About Best Birth Clinic
The Best Birth Clinic is located in the Diagnostic Ambulatory Program area at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. Its goal is to lower the overall rate of cesarean birth at BC Women’s by helping women make informed choices about how they want their baby to be born.
The Best Birth Clinic offers birth information and medical consultation to pregnant women who are considering whether vaginal birth or cesarean birth would be best for them. This includes:
The Best Birth Clinic at BC Women’s is staffed by experienced obstetricians who share the philosophy of supporting women’s choices in maternity care. They provide complete and consistent information to women, based on the best available maternity research. A number of ethics-approved research projects are also conducted through the clinic to help improve maternity care practices.
The Best Birth Clinic also offers clinical counselling appointments for women to receive information and counselling on the risks and benefits of different birth options. This includes:
- Women who are considering cesarean birth for non-medical reasons or
- Women would like to discuss a recent birth with an experienced counsellor.
For women who have had a previous cesarean birth
Currently at BC Women’s, the largest number of cesarean births occur in the elective repeat category, where women who have had a previous cesarean birth will schedule a repeat cesarean (without labour) for their subsequent deliveries. However, many of these women are good candidates for a normal vaginal birth, known as a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
Women who have had a previous cesarean birth and are currently pregnant again can make an appointment at the Best Birth Clinic to receive research-based information on the benefits and risks of both options, and counselling to help them make a choice about how they want their baby to be born.
For women carrying a breech baby
Currently, most babies in the breech position (positioned head-up, rather than head-down in the uterus) are delivered by cesarean birth. However, many women have the option of planning for a vaginal birth if they wish. There are two ways to achieve this:
External cephalic version – a procedure, attempted about a month before the baby’s birth, where an experienced obstetrician presses his or her hands on the women’s abdomen to encourage the baby to shift into the head-down position. This procedure is successful up to 50% of the time. The Best Birth Clinic offers appointments with obstetricians for women who want to try turn their baby before birth.
Vaginal breech birth – a vaginal birth where the baby is born buttocks first, instead of head first. Women who are currently pregnant with a baby in the breech position can make an appointment at the Best Birth Clinic to receive evidence-based information on the benefits and risks of vaginal breech birth, and counselling to help them make a choice about how they want their baby to be born.
Exploring Choices in Childbirth Counselling Service
For women considering a cesarean birth for non-medical reasons
Through the Best Birth Clinic, women can be referred for an appointment with the Exploring Choices in Childbirth Counselling Service. Women can meet with a Clinical Counsellor to discuss their concerns, and receive current, evidence-based information on the risks and benefits of cesarean birth.
For women wishing to discuss a recent birth experience
Appointments are also available for women who wish to discuss a recent birth experience with the counsellor. Women can call the Best Birth Clinic directly to make an appointment and do not require a medical referral.