Labour and Delivery

February 15, 2019

Click here for patient handout

As of February 22, 2019, our obstetrical unit will be on redirect from 3 pm on Friday and 7 am on Monday. This means if you go into labour during this time, you will deliver your baby at McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) or another local hospital of your choice. Physicians and midwives who deliver babies at WLMH can also do so at MUMC. We are also working toward having your local team (midwife group or physician group) provide your care at other local hospitals.

This temporary weekend redirection is due to staff shortages at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital that limit the availability of operating room nurses. As a result, the operating room would not be available for c-sections or other surgeries for problems that may arise after birth. For the safety of our patients, labour and delivery will not take place during the weekend at WLMH.

Your care provider will discuss any changes about your birth plan with you. Physicians and midwives who deliver babies at WLMH can also do so at MUMC. Measures are being put in place to allow your physician or midwife to do the same at other hospitals.

At any time, when you go into labour, call the WLMH obstetrics department at 905-945-2253 ext. 350 and you will receive instructions from the obstetrics team.

The obstetrics nurse will:

  • Confirm MUMC as the hospital you are going to and advise them of your arrival.
  • Contact your provider – physician or midwife.
  • Let you know if your local team will be able to care for you there.

If you are going to an alternate hospital, the obstetrics nurse will also:

  • Contact the hospital to let them know you are on your way.
  • Ensure the receiving hospital has access to your health records.
  • Let you know if your local team will be able to care for you there.

In an emergency call 911. The Emergency Department at WLMH remains open 24/7.

Your regular care and appointments before and after the birth will occur as planned. Please ask your obstetrical care provider for a copy of your antenatal records after 36 weeks.

Additional resources that may be helpful:

Information about Labour and Delivery at McMaster University Medical Centre.

Labour and delivery at MUMC – includes virtual tour
Parking and Visitor Information

Questions and Answers

Q: What should I do if I go into labour between 3 pm on Friday and 7 am on Monday?

You will most likely be redirected to McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) or hospital of your choice.

At any time when you go into labour, call the WLMH obstetrics department at 905-945-2253 ext. 350.

The obstetrics nurse will:

  • Confirm MUMC as the hospital you are going to and advise them of your arrival
  • Contact your provider – physician or midwife
  • Let you know if your local team will be able to care for you there.

If you are going to an alternate hospital, the obstetrics nurse will also:

  • Contact the hospital to let them know you are on your way
  • Ensure the receiving hospital has access to your health records.
  • Let you know if your local team will be able to care for you there.

In an emergency, call 911.

Q: Will my doctor or midwife be able to accompany me to the other hospital when I deliver my baby?

Physicians and midwives who deliver babies at WLMH can also do so at MUMC. Measures are being put in place to allow them to do the same at other hospitals where you might be redirected. If your doctor or midwife cannot be there, an equally qualified physician or midwife will support your delivery and provide your ongoing care needs.

Q: What happens if I go into labour on Friday morning? Do I still get to go to WLMH?

Possibly. Your physician or midwife and the WLMH care team in partnership with you, will make the best decision based on your needs. If your care team expects the delivery to proceed without complications, your baby may be born at WLMH. However, if you go into labour from mid-day Friday onward, chances are you will be redirected to another hospital.

In all cases, when you go into labour, call the WLMH obstetrics department at 905-945-2253 x350.

Q: What happens if I go into labour during the night of Sunday to Monday? Do I still get to go to WLMH?

Possibly. Your physician or midwife and the WLMH care team in partnership with you, will make the best decision based on your needs. However, if there is a possibility that your baby will be born before 7 am on Monday, you may be redirected to another hospital. Your physician or midwife will be available to review your case if this situation occurs.

At any time, when you go into labour, call the WLMH obstetrics department 905-945-2253 x350.

Q: What if I have questions about my care plan?

Questions about your care before, during and after delivering your baby, can be addressed by your physician or midwife.

At any time, when you go into labour, call the WLMH obstetrics department at 905-945-2253 x350.

Q: Why is this happening at WLMH?

This temporary weekend redirection is due to staff shortages at WLMH that limit the availability of operating room nurses. As a result, the operating room would not be available for c-sections or other surgeries for problems that could arise after birth. For the safety of our patients, labour and delivery care will not occur during the weekend at WLMH.

Hospital management is working diligently to recruit appropriately skilled nurses so that weekend service can resume as soon as possible.

Q: When will weekend service return?

This is a temporary redirection of services while HHS continues to aggressively recruit OR nurses. This includes offering up to a $30,000 signing bonus for OR nurses from outside Ontario. Weekend service will resume as soon as possible.

Q: Is McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) the only option for labour and delivery?

Obstetricians and midwives who normally care for patients at WLMH will be able to deliver their baby at McMaster University Medical Centre. However, patients always have the option to go to another hospital, should they choose.

HHS is working to add more regional locations where our obstetricians and midwives can practice. Patients will be notified as more options are identified.

Q: What about other services at WLMH?

All other services, including the Emergency Departments, outpatient clinics and other patient care continue as usual.

Q: How many patients will be affected by these changes?

On average, three babies are delivered on the weekends at WLMH.

Q: Where can I find more information and updates?

Updates on the recruitment process and other information about WLMH can be found at www.wlmh.ca.