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Childbirth

At Markham Stouffville Hospital, we support Childbirth as a natural process. Our emphasis is on providing excellent patient and family centred care, and having you as a partner in your care.

Our goal is for you to have a safe and satisfying childbirth experience that respects your personal cultural and spiritual choices.

Having Your Baby at MSH - What you need to know

Choosing the right care provider

Your family physician can help you select a healthcare provider who best meets your expectations regarding your pregnancy and birth journey.

At MSH, you can be under the care of an obstetrician, midwife, or family physician. 

  • Obstetrician - a physician who specializes in providing pregnancy and birth care for low or high risk pregnancies.
  • Family Physicians - experienced in obstetrics and provide complete care throughout pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum stages.
  • Midwife - a registered health-care professional who provides primary care for low risk pregnancies in your home or at MSH.

Visit our health care provider page for more information on these options.

As part of the healthcare team, social workers can help you and your child with personal, social, emotional and financial problems you may be experiencing during your pregnancy or following your delivery.

Pre-registration

Pre-registration is important to provide your care team with your detailed information, such as insurance coverage, and room preference to facilitate a smooth admission process when you arrive in labour. It gives you an opportunity to sign up for breastfeeding, and caesarian section (C-Section) / vaginal birth after caesarian section (VBAC) information classes.

We have valuable educational material we will share with you to help prepare you for your birth experience. You may also purchase a breast pump, breastfeeding pillow, and the Maternal Child Blue book at this time.

When you come for pre-registration please make sure you have the following:

  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) health card
  • Completed admitting preadmission questionnaire package from physician or midwife
  • Supplementary insurance information. Please ensure that you are aware of your insurance coverage. If you have supplementary insurance we will bill them on your behalf, with the understanding that the responsibility for full payment remains with you.

Learn more about pre-registration including location and contact information.

Classes and support

We offer the following support for mothers and families:

  • vaginal birth after caesarean section information session - available monthly
  • preparing for breastfeeding (pre-birth) - available most weekends 
  • breastfeeding support sessions - available weekly in clinic 4
  • post-partum support class (what to do when you bring baby home) - you will be registered for this class after the birth of your baby - available most weekdays

Please register for these classes in advance when you pre-register for your birth at the hospital, or prior to the date of the class at Registration & Triage on 4th floor between 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. or by phone 905 472-7366. 

What should you bring with you?

Please bring personal hygiene products, towels, washcloths, diapers, and clothes for mother and baby. Remember to bring any supplies for your support person such as food, blankets, and pillows.

Patient gowns, baby blankets, and feeding supplies will be provided during your hospital stay. 

See a full list of suggested items you should bring with you.

Triage

If you have a concern about your pregnancy or think you may be in labour, you may call the obstetrical assessment telephone line at 905-472-7366, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  You will be connected with one of our registered nurses who will ask you several questions about your specific situation and work with you to establish a care plan.  

More If you come in for an assessment, bring your health card to our triage area on the top floor of Building B. The nurse will update your care provider about your situation and you may be admitted to our labour and delivery unit, or go home with your care plan. 

Labour and Delivery Unit

Our labour and delivery area is a welcoming environment for you, your partner, and family which includes comfortable seating and a rest area. To help ensure you have a wonderful birth experience, each room has a  large Jacuzzi tub, birthing balls and squat bars to assist you with your labour.

When you are admitted, discuss you birth plan and expectations with your care team. Our nurses are trained in 'Supportive Care in Labour,' and will be in the room with you for the majority of your labour providing information, support, and clinical care. If you are under the care of a midwife, she will also provide this supportive care for you. 

Operative Delivery Suite

If you require a caesarean section (C-Section), either planned or unplanned, our labour and delivery unit has two operating suites for this purpose. These rooms are also used for vaginal delivery of twins, breech births, or premature births. Your delivery team includes an obstetrician, anesthesiologist, a respiratory therapist, and nurses to care for you and your baby.

Following your caesarean birth, you will spend two to three hours in the recovery room adjacent to the operating suite. After recovery, you will be transferred to a postpartum room, where your family is welcome to join you. Your partner is encouraged to be with you during all stages of your birth experience. If your baby is well, he or she will be with you in both the recovery and postpartum rooms.

Post-partum Care

A few hours after you have delivered your baby, you and your baby will move over to our post-partum unit. Your assigned room will align with your preferred accommodation request (private, semi-private or standard rooms are available).

In general, most women and their babies go home within 24 hours after birth. Your baby will be examined by a physician prior to leaving the hospital - within the first 24 hours after birth or sooner if required. Prior to discharge, your nurse will ensure your physical and emotional needs have been met and that you are ready for the changes you may experience in the first few weeks after the birth of your child.

You and your baby can return to our outpatient clinics for follow up mother/baby care, breastfeeding assistance, and your baby’s hearing screening test. 

More You  and your family will lead in the care of your baby, with your nurse to educate and assist as necessary. As long as your baby is stable, he/she will remain with you. If your baby is required to go for tests, you or your partner are encouraged to go with them. Your nurse will work with you on your discharge plan to help you return home with your new baby as soon as possible. 

Markham Stouffville Hospital has a partnership with Public Health for the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program and breastfeeding support.  The public health nurse visits weekdays to connect new families to supportive community programs.

Follow-Up Care

Every woman will be referred to our outpatient OB clinic for follow up care. When you leave the hospital, you will be given information about your baby to take to your baby’s doctor or midwife and all clinic appointments. Your baby will need to be seen by a doctor or midwife within two to three days of discharge from the hospital. If you had no complications, book a follow up appointment with your primary care provider in six weeks.  

More Some babies will be referred to our newborn clinic within a day or two after discharge. You will receive the date and time of your appointment at discharge, or from a clinic staff member by phone on the first business day following your discharge. 

Commitment to Quality

Baby Friendly Initiative

Click here to learn about the Baby Friendly Initiative.

Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently (MOREOB) Program

We are proud to be an active participant in the MOREOB Program which is a “comprehensive performance improvement program that creates a culture of patient safety”.  This program provides our staff with tools and education to provide best practice to ensure better outcomes for moms and their babies. Click here to learn more.

Presentations & Conferences

Markham Stouffville Hospital Maternal Child Services are proud to be leaders in the innovation spread of our Caesarean Section (C/S) reduction strategy.  As an organization we have decreased our C/S rate from almost 30 per cent to 23 per cent and have sustained this lower rate.  This was achieved by ensuring we are providing evidence based care and adhering to best practice guidelines. 

Umbilical Cord Blood Retrieval

If you are planning to participate in an umbilical cord blood retrieval and storage program, a hospital administrative fee is charged. This fee is separate from the fees you will pay the private company coordinating the retrieval and storage of the cord blood. Upon admission you will be asked to pay this administrative fee. You can pay by credit card or debit card, but not cash. This charge is to cover the cost of supplies to retrieve the cord blood and process the contents while in hospital. These costs are not covered by your cord blood retrieval fee. You will be charged for this when you are admitted to the Centre for Childbirth & Children. Ask your physician or midwife for more information about umbilical cord blood banking.