Give women the choice – Bring #BirthCentres to Ontario

Women dream about their wedding day for years before they get married, they play it out in their head, all the little details of how to make that day just right, one to remember forever.  Which venue will work the best?  What flowers will be the perfect fit?  Hours spent deciding on the perfect dress.  This is a major event that you can plan down to the detail.
What other event do women think about, plan around, and try to wrap their head around in preparation for it?  The birth of their child.
Now planning a wedding has lots of similarities to planning a birth: you have the choice of Midwife vs Doctor, venue (home, birth centre, hospital), which “guests” you will invite…  Back in university I used to occasionally indulge in watching back-to-back episodes of “The Wedding Story” and “The Baby Story” on TLC – imagining my future wedding and birthing experiences.
30 Weeks Pregnant with A.C.

Once I found out I was pregnant with A.C. I started to research what my options were for delivery.  Hospitals are a place for sick people, pregnant women are not sick, and the majority of women do not need intense medical intervention to have a healthy delivery.  I did some Googling to find out where the closest Birth Center was to me and you know what I found in Ontario? Nothing, Nada, Zilch!!!  Ontario does not offer birth centres, the closest one is in Quebec!  You see The Baby Story is an American show, and like many places around the world (and even other provinces in Canada) they offer Birth Centres where women can choose to have their babies.  Unfortunately Ontario women do not have that same luxury.

Even when faced with the choice between hospital or home, I knew that I would like to have a midwife attend my delivery.  I like their model of evidenced-base compassionate care.  However, in Ontario 40% of women who want midwifery care cannot get it.  I was one of the lucky ones, and had extraordinary prenatal care by my local midwives.
Now as I have talked about several times on the blog, the birth of A.C. did not go exactly as planned.  I was big and pregnant one day, and then had a 32 week old preemie the next.  Once admitted to hospital my care was transferred to the OB on call, however my midwife continued to offer extraordinary support and EXPLAINED what was going on and what to expect.
Planning for the birth of a child should be like planning a wedding – one size does not fit all. Women should have the option to birth at a location that supports their needs along with a healthy normal birth.  I would LOVE to see Ontario offer birthing centres to pregnant women.  Not only would it save our healthcare system money, but it would help promote and support normal healthy birth in Ontario.
Take a moment to find out what you can do to support Birth Centres in Ontario.

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10 thoughts on “Give women the choice – Bring #BirthCentres to Ontario”

  1. I love this idea. I had a midwife with my son. She was FANTASTIC and so understanding throughout my entire pregnancy. I ended up having to get a c-section, but I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

  2. Calgary has a birth centre but I believe it is grossly under used and has been in danger of closing several times. I think as Canada catches up with midwifery we will see these options become more available to everyone, however it takes time to train all those midwives!

  3. I would of loved having it as an option when I had my children. I really didn't like the hospital as my only option, as out of home was not an option. I'm amazed Ontario doesn't have anything. They should.

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