When you arrive at the hospital, you should come to the Emergency Department’s (ED) main entrance. They are open 24 hours/day.
Between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM, you can proceed directly to the Women & Children’s Health Program on 1A.
Between 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM, registration will be done at the Emergency Department’s registration desk.
Do not go to the ED Triage nurse. The ED registration desk is down the hall to the right when you first enter the main ED doors.
When you come to the hospital to have your baby and have been cared for by an obstetrician during your pregnancy, you will be cared for by one of the Obstetricians on-call and available in the hospital. This may not be the Obstetrician you have seen throughout your pregnancy.
If you are being cared for by a family doctor or Midwife during your pregnancy, they will be called when you arrive at the hospital, and they will be responsible for your care.
There is no visitor lounge for patients for labour. Visitors are restricted during labour and while in Triage to two support people. Families are encouraged to wait at home until the birth has occurred. If families attend the hospital, they will be directed to wait in the lobby or the cafeteria.
No information on the mother/infant will be given out to family members over the phone.
If you think you are in labour, have concerns about your pregnancy and/or baby or are sent from either your doctor or midwife’s office, you will come to Maternity Triage. You will be assessed in Triage by one of the Maternity nurses.
The length of your stay in Triage will depend on the reason you came and the findings of your assessment. Together with your health care team, you will decide if you need to be admitted to the hospital. Many women go home from OB Triage.
Our triage area is small. Please leave your suitcases and personal effects in the car until it is decided if you will be admitted.
If you require induction of labour, your doctor or midwife will decide the date that this will occur. Some people will be required to come to the hospital the evening before for cervical ripening.
If you are coming for induction, please leave your suitcases and personal effects in the car until you are admitted. With every induction, there is a chance that it may have to be delayed or rescheduled.
We have 4 birthing rooms. The majority of our births occur in one of these rooms. Each room is equipped with a birthing bed, a sleep chair for your support person and a warmer for the baby. There is a large shower in each room.
Your support person is welcome and encouraged to actively participate in giving you emotional and physical care. Your needs are important, and an individualized plan of care will be coordinated to suit your needs. Client choices are respected but must be safe and within hospital policy. Your support person should be prepared to stay for your admission. They will need to bring comfortable clothing and appropriate clothing to sleep in. There are no shower facilities for support persons. Support persons will need to supply their own food and drinks.
A range of pain relief options are available, ranging from whirlpool baths, relaxation techniques, positioning, narcotics, epidural, nitrous oxide (laughing gas). A referral to an anesthetist may be necessary; your care provider determines this.
We encourage you to make informed choices about your care during labour and delivery.
You will stay in the birthing room for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours after delivery. You will then be transferred to a postpartum room for the remainder of your stay.
Caesarean sections are performed in the Operating room. Caesarean section is usually done under a spinal anesthetic with the mother awake. The anesthetist will determine the best way to provide pain relief during the caesarean section. For a planned caesarean section, the nursing staff will contact the mother about 10-14 days before the surgery date to provide instructions and gather health information.
One support person is allowed in the operating room to provide support during the procedure if the mother is awake. The infant will be attended to by the Neonatal Intensive Care nurses directly after birth. If the infant is well, they will come back into the operating room to visit with the mother and support person until the surgery is completed. If possible and you wish, the infant will be placed skin to skin during the remainder of the surgery. Once you are in the Recovery Room, the infant will come to stay with the mother as long as the infant is well. We encourage you to arrange to have someone stay for the first 24 hours to assist after a section.
The golden hour is the first hour immediately after delivery. During this hour, we encourage uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with the mother to promote bonding and help with the first breastfeeding experience if the mother has chosen to breastfeed.
Skin to skin is done by placing the baby on the mother’s bare chest. The infant is naked except for a diaper. The mother and baby are covered with blankets to keep the infant warm. If the mother is not feeling up to skin-to-skin contact, it can be done by the support person. Skin to skin is encouraged frequently during the first 48 hours after birth.
We invite you also to take a look at this important Prenatal Information.
SAH works closely with Algoma Public Health, and more information is available on their website.