Why Give Birth at a Birth Centre?

Birth centres offer a home-like setting

Ontario’s  birth centres include the following features:

  • large, private, comfortable birthing rooms
  • special amenities (like large birth tubs and suspended birth slings) to provide support, comfort and help with labour progress,
  • comfortable community spaces for your visitors when they are not with you

Birth centres strive to meet the needs of diverse communities

Ontario's birth centres aim to provide family-centred, culturally safe spaces for everyone who uses them.  They specifically aim to be inclusive of communities that have historically faced marginalization (e.g. Canada’s Indigenous peoples, 2SLGBTQI+ people, newcomers to Canada, and members of linguistic, cultural and/or racialized minority communities).

Birth centres have high levels of client satisfaction

As part of their 2016 evaluationThe EVALUATION OF ONTARIO’S BIRTH CENTRE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT (Final Report: March 31, 2016) concluded that "care was low in intervention, safe (minimal negative outcomes and a transport rate comparable to the literature), well-integrated into the maternal-child health system, and satisfactory to women" and that "data collected from the BCs during the demonstration project supports the BC as a safe and effective option for women with low risk pregnancies seeking a low-intervention approach to their labour and birth."1Sprague AE, Sidney D, Darling EK, Van Wagner V, Soderstrom B, Rogers J, et al. Outcomes for the First Year of Ontario’s Birth Center Demonstration Project. J Midwifery Womens Health [Internet]. 2018 Sep;63(5):532–40. of Ottawa and Toronto’s birth centres, BORNThe Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) is Ontario's prescribed maternal, newborn and child registry with the role of facilitating quality care for families across the province. BORN collects, interprets, shares and rigorously protects high-quality data essential to making Ontario the safest place in the world to have a baby.Ontario B. About BORN [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jul 30]. (Better Outcomes Registry and Network) Ontario conducted a client experience survey.  84% of survey respondents said they would plan to give birth in a birth centre again.

Some of the things survey respondents enjoyed the most were the calm atmosphere, special amenities and non-medicalized environment of birth centres.    

If you:

  • live in a community where there is a birth centre
  • have a midwife that works at a birth centre
  • are experiencing a healthy, low risk pregnancy
  • prefer to stay out of hospital, but aren’t sure about a home birth
  • are hoping to have a low-/no-intervention birth

having your baby in a birth centre may be for you!


Find out from three midwifery clients why they chose to have their baby in a birth centre: