Unanticipated Birth: Guidelines for Labour Assessment, Imminent Delivery, and Transfer

Occasionally, women arrive in active labour in the Emergency or Outpatient area of a facility where a maternity service is unavailable. This document has been developed to support health care professionals who do not deliver babies as part of their usual practice. It is intended to provide guidance and support to safely and effectively assess and care for laboring/birthing women. Included are guidelines for:

  • Assessment of the labouring woman and her fetus
  • Indications for transfer and the transfer process, including a provincial directory of all facilities offering a maternity service and details regarding EHS LifeFlight
  • Care and documentation during labour and birth when transfer is not possible
  • Basic neonatal resuscitation skills
  • Assessment and care following birth
  • Equipment
  • Medications to keep in stock for obstetrical emergencies and routine birth
  • Laboratory tests

(This guideline was previously entitled "Labour and Birth in the Emergency Room")

Date Revised: 
December, 2012