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Labour & Delivery/Post-Partum


At Markham Stouffville Hospital we offer an obstetrical assessment telephone line 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  If you have a concern about your pregnancy or think you may be in labour call 905-472-7366 and you will be connected with one of our registered nurses.  They will ask you several questions to gather information about your specific situation and will offer guidance on a plan of care.  You will be included in the decision making for your plan of care every step of the way.

If you and the nurse agree that you should come in for assessment, you will proceed to our triage area on the fourth floor, the same area that you pre-registered for your delivery.

Once you arrive here you will be registered by one of our secretaries and then assessed by one of our nurses.  Please remember to bring your health card.  After you have been seen by our nurse, communication about your situation will be made to your primary care provider.  At this point you may be admitted to our labour and delivery unit or sent home with instructions.

Labour and Delivery Unit

Once you are in active labour you will be admitted to our labour and delivery unit.  The labour and delivery area offers specially designed rooms for you and your partner to feel welcome.  Each room has special lighting, comfortable seating for you and your partner and your family.  Each room has a large Jacuzzi for your use and birthing balls and squat bars to assist you with coping in labour.  The philosophy of Markham Stouffville Hospital is to provide “Supportive Care in Labour”.  This means that your nurse will be in the room with you for the majority of your labour providing information, support and clinical care.  If your primary care provider is a midwife, she will be providing this supportive care to you.

Operative Delivery Suite

Sometimes babies are required to be delivered by caesarean birth, either planned or unplanned.  Our labour and delivery unit has two Operating suites for this purpose.  Other reasons for giving birth in these rooms are twin births, breech births, and premature births.  Your delivery team will include an obstetrician, anesthesiologist, a respiratory therapist and two to three nurses to care for you and your baby.  After caesarean birth you will spend two to three hours in the recovery room adjacent to the operating suite.  If your baby is well, he or she will be with you during this time.

Post-partum Care

Once you have delivered your baby and have had a couple of hours together, you may be required to move over to our post partum unit.  You will be moved to a room matched to your preferred accommodation request (either private, semi private or standard). If our birthing rooms are not needed for laboring women, you have requested a private room and you are planning to go home in less than 24 hours, you and your baby may remain in the same room you gave birth in.    In general, most women go home within 24 hours of giving birth and can return to our outpatient clinics for assistance with mother/baby care and breastfeeding.

You and your baby will be cared for by our multidisciplinary team.  Prior to discharge your nurse will ensure your physical and emotional needs have been met and that you are prepared for changes you may experience in the first few weeks postpartum.  You and your family will lead in the care of your baby, with your nurse to educate and assist as necessary.  Your baby will be examined by a physician within the first 24 hours of life, or sooner if required.  As long as your baby is stable, they will remain with you at all times.  If your baby is required to go for tests, you or your partner are encouraged to go with them.    Your nurse will establish a discharge plan with you to facilitate you returning home with your new baby as soon as possible.  

Follow-Up Care

If you have had no complications, you will follow up with your primary care provider in six weeks.  Your baby will need to be seen by a doctor or your midwife within two to three days of discharge from the hospital.  You will be given information about your baby to take to your baby’s doctor or midwife. 

Some babies will be given an appointment to return to our paediatric clinic within a day or two after discharge.  You will either be given an appointment on discharge or one of our team members from the clinic will contact you the first business day following your discharge to give you a date and time to come in.

Breastfeeding support is available in the obstetrical follow up clinic and your nurse can provide you with an appointment before you go home.