Labour & Delivery

Delivering your baby in the Comox Valley.

Our nurses, doctors, midwives and staff are dedicated to making this experience a safe, supported and memorable one for you and your family.

Scroll below to see more photos.

Frequently asked questions about giving birth a the Comox Valley Hospital

We do not offer tours due to privacy concerns and the presence of labouring patients.

Yes! Your partner and any other support people are welcome to spend the night. There is a fold out chair in each room that can be turned into a bed

Family and friends are welcome to visit at any time. The unit is locked between 4 pm and 8 am so all visitors will need to be buzzed in during this time.

Meals will be provided for you only at regular meal times. Please be sure to pack sufficient snacks in case you deliver outside these hours, each room is equipped with a small fridge. There are limited snacks provided during labour including juice, cookies, teas, crackers and cheese. There is a cafeteria downstairs and several coffee shops and restaurants nearby.

A typical stay for a vaginal birth is 24–48 hours. A C-section is longer at 48–72 hours.

Yes, please wear what is most comfortable for you as long as you can get your pants off quickly! A hospital gown will also be provided as an option for vaginal births, but must be worn for c-sections. We recommend your partner bring a change of clothes including shorts or a swimsuit and sandals should they decide to get into the shower with you.

The hospital will provide diapers for baby, as well as personal hygeine pads and a “peri-bottle” to help provide relief when using the toilet after birth. Otherwise you can bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, a pair of sandals for the shower, toiletries, warm pyjamas/outfits for baby, plenty of snacks, a car seat that will be checked by a nurse before you leave with baby. Many mothers swear by other comfort measures such as chapstick, your own pillow and warm socks or slippers!

Comfort measures may ease labor pain directly or indirectly by soothing and relaxing you. Here are some examples:

  • Create a calm environment: Dim lights, peaceful surroundings, soft music, privacy and warmth.
  • Increase physical comfort: Walking, slow dancing with a partner, pelvic rocking, positioning pillows for comfort, sitting and swaying on birth ball (a large physiotherapy ball), lifting up the abdomen and/or rocking in a rocking chair.
Walking with a Partner

Walking with a Partner

Walking with a Doula

Slow Dancing

Rocking on a Birth Ball

Kneeling and Resting on a Birth Ball

Standing and Resting on a Birth Ball

Doing Pelvic Tilts

Climbing Stairs

  • Use touch: Massage, stroking, cuddling, counter pressure against the lower back or acupressure.
  • Apply heat (with or without water): Deep tub bath, shower, heating pad on groin or back, heated blanket.
  • Apply cold: Ice pack on lower back, cool cloth to wipe face.

The Birth

Every birth is guided by choices but governed by circumstances. This section contains planning information and resources to help you prepare for labour, birth, and welcoming your baby into the world.

  • Giving birth is a natural, healthy process.

  • Before you reach labour, make time to discuss your wishes and plans for your birth experience with your doctor or midwife.

  • The members of your birth team – a doctor and/or a midwife, a labour nurse, and your support people (partner, husband, mother, friend) – will each play different but important roles in your birth experience.

  • Plan to visit your hospital so you can become familiar with the location, layout, procedures, and staffing.

  • Ensure you have plenty of help and support during your first days with your child. Give yourself time to regain your strength and bond with your baby.

Birth Planning

The best approach to birth planning is to discuss your hopes, wishes, and plans cooperatively with your doctor or midwife. A formal, written birth plan is not necessary but it can be a useful way to communicate your plan with your labour nurse or another doctor/midwife if your care giver is not on call.

A birth plan includes deciding where you would like to deliver your baby, at home or in your local hospital. It can include the types of comfort measures you want available (massage, warm baths, etc.) and the options you prefer for pain relief.

Things to think about:

  • Who do I want to be part of my personal support team during labour and delivery, and in the first days after?
  • What do I hope my birth experience will be like? How will I prepare myself for the unexpected during labour and delivery?
  • What do I need to bring to the hospital?
  • Depending on the time of day, how will I get to the hospital?
  • Will my other children come to the hospital? Who will care for them at home or at the hospital?
  • Have I purchased enough baby supplies, including a certified car seat, ahead of time?
  • Do I plan to breastfeed my baby?

Questions to ask your midwife or doctor:

  • What will the atmosphere and environment be like during my labour and delivery?
  • Who will make up my delivery team?
  • Under what circumstances might I require: induced labour, fetal monitoring, caesarean section, episiotomy, or other medical assistance?
  • What are my comfort measures and pain relief options?
  • How many support people (family, friends) may be present at the birth? Can my other children stay with me during delivery?

Family Doctors and Midwives in the Comox Valley perform deliveries at Comox Valley Hospital in Courtenay.

Home Births

All registered midwives in the Comox Valley offer choice of birthplace to low risk people.  In general, this means if you have no pre-existing or pregnancy complications, are at term (37-42 weeks), are pregnant with one baby and your baby is head down when you go into labour, you could have the choice to deliver at home.  Two registered midwives attend every home birth and bring equipment and medications to handle common obstetric complications.

The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and the Society of Obstetricians of Canada (SOGC) both recognize the safety of planned home birth and support a client’s right to choose their place of birth.

Helpful Home Birth Links:

What is available to you, your partner and family to support your labour, delivery and recovery at CVH?

  • Tours are not available due to privacy concerns and the presence of labouring patients

  • All rooms are private and include a fridge and a bathroom with a shower.

  • Guest wifi access and tv rentals

  • Gowns for labour and delivery (or you can use your own clothing for vaginal births only)

  • Comfort measures for labour including laughing gas (nitrous-oxide), epidurals, birthing balls, “peanut balls”

  • 1:1 Nursing support during active labour

  • Nursery for stabilizing babies who need to be moved to a NICU

  • If a NICU transfer is needed they do their best to keep baby and mom together until mom has a secured room at the accepting hospital

  • Coordination of transport between hospitals if required

  • Dedicated obstetrical operating room for c-sections on the same floor as the maternity unit

  • Skin-to-skin after vaginal birth and c-section including baby staying with mom when she is transported to recovery room after c-section

  • Phototherapy

  • Breastfeeding support

  • 24/7 Nursing care for mom and baby post partum

  • Meals for mom

  • A focus on collaborative decision making between parents and staff

  • Delayed baby bathing

  • Car seat checks before leaving hospital

  • Access to paediatric referrals if required

  • Mom is supplied with personal hygiene pads, diapers and peri-bottle

Hear from some moms who delivered at the Comox Valley Hospital

“After a long complicated delivery our birth team was absolutely amazing! They were so great about supporting us during such an emotional journey. The staff at this hospital truly make you feel like family.”

“Overall care was amazing by all staff. Made me feel more at ease and informed when the unexpected happened (emergency c-section). Thank you to everyone for the care and support over the last few days!”

“Our birthing experience was amazing. More than exceeded anything we could have hoped for. Such an amazing stand and an incredible way to bring our son into the world. Thank you!”

“I have had a more than expected comfortable stay. Every staff member has given me 100% respect and attention needed and have gone above and beyond being awesome at helping me be comfortable. Thank you so much!”

If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to call the Maternity Ward at the Comox Valley Hospital at 250 331-5968

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Contact Info

Mailing address:
101 Lerwick Road
Administration: CV0304
Courtenay, BC V9N 0B9