Labour and Delivery has its own separate entrance for mothers and their support givers on the south-east side of the Health Sciences Centre, below the Emergency Department.
After delivery, family and loved ones can visit mother and baby in the Maternal Newborn Unit.
From the Main Entrance, turn right down the Main Atrium to the Grand Staircase and go down to Level 1. At the bottom of the stairs, turn left and follow the hallway to the end. The Maternal Newborn Unit will be on the left, Unit 1C.
From the Main Entrance, turn right down the Main Atrium to the Grand Staircase. Turn right and the elevator will be immediately on your right. Go down to Level 1, turn right out of the elevator, and follow the hallway to the end. The Maternal Newborn Unit will be on the left, Unit 1C.
Your first and best source of information about your health and the health of your baby is your own care provider (family doctor, obstetrician, midwife, etc.). For more information about the Labour & Delivery department itself, please call us directly at (807) 684-6540.
For general questions about the Health Sciences Centre, please call the Switchboard at (807) 684-6000.
“Birth is a celebration – a normal, healthy process.”
(Family-Centred Care Guidelines, Health Canada, 2000, p. 1.8)
Having a baby can be both an exciting and anxious time in your life. To help you prepare for this important milestone, the Women and Children Program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has developed a Mother-Baby combined model of care. Our team of specialized nurses and other healthcare providers work together with your own obstetrician, midwife, and/or family physician to provide a safe and nurturing environment to have your baby. We help by offering:
Our goal is to create a safe and welcoming environment for the better health of mother and baby.
If you are under the care of your family physician or an obstetrician:
Come directly to Labour & Delivery. Call ahead if possible at (807) 684-6540.
If you are under the care of a midwife:
Call your midwife or the midwifery office and she will discuss your next steps with you.
If you are experiencing pains but you are not near your due date, contact your care provider immediately. You can always come to Labour & Delivery for an assessment if you cannot reach your care provider for any reason. Again, please call ahead if possible at (807) 684-6540.
If you are experiencing pains and you are under 20 weeks pregnant, please go directly to the Emergency Department.
Planning for Birth
Upon arrival to the Labour & Delivery area your nurse or midwife will assess your labour and provide support throughout your labour and delivery. Once you are in active labour you will be admitted. Your support person is welcome and encouraged to actively participate in giving you emotional and physical care. Your needs are important and an individualized plan of care will be coordinated to suit your needs. Client choices are respected, but must be safe and within Health Sciences Centre policy.A range of pain relief options are available, ranging from whirlpool baths, relaxation techniques, positioning, narcotics, nitrous oxide (laughing gas). A referral to an anesthetist may be necessary and will be determined by your care provider.
Video recording is not permitted in the delivery room due to confidentiality. Pictures without flash may be taken during delivery, but if you are planning to take pictures of any staff members or care providers, please ask their permission first as a courtesy.
Mothers may have up to two support persons in the room, including your partner, another family member, and/or a doula. However, if you wish to have more than two support persons during your delivery, please email the Manager of Labour & Delivery Department in advance (the more notice the better) and we will do everything we can to honour your request within the limits of safety and policy.
Please note that visitors other than your support persons are not allowed in Labour & Delivery.
After you give birth, you and your baby will be transferred to the Maternal/Newborn area where Combined Care is provided. In this model of care, our team of specialized nurses cares for both mother and baby at the mother’s bedside. Being together allows the parents to learn/recognize when baby is hungry and learn their care requirements and promotes bonding between newborn and parent. Health Canada and the World Health Organization have shown that healthy mothers and healthy babies should not be separated unless absolutely necessary. Being together increases your comfort level and competence in caring for your baby. This strategy is used around the world to develop beginning parenting skills and mother-child bonding.After a vaginal birth, mothers can expect to stay one to two days after delivery to rest, bond with baby, and to ensure both mother and child are healthy. After a C-section, mothers may stay three to four days.
While in the Maternal Newborn Unit, a specialized nurse assigned to care for you and your baby will be available to help you. She will teach you how to care for yourself and your baby. She will also care for you and your baby to ensure your good health.
This time is also a good chance to learn more about caring for your infant during the first days and weeks. During your stay you will learn:
With your consent, your nurse will link you to appropriate community service agencies when you go home.
You are encouraged to rest while your baby is sleeping, day or night. Your support person is not considered a visitor and is encouraged to participate in baby care/learning. In some cases, your support person may be able to stay overnight with you and your baby. If the support person stays overnight, he or she is expected to support the new mother by helping with baby care and providing emotional support. Pajamas or athletic pants and indoor footwear (like slippers) must be worn by the support person when staying overnight.
A maximum of two visitors at a time, not including your support person, are allowed at your bedside at a time. If you are in a shared room, please be respectful of other families around you who also need rest. For larger families, we recommend that visitors come in pairs, and keep their visits short. Do not let yourself get too tired! It is important you sleep when you need to – your visitors will understand.
A family room is also available for larger gatherings – please ask your nurse for more information.
For safety reasons we ask that you do not carry your baby in your arms in the hospital hallways. A crib is provided so you can push your baby while travelling through the hallways. Your baby may be carried in arms in your own room.Other measures include:
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for babies. The Canadian Institute of Child Health, Health Canada, and the World Health Organization recommend that all newborns be exclusively breastfed. Nursing staff will assist you in learning how to feed your newborn.
We encourage parents to evaluate both breastfeeding and formula feeding before making an informed decision about feeding. How you choose to feed your baby is your choice! Only you can make the best choice for your newborn.
Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of Our Nation
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Healthy Outcomes for You and Your Baby: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Best Start – Risk of Cannabis on Fertility, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting (2019)
Best Start – Mixing Alcohol and Breastfeeding (2020)
Life with a New Baby is Not Always What You Expect
Postpartum Mood Disorder Checklist
Immunizations through the Lifespan
Safe & Secure
Tips for New Parents: Making the Most of the Early Years
Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay: Infant Hearing Program
“Birth is not only about making babies; birth is also about making mothers, strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength” – Barbara Katz Rothman