Scarborough Hospital: New services offer more choice for expectant parents

SCARBOROUGH: Throughout her pregnancy, Diana Jallim’s plan was always to have a water birth. However, she never expected that she would be the very first planned water birth for The Scarborough Hospital (TSH).

“It feels really special,” said Diana, as she looks at little Savannah in her bassinette, who arrived just after 1 p.m. on December 9 at TSH’s Birchmount campus.

“My mom’s famous now,” adds Diana’s other child, 11-year-old Deonte, with a smile.

TSH recently began offering water births at its Birchmount campus and will soon be offering them at the General campus.

For Tama Cross and Tenisha Hibbert, the two midwives from the organization Diversity Midwives who delivered Diana’s baby, this is great news.

“It’s very exciting. Water births are a very positive choice for women that can decrease interventions and increase their enjoyment of the actual experience,” said Tama.

“Diversity Midwives has been providing care for women at TSH for over 12 years and were instrumental in introducing water births to TSH.”

Tenisha adds that the fact TSH is offering water births is also important “because there are only a few hospitals across the Greater Toronto Area where they are available, so this gives women with low risk pregnancies more choice to have them either in hospital or at home.”

In addition to the introduction of water births, TSH has welcomed Sages-Femmes Midwives as a second group of midwives.

“Our hospital realizes the importance of respecting the diversity of our patient population by assisting our expectant mothers in giving birth their way, according to their preferences, customs and beliefs,” said Dr. Nathan Roth, Co-Medical Director, Maternal Newborn and Child Care program at TSH.

“The Birchmount campus Family Maternity Centre has been at the forefront of the development of this collaborative care model for TSH, which allows for interprofessional excellence between our midwives, physicians, nurses and support staff.”

“We are proud to be able to add Sages-Femmes Midwives to the already outstanding team in The Scarborough Hospital’s Maternal Newborn and Child Care (MNCC) program,” said Dr. Georgina Wilcock, Co-Medical Director, Maternal Newborn and Child Care program at TSH.

“Sages-Femmes is equally focused on providing safe, evidence-based, high quality care to mothers and babies.”

TSH is also recruiting more obstetricians so families can continue to receive high quality care close to home. All of these initiatives – the introduction of water births, the addition of Sages-Femmes Midwives and the recruitment of more obstetricians – add to the wide variety of programs already available to expectant parents at TSH. These include pre-natal tours and classes, an early pregnancy assessment clinic, a breastfeeding clinic, and an umbilical cord partnership with Inception Lifebank Cord Blood Program.

“It’s always an honour to be a part of the experience as a family brings new life into our vibrant community,” said Barb Scott, Patient Care Director of the MNCC program at TSH.

“Our team is dedicated to helping expectant parents prepare, deliver and adjust during this exciting time in their lives.”

For more information on the MNCC program, visit the TSH website.