You will be admitted to a birthing room if you are in the active phase of labour, or if there are any other concerns that make it safer for you to stay with us in hospital.

When you are admitted to a birthing room, your nurse or midwife will work with you, your family, and all members of the healthcare team to plan and organize safe care. Our Childbirth team is focused on providing a positive experience.

You can expect:

  • Your nurse or midwife will review your birthing plan with you. This will ensure we understand your expectations and clarify any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Your nurse or midwife will spend as much time with you as possible when you are in active labour. This is called “supportive care in labour” (SCIL). SCIL offers emotional support, physical comfort, health teaching, and advocacy.
    • NOTE: Sometimes your nurse or midwife may be caring for another patient or assisting other colleagues for short periods of time. Your nurse or midwife will always let you know how to contact a healthcare provider when your nurse or midwife is not in your room.
  • Baseline assessment to help provide the best possible care.
  • Interventions will only be used with your consent when necessary (medically indicated)
  • Pain management options.

IMPORTANT: All procedures will be explained to you before they are performed. You may ask questions at any time!

Induction of labour

Induction of labour means to artificially start labour (contractions) before it begins naturally. The purpose of induction is to help start the process that leads to the birth of your baby.

During your pregnancy, your healthcare provider (doctor or midwife) will discuss induction of labour (IOL) with you. The discussion will include risks, benefits, induction methods, and alternative options. Not everyone will need or be a candidate for induction of labour. Please take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have. If you require an IOL, you will be asked to sign written consent.

Induction may be a long process (one to two days) or a short process (a few hours) depending on how ready your body is for labour. Induction for patient having their first baby will often take 1 to 2 days from the beginning of induction to the baby’s birth. Your physician or midwife will provide you with the date of an induction appointment. It is important tounderstand that your induction MAY NOT happen on the date it is booked. Each day, the obstetrical team reviews the list of patients scheduled for induction and prioritizes patients in order of urgency, based on the reason for induction. Inductions may also be delayed due to busyness in the Childbirth program. It is important to us that you receive the care and support necessary for a safe labour and birth.

On your induction date, please call the hospital at 8:30am, phone number 519-749-4300 ext 2345 and ask to speak to the Resource nurse. She will give you an approximate time to come to the hospital. Have your hospital bag (including hospital forms and OHIP card) packed and ready to go. You can eat normal meals while you wait for your induction time.

Bring with you only the supplies you need for labour and birth. Your partner or support person can bring the rest of your belongings to you once the baby is born.

Trial of Labour after Caesarian (TOLAC) and Vaginal Birth after Caesarian Section (VBAC)

Trial of Labour after Caesarean (TOLAC) and Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) may be used interchangeably. TOLAC is a planned attempt to labour and have a vaginal delivery after a previous Caesarean birth. VBAC is a successful vaginal delivery after previous Caesarean section.

The Childbirth program at Grand River Hospital (GRH) believes TOLAC is a safe alternative to a repeat Caesarean birth. This is because at GRH, most patients who choose TOLAC are successful.

Not everyone is a candidate for TOLAC. The benefits of a successful vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) must outweigh potential risks. If the risks are too high for your personal circumstance, a Caesarean birth may be recommended.

Speak to your care provider about whether this is a good option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions: Vaginal birth

What kinds of pain management / coping techniques does GRH have available?

Please check our "coping in labour" page for more information!

What happens after baby is born?

Immediately after baby is born, you will have the third stage of labour. This includes the time between the birth of your baby and the delivery of your placenta. This stage is usually short. You may be asked to push a few times to help deliver the placenta. Even before your placenta delivers, you may start skin-to-skin with your baby.

After the delivery of the placenta, your nurse or midwife can also help you to start breastfeeding/chestfeeding.

Approximately 1 hour after the birth of your baby, you may be moved from the birthing room to another room, for the remainder of your time in hospital. You can indicate whether you want a private, semi-private, or ward room in your registration package. Additional room information can be found by clicking here.

Patients who have an uncomplicated vaginal delivery routinely stay 24 hours depending on the time the baby was born. If you are receiving midwifery care, you may go home soon after birth since your midwifery team will continue provide care in your home after discharge. You may be choose to go home early depending on the circumstances. Your healthcare team will ensure that you are well and safe for you and baby to go home early. Please speak to your health care providers to learn more.

Does GRH do delayed cord clamping?

Delayed cord clamping means the umbilical cord is not immediately cut after your baby is born. The delay will range from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. During the delay, your baby gets more blood from the placenta. The Childbirth program at Grand River Hospital (GRH) offers delayed cord clamping.

How long the delay is will depend on your unique circumstance. Only rarely, it may be better for a baby to have the umbilical cord cut right after birth.

Can I do umbilical cord blood and/or tissue collection at GRH?

You may decide you want to save umbilical cord blood and tissue (stem cells). If you are interested in this, we recommend you research your options early in your pregnancy. There is some information on our website here. Take time to research the companies offering public and private banking. You may also want to review fees for private banking. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your options.

Please let your healthcare team know if you plan to collect stem cells. If you decide at the last minute, we do have emergency collection kits available for you.