Ottawa’s Birth Centre
The Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre offers a warm, individualized approach to childbirth in a community-based setting. The birthing suites at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre are designed to provide you with everything you need for an empowering and safe labour and birth.
Our birth stories
Birth Centre families use words like warm, welcoming, safe, empowering, and calm to describe their experiences of labour and birth at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. 95% of clients surveyed tell us that they would choose to give birth at the Birth Centre again.
Our birthing suites are spacious and customizable, allowing you to use the space in the way that fits you best during your labour and birth.
We offer you private, well-equipped birthing suites with soft lighting, cozy fireplaces, queen-sized beds, comfortable linens, Bluetooth speakers, large bathtubs for labour and birth, suspended slings for changing position in labour, a full bathroom and shower, birthing balls, birth stools, and all of the equipment your midwife needs to ensure a safe labour and delivery—and a tasty, nutritious meal after your baby has arrived.
Tubs for labour and birth
Each birthing suite features a beautiful, deep tub, which you can use for labour, and to give birth in if you choose. Your choice to labour and birth in the water is respected and supported at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. The tubs are very spacious, facilitating your mobility, and allowing your birth partner room to be in the tub as well, if you wish.
Pain relief options
The ability to move freely and to have control over your space is a key comfort measure available at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. In addition, the Birth Centre offers nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’), sterile water injections, TENS machines, and other labour supports like suspended slings, birthing balls, peanut balls, and birth stools.
The Birth Centre does not offer hospital-based pain relief options such as narcotics and epidurals.
Complications in labour or birth
Your midwife will ensure that you continue to be a good candidate for a Birth Centre birth during your pregnancy and labour. If complications arise while you are at the Birth Centre, your midwife will recommend a transfer to hospital.
The majority of transfers from the Birth Centre are non-urgent, and are for reasons such as long labour or access to hospital-based pain relief options. In these cases, you will go to the hospital where your midwife has privileges, either by car or by ambulance (depending on the situation).
If an urgent situation arises, 9-1-1 will be called and an ambulance will bring you to the nearest hospital, according to well-developed protocols that are in place with hospitals and paramedics. In most cases of a hospital transfer, babies are still born vaginally, either unassisted or with the help of vacuum or forceps
Length of stay
You can be admitted to the Birth Centre once you are in active labour. Unless a transfer is necessary, you will stay through your labour and birth, and for up to four hours after your baby’s birth (similar to birth with a midwife in hospital). At that point, you will go home, and a midwife will visit you at home within the first 24 hours after birth.
Capacity of the Centre
The Birth Centre features three full birthing suites, and an additional room with a bed and full equipment, but no tub or bathroom. Clients are admitted to the Birth Centre when they are in active labour, on a first-come, first-served basis. For this reason, you and your midwife will make a back-up plan in case the Birth Centre is full. That plan may be to stay home, or to go to the hospital. However, it is extremely rare that a client is not able to be admitted to the Centre in labour because the Centre is full.
If you are interested in giving birth at the Birth Centre, simply inform your midwife of your interest. Your midwife will submit all of the required paperwork on your behalf. We highly recommend that anyone considering the Birth Centre for their birth should come for a tour during their pregnancy. This allows you to become familiar with our location and the labour space ahead of your big day. Additionally, you may sign our informed consent form at this time. Registering at the Birth Centre does not mean that you must come here when you go into labour; rather, it ensures that we have all of the information on file should you decide to choose the Birth Centre as your preferred birth location.
Midwives at the Birth Centre
Midwives work in midwifery practice groups, located throughout the city. The following practices all have appointment at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre, and ALL midwives working in these practices offer clients the choice of Birth Centre, home, or hospital birth.
Click to expand details: