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Childbirth Preparation Resources

Prenatal classes are not offered at St. Boniface Hospital. However, a variety of childbirth preparation services in Winnipeg are listed in the following resource:

Please note that effective September 2013, the on-site pre-natal virtual tour held monthly on Thursdays at the Sam Cohen Auditorium in the Research Centre is no longer available. However, the pre-natal vidoes and information are available below.

Antepartum Hospital Stays

On occasion person may require some time in hospital before giving birth. Reasons for this include premature labour, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure or high blood sugars. After admission and assessment in the Obstetrical Triage unit or Labour & Delivery and if stable, you will be moved to the Antepartum unit.

Your health care team and you will develop a plan of care while you are in hospital. Opportunities to learning about the reason for being in hospital will be provided through discussions with members of the health care team, reading material or DVD’s. The staff will do all they can to make your stay safe, comfortable and supportive. If you are a candidate for the Antenatal Home Care Program, your doctor will discuss this with you.

Antepartum Home Care Program
Phone: 204-792-5463

Fetal Assessment Unit

For a variety of reasons some people require additional medical assessments and follow-up during their pregnancies. Your health care provider may refer you to the Fetal Assessment unit for this type of care. The doctors and nurses in this unit have advanced knowledge and special training in obstetrics, genetics, and medical and surgical complications that can occur during pregnancy. Ultrasound is used during this type of assessment and on occasion you may come for more than one visit. Your partner or support person is welcome to attend these visits with you.

Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy

Still nauseated? Get support from the Motherisk Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy helpline. Call toll-free for information and counselling 1-800-436-8477 or visit their website for guidance.

RH Factor

Visit the Canadian Blood Services website for further information.

Influenza and Pregnancy

An annual flu shot is especially important for those at increased risk of serious illness from the flu, their care givers and close contacts. This includes pregnant persons.

For further information on pregnancy and influenza, see the following websites:

Midwifery Services

Midwives practising in Winnipeg are employed by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and are members of the Department of Family Medicine. All midwives have admitting privileges at St. Boniface Hospital (SBH) and can provide care to you for your birth if this is where you chose to have your baby. Midwives are members of the health care team and work with the nurses and doctors to provide care for you and your baby during your stay at SBH.


A doula is an assistant who provides non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in childbirth. Depending on training and experience they may offer prenatal support, childbirth (birth doula) and/or postpartum. A labor doula may attend a home birth or during labor at home and in transport to a hospital or a birth center. A postpartum doula provides home care for the first six weeks (or longer in cases of postpartum depression) including cooking, breast/chestfeeding support, newborn care assistance, errands and light housekeeping (

We welcome doulas to our birthing units.

When Labour May Be Induced

Sometimes it may be necessary to have your labour started before Mother Nature does it. Your health care provider will explain why it is necessary and how it will be done.

Please see the following for further information:

Planned Cesarean Birth

Some people know ahead of time that they will be having their baby by elective surgery or cesarean. The following is some information that will be discussed with you in preparation of your planned cesarean birth.

Common questions asked by people about their planned cesarean birth:

If I go into labour sooner than my surgery date does that mean I will have a vaginal birth?

If you think you are in labour or your water breaks before your surgery date, call your doctor or come to the Obstetrical Triage on the Third Floor. Your surgery will be arranged then if needed.

What is the difference between a spinal and epidural?

Spinals are for surgery and epidurals are usually for when you are in labour. Review the yellow book your doctor’s office has given you as it explains both of these terms.

Can I take my regular meds like levothyroxine or labetalol before my surgery?

If you are on medication and instructed to take it on the day of your surgery, you may take your medication with a sip of water only.

Can I have more than one person with me in the operating room?

If you have a spinal anesthetic for your surgery, you are allowed one support person in the operating room. If you have a general anesthetic and will be asleep during surgery, your support person will be asked to wait in the Obstetrical Triage waiting room.

Will the doctor remove the old incision (scar) and make a new one?

Yes, the doctor will usually remove your old “scar” and you will have a new incision scar.

Will I get a private room after my surgery?

There are 23 private rooms in the Postnatal Unit; if one is available after your surgery and you have the health coverage for a private room, you will be transferred to one after surgery.

Can my partner or support person stay overnight?

Yes, your partner or support person is encouraged to stay with you as much as possible with an expectation they will help care for you and your new baby.

What will I get for pain control?

Most likely you will have a “spinal” for your surgery; read the booklet the doctor’s office has given you called Pain, Labour, Childbirth and You. It explains what a spinal means. After your surgery you will be given pain medication on a regular basis for 48 hours. If this is not working tell your nurse and they will get you something else for pain. If for some reason the nurse has not assessed you for pain, please tell them you have pain and want something for it. All the drugs we use are safe for breast/chestfeeding persons.

Will my baby be in the same room as me after surgery?

The St. Boniface Hospital Obstetrics, Gynecology & Neonatology Program follows the principles of family-centered care. This means you and your baby will be together 24 hours per day unless for some reason you are not able to care for your baby (e.g., your baby is sick or needs to be watched closely). You will get to know your baby better so that you are ready to care for them at home.

When can I ask for a lactation support nurse? How many do you have on staff?

There are 3 lactation support nurses on the post-partum units. The nurse looking after you will help you make a decision as to whether or not you need to see the lactation support nurse.

Why can’t my younger (< 14 years old) niece and nephew visit me?

Because children are more likely to be exposed to “germs” either at school or day care, we like to decrease the chance of you and your new baby being exposed to these germs while in hospital.

Can I use my cell phone and laptop while in hospital?


How long will I stay in hospital?

Most people are ready to go home by the 2nd or 3rd day following their surgery. Sometimes your stay may be extended if either you or your baby is not ready to go home.

How soon after my surgery can I drive a vehicle?

Avoid driving until you feel comfortable behind the wheel of a vehicle; this will vary for everyone but it usually takes about two weeks.

Links to Other Resources

A Healthy Baby Program

Every child should have the best possible start in life.

Healthy Child Manitoba (HCM) is the Government of Manitoba’s long-term, cross-departmental strategy for putting children and families first. With its community partners, the Province of Manitoba has developed a network of supports and strategies for children, youth and families. On their website, you will find more information on the following

  • Healthy Baby/Prenatal Benefit Program
  • Manitoba’s FASD Strategy
  • Triple P
  • Manitoba Parent Zone

For more information about Healthy Child Manitoba’s programs and services, you can download Healthy Child Manitoba: Programs and Services.

Families First

Are you expecting a baby? Are you the parent of an infant or a preschool child? Families First may be for you.

  • providing information on health, safety and nutrition
  • learning through play
  • exploring solutions to challenging situations
  • providing information about pregnancy
  • getting health care for your family
  • connecting to community resources
  • supporting healthy growth, development and learning
  • building strong family relationships
  • sharing information about child development

Families First offer home visiting supports to families with children, from pregnancy to school entry. There is no cost.

Families First is delivered across the province by community public health. First a public health nurse will visit with you to talk about your family. Together you will decide what community resources would be best for your family.

Home visiting may be one of the options available to you. A home visitor will meet with you and your family on a regular basis for up to three years. The home visitor will support you in building a strong relationship with your child and family, while sharing information and suggesting activities to help your child grow up healthy and happy.

Baby’s Best Chance – Pregnancy and Parenting

Welcome to the 6th edition of Baby’s Best Chance – Parents’ Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care published by the Government of British Columbia. This resource provides easy to read information, based on best practices and evidence to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Patient Information