Why Give Birth at a Hospital?
Hundreds of thousands of babies have been born into the hands of midwives in Ontario hospitals since midwifery was regulated in 1994. Around 75% of midwifery clients plan to have their babies in the hospital, and about 80% actually do. Midwives work in over 90 hospitals across the province.
There are many reasons people plan a hospital birth with a midwife. Ontario-based research tells us that midwifery clients who choose hospital birth have many things in common.
- see birth as a natural process
- feel most comfortable in a hospital setting
- feel that the hospital is the safest option in case of emergency
- like the idea of being close to hospital-only medical pain relief options such as epidural
If you are at increased risk for certain complications, giving birth in the hospital is recommended. This is so you have quick access to specialist care (e.g. obstetrician, pediatrician) and increased monitoring if you and/or your baby need it.
Some examples of when your midwife may recommend a hospital birth include:
- pregnancy-related issues (e.g. a breech baby or developing high blood pressure)
- long-term health conditions (e.g. heart disease, bleeding disorders)
- previous birth complications (e.g. stillbirth, a placenta that wouldn’t come out on its own)
Your midwife will help you determine if a hospital birth is recommended based on the health of both you and your baby.
Find out from three midwifery clients why they chose to have their baby at the hospital:
 Reference: Murray-Davis B, McDonald H, Teitsma A, Coubrough M, Hutton E. Deciding on home or hospital birth: Results of the Ontario choice of birthplace survey. Midwifery 30 (2014), 869-876.