Family Birthing Centre

Welcome to the Jewish General Hospital Maternal-Child Health Division

Dear parent(s),

We are pleased to welcome you to the Maternal Child Health Division of the Jewish General Hospital, which includes the Family Birthing Center, the Postpartum Unit (5W), and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We are giving you this booklet to explain the services you will receive during your hospital stay and to help you prepare for the birth of your baby.

Having a baby is an important event. Whether it is your 1st or 8th baby, each one is special with his or her own personality.We hope to provide you with the best possible care during your stay with us, and to help you get to know your newborn baby.


You can register for your stay in the hospital ahead of time, starting as early as your first pregnancy visit. This is done in the Admitting Office at B-114. Please fill out the pre-registration form before delivery.

You will get a copy of the Quebec Government book  From Tiny Tots to Toddlers when you pre-register.

Postpartum Unit room choice

When you register for your hospital stay, we will ask you what type of postpartum room you would like to have.

  • Public room (4 beds): This is the basic type of room and it is paid for by Medicare. This type of room is shared with three other new mothers.
  • Semi-private room (2 beds): This type of room is shared with one other new mother.
  • Private room: We cannot guarantee that a private room will be available because these rooms will be given first to mothers who need one for medical reasons.

Otherwise, private rooms are given out based on time of delivery. We ask that you be respectful of the people you are sharing a room with. Please keep the noise level low. And, the person staying with you overnight should always be properly clothed.

When to come to the hospital

If any of the following things happen to you, please contact your doctor or midwife and follow their instructions. If you cannot get in touch with your doctor or midwife, please call the Family Birthing Center at 514-340-8277 and follow the instructions of the doctor or nurse. When it is time for you to come to the hospital, you will go to the Family Birthing Center which is located in Pavilion K third floor.

Please remember that the following are general guidelines. If your doctor or midwife gives you specific instructions, then you should follow those.

If you think you are in labour and you are less than 37 weeks pregnant. The first signs of preterm labour (labour that starts before you are 37 weeks pregnant) may begin slowly. You will not always feel pain. If it is caught soon enough, early delivery can often be stopped or delayed. This can give your baby extra time to grow inside you. If you have any of these signs and they are new for you, DON’T WAIT, call your doctor or midwife and then come to the Family Birthing Center.

  • Excessive pressure in your pelvis (lower belly between your hip bones) or lower belly;
  • Unusually strong or rhythmic pain in your lower back;
  • Cramps in your belly, with or without diarrhea;
  • Regular contractions or a feeling of tightness in your uterus more often than every 20 minutes;
  • Any change in the kind of discharge from your vagina (watery, mucous or bloody), or more discharge than before.

If you are more than 37 weeks pregnant and you have been having painful contractions every 5 minutes regularly for at least 1 hour.

If your water breaks (a slow leak or a sudden rapid flow) at any time in your pregnancy, even if you are not having any contractions.

If you have bleeding from your vagina

  • If your pregnancy is less than 18 weeks and you are bleeding, please go directly to the Emergency Room (ER).
  • If your pregnancy is greater than 18 weeks and you are bleeding, go directly to the Family Birthing Center.

If you have headaches that last a long time and hurt a lot, blurred vision or sudden swelling of arms, legs, hands, feet and/or face.

If there is a change in your baby’s normal activity

  • Every baby is different and there will be times in the day when a baby is more active and times when he or she is less active. You will become used to the way your own baby moves during your pregnancy. After 28 weeks of pregnancy, if you notice a change in your baby’s regular activity pattern, you may count his/her movements. A movement may be a kick, a turn, a flip or a rub.
  • Have something to eat, and rest by lying on your left side; and
  • Try to relax and focus on your baby’s movements.

If in 2 hours, you have not counted 6 movements, please call and then come to the Family Birthing Center right away.

You should also go to the hospital RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You feel NO baby movements in 8 hours, OR
  • You FALL, OR
  • You are in a CAR ACCIDENT, OR
  • You are HIT in the belly.

Do not wait until the next day.
You and your baby’s well-being depend on it!

If you are not sure if you should come to the hospital or if you have any worries about your health or the health of your baby and you cannot get in touch with your own doctor or midwife, you can call the Family Birthing Center at any time, day or night – at 514-340-8277 and ask to speak to a nurse.

Visitors in the Family Birthing Center – The birth of a new baby is an event families want to share and it is important for your family to be with you. But to make sure you are getting the best care and resting as much as you need during labour, our visitor policy is that you can only have 2 visitors in the room with you at any one time. All other visitors must wait in the waiting area. Please note that children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit the FBC. For the safety of all, WAITING IN THE HALLWAY OF THE FAMILY BIRTHING CENTER IS NOT PERMITTED.

What to bring to the hospital?

Here is the  checklist of items to bring.

Some things to think about ...

Prenatal Information Sessions

Prenatal Classes

You may contact your local CLSC to find out what prenatal courses they may offer. These courses are usually free. There are other prenatal courses offered for a fee. Talk to your doctor or nurse for more information.

Go to to find out where your local CLSC is by using your home postal code.

Birthing Plan

You may want to design a birthing plan to help you decide your needs and wishes for the birth experience. A birthing plan will allow nurses and doctors to work with you to meet these goals. For example, you may wish to tell us how you would like to manage your pain (epidural, use of a birthing ball or other aids, shower/Jacuzzi, etc.). It is important to discuss your birthing plan with your doctor or midwife before you come to the hospital to have your baby. The health team will talk to you about making any changes to this plan during your labour if such changes are needed for you and your baby’s safety.

If you are booked for an elective caesarean section, please refer to the  guide to a planned Cesarean Section for more information.


The book  From Tiny Tots to Toddlers by the Quebec Government will help to answer many of your questions.

You can also get help from these organizations:

Virtual tour

Public cord blood bank

A second life for your cord blood

The latter is full of valuable stem cells that can help treat over 80 diseases, such as leukemia and aplastic anemia. By agreeing to donate your cord blood, you’re delivering hope to someone - and their family - who have been eagerly awaiting a stem cell transplant.

 Registration form

 Refer to the Héma-Québec website for more information


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