Labour and Delivery

April 5, 2019

WLMH is redirecting patients to Niagara Health – St Catharines Site from Friday at 3 pm to Monday at 7 am. Most physicians and all midwives who do deliveries at WLMH will be available at Niagara Health – St Catharines Site to care for you on weekends.

You may also choose to seek care at other hospitals, including McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) and all relevant patient information will be passed along to the hospital of your choice.

As part of your plans, please discuss weekend options with your physician or midwife.

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:

• Contact your provider (physician or midwife)
• Confirm the hospital you are going to and advise them of your arrival
• Ensure the receiving hospital has access to your health records.

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 take place as planned.

Please ask your obstetrical care provider for a copy of your antenatal records after 36 weeks.

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 arising after birth, if needed. For the safety of our patients, labour and delivery will not take place 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.

Additional Resources

Information about Labour and Delivery at McMaster University Medical Centre:

Labour and delivery at McMaster University Medical Centre including virtual tour
Parking information

Information about Labour and Delivery at St Catharines General Hospital:

Labour and delivery at Niagara Health – St Catharines Site
Parking 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 Niagara Health – St Catharines Site 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:

• Contact your provider (physician or midwife)
• Confirm the hospital you are going to and advise them of your arrival
• Ensure the receiving hospital has access to your health records.

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?

As part of your plans, please discuss weekend options with your physician or midwife.

Most physicians and all midwives who do deliveries at WLMH will be available at Niagara Health – St Catharines Site to care for you on weekends.
You may also choose to seek care at other hospitals, including McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) and all relevant patient information will be passed along to the hospital of your choice. If your doctor or midwife cannot be with you, 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 Niagara Health – St Catharines Site the only option for labour and delivery?

Most physicians and all midwives who do deliveries at WLMH will be available at Niagara Health – St Catharines Site to care for you on weekends.

You may also choose to seek care at other hospitals, including McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC) and all relevant patient information will be passed along to the hospital of your choice.

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 weekend at WLMH.