- The facility was built for birth. It wasn’t built for heart attacks and surgeries and broken bones and x-rays and then adapted for family-centred births. The design is family and birth friendly. The birth rooms are built for the comfort of birthing. Large rooms feature fireplaces, music players, broad beds, rocking chairs, huge baths, space on the floor, roomy showers, ropes on ceiling you can hang onto (really!). The space is designed to allow for the privacy of the person giving birth but still accommodate the comfort needs of those not in the birth room itself. Good food, comfortable couches, a place to get a glass of water without having to leave are all available. This supports birth within the context of the person’s family and community.
- The staff are there to help you and your midwives. In hospital, human resources are organized to deal efficiently with all patient and staff needs. For example, the person in charge of registering you is probably in the hospital lobby to maximize traffic flow – not next to the birth rooms. Nurses are responsible for the whole floor. At the birth centre the staff are all there to make the experience of giving birth better and the experience of providing birth care better. It is such a wonderful thing to have a birth centre aid say, “I’ll take care of that for you!”
- The location is close to hospital if needed. For people who live close to their local hospital this is irrelevant. Going to the birth centre to give birth is like having a “staycation.” The birth centre might be nicer than your house but the attractions are all the same. But for those who live a little ways from their nearest hospital and are uncomfortable with the distance, the birth centre offers the best of both worlds: out-of-hospital birth in a home-like centre close to hospital services if needed.
- The fantastic space makes people feel fantastic. The space is lovely, comfortable, luxurious, and spacious. It is very clear that the people who designed and maintain the space think that the people giving birth here are really important. Five-star treatment acknowledges the important work that the person giving birth is doing. Ina May Gaskin is known to have said that if a woman doesn’t look like a goddess when she is giving birth then someone is doing something wrong. The birth centre helps people feel like a goddess.
- Great food! After giving birth everyone deserves to be fed a delicious and nutritious meal. They have earned it! In the hospital you are lucky to get toasted white bread with congealed single serving jam. In the birth centre you are presented with a menu detailing your scrumptious options. Another perk? For a small fee, your support people can also place an order
If you are interested in having your baby at the birth centre, give us call at 613-345-6608. Check out more photos of the birth centre below!
Genia Stephen is a registered midwife at Generations Midwifery Care. You can learn more about her here.