We’re prepared for the best, the worst and everything in between

More than 85 percent of women who plan to have their babies at a birth centre do so, in safety and comfort. To confirm that a birth centre remains the optimal place to delivery your child, however, your midwife will assess you throughout your pregnancy and labour. If you develop complications at any time, your midwife will recommend you go to a hospital.

Once at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre, most women who transfer to a hospital do so for non-urgent reasons: they are tired from a long labour, for example, want access to drugs for pain relief or have developed high blood pressure. Only about three percent of women in Ontario who choose to deliver at home or at a birth centre require an urgent transfer to hospital. These women and their babies most commonly need immediate medical attention for:

  • an abnormal fetal heart rate
  • newborn respiratory distress
  • maternal haemorrhage or seizure
  • an Apgar score of less than seven at five minutes
  • an obstetrical emergency such as a cord prolapse

Getting you and your baby to the nearest hospital

Be assured that registered midwives are well trained to detect complications early and to deal with emergencies swiftly and effectively.

When time is critical

Should you or your baby require the urgent attention of a doctor, your midwife will call 911 and an ambulance will take you to the nearest hospital. Your midwife will also call the hospital directly to alert them to your impending arrival and ensure they have all the information they need to care for you and your baby.

Depending on the medical care you or your baby require, you will be admitted to either the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus or the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. In either case, your midwife will travel with you to the hospital.

When there’s no need to rush

If you want to transfer to a hospital for non-urgent reasons and time allows, you’ll go to the hospital where your midwife has privileges, either by car or ambulance.

Upon your admission at the Montfort Hospital or the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital, a doctor may need to take charge of certain aspects of your care. In such an event, your midwife will continue to support you and will resume her role as your primary caregiver when your condition improves.