Obstetrical Care FAQs

As a new or expectant mother, we understand that you may have many questions. We hope the frequently asked questions below will be of help. If you have specific questions not answered below, speak to your primary care giver. 

Can I have water labour or birth?

We support water labour for pain control and waterbirth in our unit. For more information visit our types of birthing page.

You can also read our brochure for more information. 

My baby is breech, what happens?

External cephalic version (ECV) is a technique whereby a doctor turns a breech baby in utero to a head down position. The procedure involves the baby being turned manually by using  pressure on your abdomen. The ECV is done by an Obstetrician with assistance from a Obstetrical Resident. Your healthcare provider can book your ECV with one of the obstetricians who does this procedure. You will be instructed to call Connell 5 on the morning of the procedure to set up a time throughout the day when it can be done. The doctor will discuss the procedure and the risks with you. The nurse will check your vital signs and may start an intravenous line. You will feel a great deal of pressure during the procedure, however, it should not be painful. It can be completed in about five minutes. If you require further information about ECV, please ask your healthcare provider.

What happens when I have an underlying health issue?

There are high-risk obstetricians available at KGH who specialize in managing your care during pregnancy. They will discuss any questions or concerns you may have and monitor your baby's well-being during your pregnancy. The use of narcotics during pregnancy is a balance of risks and benefits. If possible, discuss your medications with your healthcare provider before you get pregnant. You will be cared for through our obstetrical care clinic located on Kidd 5. For more information, click here, then scroll down to high-risk obstetrical care. 

What if my baby is sick or needs extra care?

Every new mom hopes for a healthy baby but sometimes things don't go as planned. Babies can be born prematurely, with a serious health condition or can become ill after delivery. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is equipped to deal with babies who need highly specialized care. When you are there, you and the NICU team will all work towards the same goal, to get your baby home. The NICU is located on the same floor as the postpartum unit which makes it easily accessible for you to visit your baby frequently. If you would like to learn more about the NICU, click here

Do I need a birthing plan?

A birthing plan is an excellent way to clarify your expectations when preparing for childbirth. It is important to relate your issues and concerns, hopes or anxieties about the experience of birth to your doctor or midwife. You may wish to discuss other issues such as pain control, support persons in labour, infant care and handling, intravenous, labour positions and episiotomy. You may discuss any of these issues at your prenatal visits.Your care team will discuss your wishes for your plan of care and provide you with all the information to maintain a supportive labour and birth. Our caregivers respect your personal needs and choices.

What is an Induction?

Induction is a form of using artificial means to get your labour started. This may be done by using drugs or by rupturing the membranes. You may require this if you or your baby has a medical condition that would benefit delivering the baby earlier than expected. This may also be done if you past your due-date. Your physician or midwife will discuss with you your eligibility for outpatient induction. For more information click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. 

How often should I bathe my baby?

Newborns do not generally get 'dirty' as long as they are cleaned with each diaper change. Two to three baths a week is appropriate, and provides stimulation for your baby. These baths will also go a long way towards making you feel more comfortable in handling your baby. As they get older and start to eat solid foods you will find that they probably need a bath every day.

For more information on bathing your newborn, visit our newborn care section. 

Where can I get help if I feel I am experiencing postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a serious psychiatric condition that requires immediate attention. You may have feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, panic attacks, little interest in your baby or suicidal thoughts. First, notify your caregiver right away. They will provide you with care and counselling. For urgent care, please go visit KGH's Emergency Department. For more information please refer to the Canadian Association of Mental Health

I'm having trouble getting pregnant, when should I seek help?

Infertility is a common problem that affects approximately 8 per cent of women. Infertility is described as the inability to get pregnant after one year of trying for the first pregnancy, or six months thereafter. Although there are five factors that can contribute to infertility, 30 per cent of the time no specific cause for infertility can be found. KGH operates a infertility clinic that is available to you upon referral from your family physician or gynecologist. If you would like more information on techniques you can try on your own to help get your body ready for pregnancy, you can also visit the Queen's University Department of Obstetrics website.