Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU)

Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU)

Location and Contact

Location: Markham site: Building B, 4th floor

The Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU) at Markham Stouffville Hospital opened in 2018 and is the FIRST of its kind in Canada. The AMU offers women another location option for birth with a midwife in a relaxed comfortable and friendly environment. A midwife is a registered healthcare professional who provides full primary care for low-risk pregnancies from early pregnancy until six weeks after delivery.

Patients select a community midwife clinic from one of our three partners: Midwifery Services of Durham, Midwifery Services of Markham Stouffville and Uxbridge Community Midwives

About the Alongside Midwifery Unit

This is a separate birthing area located beside an obstetrical unit with access to operating rooms and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Physicians and other staff needed in emergencies are close by to assist if needed. 

Specially designed birthing rooms provide a welcoming space for families with furnishings and equipment to support normal birth, such as birth chairs, floor mats, hanging slings, and tubs suitable for water immersion and waterbirth. A double sized Murphy bed is readily available after birth so that the new family can relax and enjoy skin-to-skin bonding time with baby. 

As you prepare for the upcoming birth of your baby, you may want to consider taking advantage of water immersion and/or water birth. Water birth is a safe approach to childbirth that has been practised in many other countries for more than 30 years and is gaining in popularity in North America.

If you are interested in labouring or giving birth in water, please discuss it with your midwife. Together you can determine if a water birth is a good option for you. Find out more in our Water birth brochure.

Who can use the Alongside Midwifery Unit at Markham Stouffville Hospital?

The majority of women under the care of a midwife are eligible to give birth on the AMU. If you are planning a hospital birth and are a client of Markham Stouffville Midwives, Midwifery Services of Durham, or Uxbridge Midwives and remain low-risk at the time of labour, you will be booked to birth on the AMU. 

If your care is transferred to an obstetrician during your pregnancy, you will be booked to deliver on the Obstetrical Unit. A midwife can provide supportive care to you while there. Please speak to your midwife about any situation that could rule out an AMU birth (e.g., the need for a caesarean section birth, twins or diabetes requiring insulin).

Childbirth classes and supports

Find out about classes and supports that we offer.

Meet our midwives