Non-urgent transfer to hospital
Most people move from the birth centre into the hospital for non-urgent reasons. The most common reasons are:
- to access pain relief options not available at the birth centre (e.g., an epidural)
- to access an IV drip that contains the drug oxytocin to help speed up labour that is progressing very slowly
In these situations, there is no need to rush to the hospital. Travel can occur by car or taxi.
Emergency transport to hospital
In the very rare event that you need to get to the hospital quickly, your midwife will call 911 and an ambulance will transport you to the nearest hospital.
The most common emergencies that require ambulance transport are:
- heavy bleeding after the birth (post-partum hemorrhage) Post-partum hemorrhage is heavy bleeding after birth. It's normal to lose some blood during and after a birth. However, if you lose more blood than normal, you may feel tired, weak and find recovering from the birth can be more difficult.
- concerns about the baby’s heartbeat during labour or their breathing after the birth
Birth centres have pre-established protocols that direct the birth centre staff, Emergency Medical Services and hospital staff when responding to potential emergencies at the birth centre. This ensures quick and safe transport.
Depending on the situation, your midwife will either accompany you in the ambulance or meet you at the hospital.