Are you wondering what it’s like to give birth at Brampton Civic Hospital?
Brampton Civic Hospital is the closest hospital to where I live, and serves the over 500, 000 people living in the city of Brampton. It is the only birth facility in our city, aside from the option of home birth if you are being cared for by midwives or giving birth at one of the hospitals located in Mississauga. In this post you’ll find tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way. I won’t call them “secrets” but they are things I’ve learned through experience and trial and error… and now I’ll pass them on to you!
General Facility Information
When arriving at the hospital for your birth, it’s best to park as close to the emergency department entrance or Main Entrance as possible. The maternity care ward is on the third floor and you take the “Rose Elevator.” (Each of the four elevators is named).The elevator is smack in between these two entrances, so either way you have a walk a bit.
Something I found out the hard way: if you are entering the hospital and not being assessed through triage, you have to pay $2 for your wheelchair. So, you’ll want to consider this when leaving for the hospital as patients in labour are not assessed through triage, you make your way directly upstairs to the maternity ward. That being said, parking as close to the doors as possible or having your partner drop you off at the doors are great ways to avoid the wheelchair that you’ll only need for a few minutes. If you want to have the wheelchair, just be sure to pack the cash necessary to pay for the chair.
When it comes to parking, a day pass is a great way to go. It’s great because it’s about $15 and includes in and out privileges. This could come in handy if after the birth your partner needs to go home for forgotten items (this happens more often than you would think when leaving the house in a rush) or to get you something to eat.
Once you arrive upstairs at labour and delivery, there is a big foyer, and then around the corner to the left you will find the entrance to the maternity ward, which also has a good size waiting room available. If you are in early labour and without an epidural, you can pace or rest in the foyer which can be nice because there are big windows letting in natural light or giving you a view of the city. You’ll also spend your early labour time in the waiting room or foyer if there is no birthing room available when you arrive and you are being admitted. (you could be sent home to labour for a while)
The labour rooms are nice and spacious, allowing for mobility if you don’t have an epidural. There are showers available, nice large windows, and a recliner for your partner to rest. You are able to shower if you are mobile and find hydrotherapy to be helpful. I have been asked before if Brampton Civic has any labor tubs, and they do, but they are not like a traditional birth pool or bathtub because they have a built-in seat that really limits mobility and how far you can submerge yourself in the water. However, they are a great option if they help you find relief, and can only be used if your water isn’t already broken. (This is hospital policy). Something I recommend families bring that’s pretty standard for ANY hospital: your own pillow, just make sure that your put it in a brightly colored pillow case, not white or it will get lost with the hospital linens.
The hospital food is just like any other hospital food. Bland, and not at all what I would feed an individual who has just given birth. I recommend that you bring something nutritious and packed with protein that you’d like to eat after giving birth or be prepared with some money to send your partner to buy whatever it is you want. The hospital does have a cafeteria (not open in the middle of the night) and a Tim Horton’s that is on the main level just to the right of the right of the Rose Elevator, but there are also many restaurants close by. If you head West on Bovaird Drive for about 5 minutes, you’ll arrive at Trinity Commons Mall which has lots to choose from, and if you go south on Bovaird you’ll end up at Bramalea City Center, which also has lots of food to choose from.
This hospital has some great health care providers on staff, and you will get great care. There is a well-known obstetrician with a specialty in high-risk who works here, and Midwifery Care of Peel-Halton Hills has privileges and attends births at Brampton Civic. What is important to know when planning to give birth at this facility is that it is a busy hospital. I mentioned it at the beginning of the post, but it is the only hospital in Brampton, and the population is over 500, 000. That means that lots of families come through the doors of this facility on a daily basis to give birth, and as a result the doctors and nurses are very busy. What this means for you as a birthing person: doctors and nurses are not always able to spend the time with you that they’d like to because there are many people in labour, and they have clinical tasks they must maintain for each individual.
Hiring a doula to join your support team if giving birth at this facility is a great way to bridge the gap and ensure that you have continuity of care and someone dedicated to your emotional wellbeing. If you desire a low-tech birth, a doula can support you in those goals, and you can also contact the midwives to see if they have a midwife for your pregnancy.
What I want you to know:
Currently, Brampton Civic Hospital is not part of the baby-friendly initiative, although I’d love to see this change in the future. For that reason, birth plans should include very clearly if you want immediate skin-to-skin, exclusive breastfeeding, or delayed cord clamping. I also encourage any parent with issues with diabetes (gestational or otherwise) to get a copy of the written policy from the hospital ahead of time regarding breastfeeding, blood sugar and formula supplementation so that you are prepared, as the protocol on this matter seems to be a grey area for many and experiences vary widely.
You no longer have to pre-register at the hospital before your birth. Virtual tours are provided online with a host of Frequently Asked Questions. You can check the tour and the questions out here.
Did you give birth at Brampton Civic? What was your experience? What’s your “insider tip?”
If you gave birth elsewhere where was it? What is your “insider tip” for that location?