Midwifery Care Unit

The Midwifery Care Unit (MCU) works in partnership with Labour and Delivery on 4B1. MCU is a place for midwives to provide care to expecting parents throughout labour, birth, and the immediate postpartum period.

This unit is specifically designed to support the many ways individuals may want to give birth, including being upright or immersed in water. The unit is supported by Hospitalist Midwives as well as the Labour and Delivery team. If complications or emergencies arise, additional services are provided in collaboration with an interprofessional team including nursing, obstetrics, and neonatology.

We strive to provide you with a safe and supported birth experience. Please talk to your care provider about giving birth on the MCU.

Care We Provide

Some features to support our clients in their birthing plans include:

  • Rooms that allow for maximum mobility in labour and that provide options to give birth in a variety of positions
  • Birth chairs designed to promote upright labour and birth positions
  • Promoting a more “home-like,” calming atmosphere
  • Supporting your choice for pain relief including epidural, water immersion in a birthing tub/shower, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy, and sterile water injections

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all midwifery clients deliver on the MCU if they are planning a hospital birth?

No. Your midwife will review any risk factors prenatally and during your labour to determine if the MCU is the best place for you to have your baby. Your midwife may recommend instead labouring on the Labour and Delivery unit, though your midwife would stay in the role of your most responsible care provider.

If I’m in labour and have a midwife, should I come to the MCU for assessment?

No, please page your primary midwife and make a plan that is tailored to your clinical situation. If you require emergency care, please visit the nearest emergency department.

I have an obstetrician/family doctor, but I’d love to give birth on the MCU. How can I arrange this?

At this time because the MCU is a midwifery staffed and led unit, only low risk patients currently under the care of a midwife care can be admitted.

If you are interested in midwifery care, please see below for more information on how to get a midwife.

In future, we strive to have midwifery services available to all interested low-risk patients and offer more birthing options including giving birth on the MCU.

Eligibility & Referrals

Interested in having your baby at the Midwifery Care Unit?

First, you’ll need to access midwifery care. The Midwifery clinics that have privileges at McMaster University Medical Centre, and therefor can offer the MCU as a choice of birthplace, can be found below.

Community Midwives of Hamilton
Access Midwives

To learn more about Midwifery in Ontario, please visit the Association of Ontario Midwives webpage.