Canada’s first in-hospital midwifery unit opens at Markham Stouffville Hospital

Families served by Markham Stouffville Hospital will have enhanced paediatric services closer to home.

MARKHAM, ON (June 26, 2018) – Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) will open Canada’s first Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU) a dedicated birth centre operated by midwives on July 9,  2018. This ground breaking unit makes MSH the hospital of choice for women who want to have a midwife for their childbirth experience in a hospital setting.  

With the AMU, patients of midwives will experience the more natural and low intervention birth experience associated with midwifery care and have access to obstetricians, neonatal and anaesthetic care, and diagnostic imaging on the same floor should they be needed during labour and birth. 
This partnership between obstetricians, and hospital and community midwives supports a patient focused, quality based and integrated approach to healthcare that is accessible, efficient and cost effective.

“We are thrilled to be opening an AMU at MSH.  This hospital has a longstanding history of our obstetricians and staff working closely with their midwifery colleagues.  This takes our partnership to a whole new level.  This model is truly transformational and puts the patient at the centre of their care,” says Jo-anne Marr, President & CEO, MSH.

Every effort has been made to make the AMU a warm, welcoming environment with emphasis on natural elements that align with midwifery philosophy. Instead of a clinical environment, the AMU birthing rooms offer alternatives including upright birthing stools, hanging slings and tubs suitable for water births.
With the AMU, midwives can care for more women in the community — from the current level of 600 per year to 1,100 — with the same number of midwives. This is done without increasing costs; in fact, midwifery services save a significant amount of money. 

“The AMU improves access to the right care close to home and the integration of care in the community with both hospital and community midwives. It allows women to be partners in their own health care by providing education, information and options; protecting the future of our healthcare system,” says Carol Cameron, Executive Director, AMU, MSH.


About Markham Stouffville Hospital
Markham Stouffville Hospital is a progressive, three-site, community hospital with 329 beds, leading diagnostic and emergency services and clinical programs in acute care medicine and surgery, addictions and mental health, and childbirth and children’s services. Partnering with other specialist providers, the hospital’s 500 physicians, 23 midwives, over 2,300 staff and nearly 1,300 volunteers make it the centre of community care for the residents of the City of Markham and the Towns of Stouffville and Uxbridge. 

About our community midwife practices 
Midwives from these practice groups have admitting privileges at MSH: Midwifery Services of Durham, Uxbridge Midwives and Markham Stouffville Midwives.  Two midwives in each team will typically attend a birth. Clients can contact midwives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with urgent concerns.