Choosing where to give birth is a major life decision. With so many options available to expecting parents, families can find it challenging to make their right decision.

But for long-time Scarborough resident Taylor Sky, her decision to choose the Family Birthing Centre at Scarborough Health Network’s General hospital was an easy one.

“It was definitely a big decision – deciding where to have your first child. I was born and raised in Scarborough, so I know SHN is very active in the community,” she recalls.

“After conducting some online research, and reading the reviews, I felt their standards and compassionate care were reflective of what I wanted. It felt like a natural decision.”

The Family Birthing Centres and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at SHN’s Centenary and General hospitals are nationally recognized for providing culturally sensitive, respectful, and responsive care that meet patients’ unique needs.

“I wanted a centre that was inclusive and sensitive to my needs. As a woman of colour, I needed a hospital that would reflect diversity, and where I would feel comfortable – that’s what Scarborough Health Network was able to do.”

SHN’s Family Birthing Centres offer holistic, compassionate care provided by a multi-disciplinary team made up of obstetricians, paediatricians, anesthesiologists, midwives, family physicians, surgeons, social workers, and highly skilled nursing staff, including lactation consultants.

“When I had my son, he came out stunned and wasn’t breathing – which was super scary. I heard a code call on the PA system and it felt like 20 nurses and doctors rushed into the room,” she remembers. “If I was at the wrong hospital, then my son wouldn’t have been where he is now.”

Looking back at her experience, Taylor says she will never forget the voice of one of her doctors encouraging her during delivery, despite how difficult it was becoming.

“Her voice – that’s what made me push him out.”

But what makes SHN’s Family Birthing Centres a stand-out facility, explained Taylor, is the people.

“My water actually broke 24 hours before – so the before care and compassion I received, I am just so appreciative,” she says. “A number of the SHN healthcare providers, including the doctor who helped me push during delivery, and my aftercare nurse – she was so amazing!”

Taylor says she is taking full advantage of SHN’s Kids Care services, including Kids After Hours Clinic and Kids Consultation Clinic, and is returning for the birth of her second child.

SHN’s Family Birthing Centres champion safe and respectful childbirth.  As we celebrate Patient Safety Week and its theme of Essential Care Partners across Canada from October 25 to 29, we would like to acknowledge all of our partners who help SHN provide safe, quality care for all maternal and newborn patients.

At the Centenary and General hospitals, families receive centralized monitoring where birthing units and NICUs coordinate with the whole team to ensure everyone is kept abreast to clinical changes; and the MORE OB program allow teams to practice obstetrical emergencies in a simulated environment to encourage readiness, communication, and standardized approaches to care. Additionally, at Centenary, SHN offers infant alarm systems which keep babies safe and help reduce the risk of infant abduction.

Learn more about Maternal Newborn Care at SHN and Canadian Patient Safety Week.