What you need to Bring:

What do I need to know for a hospital birth?

If you choose to have your baby in a hospital setting, the Midwifery Collective of Ottawa has hospital privileges at the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital. The Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital is located at 1053 Carling Avenue, at Parkdale. For more information on the hospital, please visit their website: The Ottawa Hospital. The Civic Campus offers regular information sessions which provide information about admissions, hospital routines and policies. The Ottawa Hospital has created an information booklet that desribes their services: Family Information Handbook.


If you have planned a hospital birth, your midwife will either meet you at the Birthing Unit or if she has assessed you at home she will accompany you the the Birthing Unit where she will admit you to a labour and delivery room. All labour rooms are private. A second midwife will be called when delivery is imminent. The second midwife is responsible for the care of your baby. She will remain for a minimum of one hour following the delivery of your placenta. If things go normally, like most births do, the baby is given to you immediately and is left with you for the first hour following birth, unless there is a concern. We encourage skin to skin contact and encourage early nursing.


There are hospital routines such as the administration of vitamin k and erythromycin eye ointment. These we do when the baby has finished nursing. At the same time we usually do the newborn physical examination, weigh, and measure the baby. Usually following the birth, everyone is tired so we limit our teaching to what is normal and what to expect for the next 24 hours.

If you have chosen early discharge, we make our first home visit within 24 hours of the baby's birth to reassess you and the baby, including another complete physical exam of the baby, the newborn screening test, and the CCHD (critical congenital heart defect) screen. At that time we do further teaching regarding nursing/ feeding and what is normal for you and baby over the next 48 hours. Our next home visit is when the baby is 3 days old. A further visit is made when the baby is 5 days old.


If everything is within normal limits at that visit, you will be invited to bring the baby back to the office for the baby's two week checkup. At that visit we will do another complete physical and weigh the baby.

If you choose to stay longer in the hospital, you will be transferred to a postpartum ward where the nursing staff will provide care. Following discharge from the hospital, the midwife will visit you at home.


For a hospital birth you will need:
  • Car seat. Be sure you know how to use it!

  • Ontario Health card

  • Parking money

  • Extra clothing and blankets for baby, depending on the season

  • Phone numbers of family and friends

  • Car filled with gas

  • Be sure you know the route to the hospital



What do I need to know for a home birth?

If you choose to have your baby at home, the midwife will arrive at your house after you page her to assess your progress. If you are not in active labour, she will advise you of any thing you need to do. She will leave and wait for your next page. If you are in active labour, she will stay with you until after the baby is born and has fed. She will monitor your labour and help support you along with anyone else who is there to support you. She will also have paperwork to document the progress of your labour. When she deems the right time, she will page the second midwife to attend the birth. As with in the hospital, one will focus on the birthing person and the other on the baby. Midwives are trained in neonatal resuscitation (NRP) and CPR. Midwives are also able to take care of immediate postpartum needs, such as assessing and repairing tears as well as teaching initial nursing/ feeding.


Important Items:


  • Hot water bottle or heating pad

  • Container for the placenta (a yogurt or ice cream container is fine)

  • Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning spots off carpets

  • Old sheets, towels, hand towels, facecloths, etc.

  • A plastic, cotton-backed tablecloth

  • Postpartum pads, large size

  • Disposable bed underpads, large size

  • For baby: hat, diapers, undershirt, sleepers, booties, receiving blankets, larger warm blanket.

  • Large garbage bags

  • A portable, bright, directable light or flashlight with new batteries.


Also nice, but not absolutely necessary:


  • A fan for the summer or an electric portable heater for winter so windows can be opened.

  • Oil for massage

  • A hand mirror

  • Squirt bottle, such as an empty shampoo or dish detergent bottle

  • Lots of pillows

  • Knee socks and a warm, comfortable T-Shirt to wear

  • Lots of energizing drinks (fruit juice, Gatorade etc.)

  • Bendable straws

  • Light and easily digestible snacks like fresh fruit

  • Camera

  • Food for your birthing group