Perinatal Advance Care Planning
At Canuck Place we understand the heartbreaking reality encountered when families are told their baby may have special healthcare needs or may not survive. The feelings of confusion, loss, and sadness are challenging for parents. Canuck Place and BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre work in partnership to mother’s and families over weeks to months to prepare for the birth of their baby through perinatal advance care planning
As part of Perinatal Palliative Care, Canuck Place works with families to create an Advanced Care Plan.
The care plan is a document that is created with the mother and those health providers that are integral in the care of the mother, baby and family. It involves a process that includes experts in maternal fetal medicine, pediatric and neonatal specialists, and primary care providers and pediatric palliative care specialists.
A birth and parenting plan is a way of conveying the mother’s wishes for the baby’s birth and for the care of the baby and mother. It can include preferences for labor and birth, such as pain relief for the mother, and goals after the baby’s birth, such as ways to create memories together and include family and friends. Mothers can also integrate requests for the baby’s medical care, outlining your preliminary decisions regarding evaluations and testing, medical interventions, managing possible symptoms and palliative care.
The benefits of a birth plan for mothers facing these difficult circumstances are many and very real. Canuck Place provides guidance for the upcoming birth, understanding options, exploring what other parents have chosen, and evaluate what will be important to the mother. Canuck Place collaborates with healthcare providers and ensures the mothers’ requests are provided in writing—which can decrease the mother’s anxiety by ensuring that wishes are clearly communicated. It provides a structure in a time when everything feels out of control—so the mother and her family and healthcare team can work together to make mother’s time with the baby as close to what they are envisioning as possible.
A birth plan can also benefit caregivers in important ways. It offers a format for discussion and clarification about the birth process and the baby’s condition. It ensures that all parties have similar information. A written document gives everyone a road map to follow together.
Canuck Place is the team that works together with mothers and other health care providers to develop a care plan.
In the attached PDF, families can learn about our services and supports that are available for perinatal hospice and palliative care, as well as Advance Care Planning for a family’s baby.