For most clients choosing where to birth their baby is one of the most individual and deeply personal choices made during pregnancy.
Research from the Association of Ontario Midwives has shown that for low risk midwifery clients all three birth settings (Home, Hospital, Birth Suite) are appropriate.
Midwives are the only primary care providers in Ontario specifically trained in home birth. About 20% of midwifery clients in Ontario plan to have their babies at home. Midwives carry all of the essential equipment necessary to facilitate safe labour, birth and immediate postpartum care. Many midwifery clients choose home birth because it is where they feel most comfortable and supported for the duration of their birthing experience. Regardless if it is a client’s first pregnancy or they have already birthed a baby, our midwives are highly skilled and experienced in providing home birth care.
KWMA midwives have privileges to facilitate births at Grand River Hospital. For low-risk midwifery clients, hospital labours and births are fully managed by your midwifery team. This means that everything about your labour is treated as the natural process of birth, the same as in both other settings.
Why do many clients choose a hospital as their birth setting? Many clients feel most safe and comfortable in the hospital, knowing that emergency intervention is located in the building. Additionally, clients also feel more comfortable knowing they have access to pharmacological pain management options, such as epidural. Hospital is the only birth setting where epidural is available. For other clients the midwife may recommend hospital as the safest birth setting based on their individual pregnancy and risk factors.
Like home birth, our KWMA Birth Suite is considered an out-of-hospital birth setting. Birth suite births have the equivalent safety and comfort of home birth. From the midwife’s perspective, home and birth suite are equal settings. We use the same equipment and have the same safety protocols and procedures in place.
Why choose the birth suite over a home birth? For most clients, it comes down to where they feel most comfortable. We are lucky to be located directly across from Grand River Hospital (GRH). This proximity to GRH makes some clients feel more reassured. In addition, some clients feel uneasy about the size of their space or the process of birth occurring within their home. The birth suite provides an excellent alternative for these clients who would still like the out-of-hospital birthing experience.
Disclaimer: This video was taken in our previous clinic. However, the information remains valid.