Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta': The Place They Will Be Born
Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta', The Place They Will Be Born, is located at 1350 Sour Springs Road RR6, Hagersville, ON N0A 1H0 on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' is more than just a birthing centre; It is a full-service maternal and child health centre.
Historically, Aboriginal Midwives cared for women and their families in all seasons of life. Since May 1996, the Aboriginal Midwives at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta', have been:
- Caring for women during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and after the birth of their babies
- Providing a balance of traditional and contemporary midwifery services
- Offering programming that complements and supports clients' personal beliefs and customs
Programs at at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' are open to all Indigenous people and include:
For more information on the programs at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' visit their website.
Midwifery Care at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta'
All pregnant people, along with their family, extended family, and any other support people are welcome at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta'. It is up to you who is involved in your care and what members of your family or community attend your birth.
Your personal beliefs and customs are very important. Traditional teachings and health practices, ceremonies, and plant medicines can be integrated into any aspect of your care as you wish. The midwives at the birth centre work closely with a Traditional Medicine Person who is available to prepare sacred plant medicines for use in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Midwives have always been an integral part of Indigenous communities across Canada. It has only been within the last century that midwifery and birth were removed from these communities. The midwives at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' understand the impacts of colonialism, cultural suppression, and historical trauma. Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' provides a safe and respectful place for people to practice their Traditional Indigenous ceremonies and/or those who feel culturally disconnected to reclaim their Indigenous heritage. This is a place where you can engage in a process of cultural rediscovery and healing while being cared for by your own people, on your own land and through the sacred ceremony of birth.
“It all starts with good beginnings”
Carol Couchie BHSc, RM
Who can access midwifery care at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta'?
If you are interested in having Aboriginal midwifery care through Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' you are welcome.
The midwives at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' typically provide care to Indigenous families within a 1-hour radius of the birthing centre. Your appointments can take place at the birth centre, home or a place of your choosing. You can also choose to give birth at the birth centre, your home, or the hospital; your Aboriginal Midwife will provide care in the setting of your choice or need. If for any reason travelling or leaving your home for your appointments or your birth is an issue, your midwife will either arrange for transportation or care for you where you are living.
Traditionally, the midwives at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' have cared for women experiencing normal or low risk pregnancies. They have come to recognize that some of the most valuable care they provide is for people facing challenges during their pregnancy. For this reason, they have expanded their practice to care for anyone who is interested in having an Aboriginal midwife. For example, if a specialist like an obstetrician needs to be involved in your care, you can still have a midwife from Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta'. Depending on your situation and the health of you and your baby, your midwife will either provide primary care or supportive care.
What is primary care?
As a primary care provider your Aboriginal Midwife is not only responsible for you and your baby’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical needs, she is responsible for providing you with clinically safe care. The midwives offer choice of birthplace and can provide primary care during labour and birth at the birth centre or at home. If you need or want to go to the hospital for any reason your midwife will accompany you in a supportive care role. Some examples of why you may need or want to go to the hospital include:
- You want medical forms of pain relief that are not available at home or the birth centre such as an epidural
- Your labour is moving along very slowly
- You have heavy bleeding after the birth
What is supportive care?
The midwives at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' work collaboratively with other care providers to help ensure that you and your baby receive the best possible care in a respectful and culturally safe way. If for any reason you require specialist care (obstetrician, endocrinologist, pediatrician) during your pregnancy, birth and/or postpartum period your midwife will adopt a supportive care role. She will accompany you to appointments as you wish and will attend your birth. Although your midwife is not responsible for your clinical care in this situation, they still will:
- Support your mental, emotional and spiritual needs
- Act as your advocate to ensure that you are well informed of your medical options and care plan
- Act as a liaison between the medical staff, you and your family while ensuring that you are respected by hospital staff
- Provide comfort measures
- Ensure that you feel safe practicing your Traditional beliefs, practices and ceremonies
Your midwife may also be able to resume primary care if your situation changes and you don’t require specialist care anymore.
For more information about accessing midwifery care through Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' you can visit their website or Toll Free Phone: 1-866-446-4922 Local: (519) 445-4922.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please call the birth centre prior to any visits and to inquire about the current availability of programs and services.