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If you have been working with a midwife or you’re considering alternative birthing options, you should check out the Toronto Birth Centre! Located at 525 Dundas Street East in Toronto, Ontario, this uniquely magical place is the only birth centre in Toronto and is an excellent choice for any family to consider when making birth plans.
The Toronto Birth Centre, commonly referred to as the TBC, was founded on the principles of self-determination, equity, dignity, and justice. Their diligence in ensuring that every interaction is founded on these principles makes them unique among other centres.
The TBC is committed to working within the indigenous framework in which it was created. They state that this means the following,
“The integration of realistic ITAPISINOWIN, or Indigenous worldviews, into midwifery and reproductive care services ensures they are grounded in the diverse socio-cultural contexts and beliefs, values, skills, and knowledge of First Nations, Indian, Indigenous, Inuit, and Métis individuals and communities. The birth centre and the coalition supporting it are committed to ensuring the cultural integrity of this centre by supporting a majority Indigenous representation and administration within the governing structure. Governance is based on an Indigenous framework that includes the tenets of:
(About the TBC 2021)
The Toronto Birth Centre is welcoming to all and celebrates all cultural practices. They believe everyone deserves access to safe birth.
Similar to most other birthing centres, the Toronto Birth Centre does not have any doctors on staff. Everyone in the birthing area is a midwife and though they are specially trained to assist with giving birth, they are not allowed to perform certain hospital interventions. If you are interested in things like epidurals, electronic fetal monitoring, medical induction, or caesarean sections, know that none of these things are allowed to be performed by midwifes at the TBC.
That being said, the midwives’ extensive training helps them to prepare for emergencies. Birth centres are for uncomplicated births, but if something does arise during the process they can assist with basic things like lacerations, hemorrhages, and neonatal resuscitation if necessary. Most importantly, if a true emergency happens, they know when to drop everything and get you to a hospital. The majority of the time, they will rush you to a hospital where they have privileges so that they can be with you. In only extreme and rare circumstances where it is a true emergency and there is no other availability will you go to a hospital without them.
Expect to arrive and be welcomed with open arms. Your midwife that you have been working with throughout your pregnancy will be there, along with some other potential helpers. The TBC also has students come in from time to time and you may authorize that they assist as well if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
The whole process is up to you and your body. Some women give birth within minutes, for others it takes hours. However long it takes, your birthing team will be by your side. After the baby has been delivered, you will stay at the birth centre for 2-4 hours before going home and sleeping in your own bed. That’s the beauty of birth centres, you get to go home and curl up without being in a hospital gown! If there is an emergency that requires you to need observation for longer than 6 hours, you will be transported to the hospital.
The Toronto Birth Centre is a great option for expecting mothers to look into. It offers diversity and true equity that makes it a truly unique and positive experience for everyone, regardless of your culture or background.
About the TBC. Toronto Birth Centre. (2021, August 4). Retrieved September 26, 2021, from https://torontobirthcentre.ca/about-the-tbc
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