    • Pass information from care provider to mother as necessary
    • Provide updates to family and friends
  • Emotional support – just be there!
    • Be positive
    • Reassure and encourage
    • Support mother’s wishes

Role of support person after birth:

  • Provide information to others as necessary
  • Listen to new mother talk about labour and birth
  • Mothers need to debrief with those who support them.
  • Help with care of mother and baby
  • Learn together about the care of baby
  • Hold baby between feedings so that mother can sleep
  • Know when mother and baby need quiet time
  • Limit visitors so mother and baby can rest

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Safety

We want you and your baby to be safe at all times. One of the best ways to meet this goal is to work with you. Please ask questions and make suggestions.

Patient Identification

Staff will ask both your name and your birth date often. Your and your baby’s identification will be checked before medications are given or procedures are done.

Prevention of falls

Tell your nurse if you are dizzy or drowsy. Be aware of what’s around you. Wet floors, spills or equipment may cause you to slip or fall. Always transport your baby in the bassinette. Do not carry your baby in your arms when you are outside your room. This prevents falls.

Your baby’s safety

You and your baby will wear matching identification bands which will be checked often. Your baby should never be left alone. Never allow a stranger to take your baby. Only allow people with proper identification to take your baby. The safest place for your baby to sleep is on his back, alone, in a crib or bassinette Your baby must go home in a car seat.

Preventing infection

Wash your hands often, especially before caring for your baby. If you have a cough, use a tissue and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve and then wash your hands. To protect you and your baby, ask family and visitors do the same. Visitors and your own children are welcome during visiting hours unless they have a fever, cough or any other signs of illness.

It is okay to ask staff if they have washed their hands.

Fire Safety is Important

All hospital buildings and grounds are smoke free; if you are caught smoking, you will be asked to stop and may be fined.
Hospitals have sensitive smoke and fire alarms. For your safety, fire drills are held on a regular basis. If you hear a fire alarm, remain in your room with the door closed until further notice.

Do not use elevators during a fire alarm. If there is a real fire, you will be escorted from the building by staff.

Medication safety

Make a list of all medicines that you are taking. This includes prescribed drugs, traditional medicine, over-the-counter products, vitamins and herbal products.

Bring your medication list and all medicines you take to the hospital. Tell your care provider if you have allergies tomedications, food or anything else.Before you go home, ask if there is anything special that you need to do at home regarding your or your baby’s medications.

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Resources:

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Women’s Hospital Prenatal Tour