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Choice of Birthplace

Where to give birth

Midwifery clients have the option of giving birth at home or in hospital.  Midwives provide the same clinical care regardless of whether a woman delivers at home or hospital.  In our practice we offer the choice of birth at:

  • the client’s home (or that of a relative or friend)
  • our midwifery clinic (considered a homebirth)
  • the Niagara Health System St. Catharines Site – 1200 Fourth Avenue


Out-of-hospital-birth is an option for most women in midwifery care since research has shown home birth to be as safe as hospital birth for both mother and baby provided:

  • only women considered ‘low-risk’ birth at home – your midwife will determine your ‘suitability’ for a homebirth during the prenatal period
  • midwives are in attendance and bring equipment necessary for birth and obstetrical emergencies
  • there is a hospital which provides obstetrical care within a reasonable distance away
Birth at home has been shown to decrease the likelihood of needing medical interventions such as c-section, epidural or episiotomy.  About 25% of women who plan home birth transfer to hospital, most often because of a long labour and/or request for pain relief.  These situations are ‘non-urgent’ or ‘non-emergent’.  Only 1% of clients planning a home birth have an emergency transport to hospital by ambulance.

See the links below for more information on homebirth

College of Midwives Fact Sheet on Homebirth –

McMaster Study finds Homebirth Safe-

Outcomes of homebirth with RMs vs.  hospital birth with RMs and MDs –

Outcomes of  homebirths with certified midwives: large prospective study in North America –

Hospital birth

Approximately 70% of midwifery clients in Ontario choose to give birth in a hospital.  If planning a hospital birth clients can expect:

  • at-home labour assessments for most women
  • midwives remaining with and caring for women during their active labour, birth and the early postpartum period
  • labour and delivery of their baby to occur in the same room (birthing room)
  • showers and a tub available for comfort / pain management
  • pharmacological pain relief options such as narcotics and epidurals
  • nursing staff sometimes involved in areas of clinical care
  • amicable, collaborative interactions between nurses, midwives and physicians whenever working together
  • the option of early discharge from hospital (around 3 hrs) – discharge will be delayed if there are concerns with mother or baby or if the woman chooses to stay longer