04/07/2015 04:55 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT

MUHC superhospital move means uncertainty for expectant parents

As the McGill University Health Centre prepares to transfer more than 200 patients from the Royal Victoria Hospital to the new superhospital on April 26, one of the biggest challenges will be in the maternity ward.

Babies come on their own schedule, and expectant mothers will have to be prepared to adapt if they go into labour on or around moving day.

The MUHC is asking mothers who go into labour before 5 a.m. on the 26th to report to the Royal Vic.  Mothers who go into labour after that are asked to head straight to the new superhospital at the Glen site.

Both hospitals will be fully equipped to deliver babies that day.

Patricia Rose, the co-chair of the Adult Patient Transfer Coordination Committee, said mothers who go into labour at the Royal Vic on April 26 may not stay there.

"In some cases, what's in the best interest of the patient and the child is to have the delivery done at the Royal Vic, then transfer afterwards. In other cases it may be that the transfer happens first and the delivery takes place at the Glen," said Rose.

C-sections affected

Mothers who need to give birth by caesarean section may face additional challenges.

Robert Gagnon, head of obstetrics for the MUHC, says currently the Royal Vic is equipped with two operating rooms where doctors can perform C-sections.

​Starting April 23, one of those rooms will be powered down and transferred to to the Glen site.

"That means we're going to be working at 50 per cent capacity for two to three days before the move in our birthing centre," said Robert Gagnon.

The second operating room for C-sections at the Royal Vic will be powered down and moved after the last patient has been transferred on April 26. That means there will be reduced capacity for C-sections in the new superhospital for two to three days after the move as well.

Gagnon says patient safety will be the first priority, and that St-Mary's Hospital's maternity ward will be on standby to help with any overflow or any particularly complicated births during that time.