Choice of Birthplace
During your pregnancy, your midwife will talk to you about your options of having a home, Toronto Birth Centre or hospital birth. As part of midwifery’s informed choice model, your midwife will provide you with the information you need to make a decision about where you want to have your baby.
Birth at Home
Your midwife will assess whether you are a good candidate for planning a home birth.
When discussing home birth, your midwife will provide you with research-based information. She will address any questions or concerns you have, and will support any decision you make. Where you decide to have your baby is your choice. About 25-30% of midwifery clients in Ontario plan a home birth.
Research demonstrates that home birth is at least as safe as hospital birth. Since 1994, when midwifery was regulated in Ontario, midwives have attended over 25,000 home births, and attend about 3,000 annually. Midwives are trained to provide all the necessary care and support that you will need at your home birth. The equipment they bring along with them to home births is equivalent to what would be found in a community hospital, including oxygen, medications to stop bleeding and sterile instruments.
Women who choose home birth like the comfort of being in familiar surroundings. Some women feel more confident and relaxed when they are able to access their own food, bed and bathroom during labour. If you have a home birth, the range of pain relief options available to you will include things such as massage, shower/bathing, and sterile water injections. You can only access an epidural in hospital.
With a home birth, your primary midwife will monitor both you and your baby during your labour. A second midwife will arrive close to the end of your labour to take care of your baby once she or he is born.
Birth at the Toronto Birth Centre
You can plan to have your baby at the Toronto Birth Centre if you:
• have a registered midwife,
• are in good health, and
• are having a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.
The Birth Centre is midwife-led, which means that there are no doctors or nurses on site. At the Birth Centre, you will be attended by your midwives (usually two), along with any support people you wish to bring. Midwifery students play an important role at the birth centre, providing both organizational and clinical support. Epidurals, inductions, C-sections or other hospital-based services are not available at the Birth Centre.
Your midwife can discuss other forms of labour support, pain relief and care with you. Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth and are trained to deal with emergencies. In addition, the Birth Centre is ready to deal with urgent situations and emergency transfers to hospitals, if required.
To book your tour of the Toronto Birth Centre please call (416)-366-8080 ext. 101 or select option 3.
Birth at the Scarborough Hospital
Diversity Midwives have privileges at the Scarborough Health Network. We provide midwifery care at the Birchmount and General Sites of the hospital. For more information about midwifery services at the Scarborough Health Network, please contact our office.
The Scarborough Health Network is a level 2 hospital which provides 24 hour obstetrical, anesthetic and pediatric coverage. SHN offers full obstetrical care including emergencies and a NICU capable of caring for babies born after 30-32 weeks.
The Family Maternal Centre has private birthing rooms where women labour, deliver and can remain in the early postpartum period.
SHN offers the following programs within the maternal newborn department: