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SJHH / Health Services/ Women's & Infants'/ Birthing Unit

The Birthing Unit


Having your baby during COVID-19

We look forward to meeting you and being part of your birth journey at this really special time in your life.

We know that many of you have questions about the changes we are making at the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep both you and your family safe, as well as our staff and their families safe. Safety and support are key to all our health care plans. 

  • Women in labour are allowed two (2) caregivers/support people during labour.
  • Women admit overnight with newborn(s) can have four (4) caregivers/support people, with two (2) at the bedside at one time.
  • In Special Care Nursery, four (4) caregivers/support people are allowed with two (2) at the bedside at one time.
  • One (1) support person to accompany new mothers to their breastfeeding and/or newborn check appointments.
  • People who are pregnant can bring one (1) support partner with them to their appointment to Obstetrics Clinic and Obstetrics Ultrasound.
  • All visitors/caregivers/support people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and be able to wear a mask at all times.

We hope the video below can help answer some of your questions or concerns.


What this program does…

The Birthing Unit is where you will be labouring and giving birth to your baby. The Mother and Baby Unit is where you and your baby will spend time after the birth before heading home. The Special Care Nursery is where babies who are born early or who need more specialized care are looked after.

St. Joseph’s has been caring for the community for over 120 years. We are a teaching hospital, which means we provide education to all types of medical learners, including nurses, physicians, midwifery, pharmacy and many other healthcare providers within our program – all dedicated to providing the best care possible to our patients and their families.

We deliver approximately 10 babies per day equaling about 3,650 babies per year.

The Birthing Unit at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton offers a full range of support services and enhanced facilities to best meet the needs of women giving birth and their babies. Our birthing unit houses:

  • 11 Labour and Delivery Rooms
  • 2 Operating Suites
  • A Recovery room
  • 2 Hydrotherapy Tub Rooms
  • 4 Bay Triage and Assessment

We ask that you do not bring any valuables with you as the hospital cannot be responsible for lost or stolen personal items. 

How this program helps...

At St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton it is our goal to give each and every newborn and his or her family our personal and undivided attention. We are committed to providing safe, patient-centred compassionate care to all those we are honoured to serve.

We proudly reflect our Baby-Friendly designation by supporting, promoting and protecting breastfeeding practices and ensuring women make informed decisions about infant feeding.

Skin to skin practice is implemented with all families, according to the clinical needs of mother and baby.

Whether you are a patient of a family doctor, a midwife or an obstetrician, you have access to all of the expertise available from our entire team of birthing specialists.

Your Care Team

The Birthing Unit is made up of multiple staff members including Unit Communication Clerks and Registered Nurses. We are a dedicated and compassionate team of healthcare professionals and extremely sensitive to the needs of women, infants and their families.

We know that all families have their own religious and cultural ways to celebrate birth. We recognize the importance of these traditions and make every effort possible to understand the needs of each family. We are also aware that some families prefer to have only female members of the healthcare team care for them. However, please understand that we are not able to meet this request for several significant reasons:

  • Our healthcare team consists of female and male doctors, nurses, midwives, social workers, pharmacists and others who have special training to care for you, your baby and your family.
  • Care is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our ‘On-Call’ system requires that when a member of the team is called, the male or female healthcare professional ‘On-Call’ responds.
  • We are a teaching organization. A diverse group of students in several different healthcare programs learn here under the supervision of members of our healthcare team. We welcome male and female students as part of our program.

Our plan is to give you and your baby/babies and family the best and safest care possible during your stay in the Birthing Unit.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of:

  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Obstetricians
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Midwifery
  • Anesthesia
  • Lactation Consultants
  • We work in collaboration with Diagnostic Imaging for ultrasound support.

Maps and Directions

The Birthing Unit is located at:

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Charlton Campus
Bishop Dowling Wing, Level 2
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A6

Watch the virtual tour above to see the best ways to enter the unit.

Accessing the Birthing Unit after 9pm

The Emergency Entrance is the only entrance at the Charlton Campus open after 9pm.

For Birthing patients, the entrance off of St. Joseph’s Drive will be accessible through a door buzzer system from 9:00pm - 6:00am.

Your support person will be able to park for a limited time (approx. 20 minutes) while you are admitted to the unit.

The Fontbonne parking will be accessible to park but you will need to walk outdoors back to St. Joseph’s Drive.

All other visitors after 9pm will need to enter through the Emergency Entrance.