Scarborough Hospital embraces water birth

Charles Gregory Prata is the first baby to be delivered by water birth at Scarborough Hospital’s main campus. Mark and Lorraine Prata welcomed a new baby into the world at 12:55 p.m. on January 9.

Water birth decreases intervention rates and the use of pain medication, along with increasing maternal comfort in the birth process.

During the birth of Lorraine’s eldest son, Mason, at Scarborough Hospital, nurses recommended that she rest in a warm tub to ease pain from labour.

“The calm environment and soothing feeling encouraged me to consider a water birth during this pregnancy,” Lorraine said. And when she arrived at the hospital in labour, she learned that she was too dilated for a pain-relieving epidural anyway.

Midwives Cara Begg-Reid and Claudette Leduc from Sages-Femmes Midwives helped comfort the new mother during her decision to deliver her baby by water birth.

“Offering water births is an important part of how TSH respects the diversity of our patient population and assists expectant mothers in giving birth their way, according to their preferences, customs and beliefs,” said Dr. Georgina Wilcock, co-medical director of the hospital’s Maternal Newborn and Child Care program.

Scarborough Hospital delivered its first ever water birth at the Birchmount campus only a month prior, on Dec. 9. Scarborough resident Diana Jallim gave birth to a baby girl, Savannah. Savannah was delivered by Diversity Midwives, who have been providing care for women at Scarborough Hospital for over a decade — and who have played a large role in introducing water birth to the hospital.

Registered midwife of Diversity Midwives, Tama Cross, explained that due to the large amount of at-home water births, their clients started to request water birth at the hospital as well.

“Therefore, we submitted a water birth proposal to the Maternal and Newborn Care Program Service Group at The Scarborough Hospital,” she said. The proposal was accepted and the hospital moved forward by writing a water birth policy and consent.

In addition to the introduction of water births, Scarborough Hospital has been adding obstetricians to their Maternal Newborn and Child Care program. The collaborative program allows midwives, physicians, nurses and support staff to work together in aiding a comfortable birth.

Highly recommending Scarborough Hospital’s Maternal Newborn and Child Care program, Lorraine is very happy about her experience. The mother is glad that these services are now available to her and her family close to home.