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SJHH / Health Services/ Women's & Infants'/ Mother Baby Unit

Mother Baby Unit

What this program does...

The Mother Baby Unit is where you and your baby will recover from your birth, and where you will learn to care for your new baby. We proudly offer the following services:  

  • A warm, supportive multi-disciplinary team working with families to ease the transition from hospital to home. We provide health teaching, newborn care and feeding support in the Post Partum period. 

  • Family Centered – Parents are encouraged to be involved in their baby’s care as soon and as often as possible. All mother – baby couples are to remain together during their hospital stay unless mother and/or baby are medically unstable.
  • Encourage skin to skin with your baby to help him/her adjust to life after birth
  • Partners/support persons are encouraged to stay to provide support to the new mom and baby
  • Mothers choosing to breastfeed are actively supported by our knowledgeable staff. We have lactation consultants available to help support staff and mothers. Please view the following for more information about Breastfeeding your baby.

  • Mothers who have made an informed decision not to breastfeed are given individual teaching on how to safely feed and prepare infant formula.
  • Newborn blood work, Jaundice Testing, a Newborn Screen and a hearing test will be done at 24 or 48 hours of age. We recommend you hold and feed your baby for comfort during the blood work test.

How this program helps...

The dedicated and compassionate team of healthcare providers in the Mother Baby Unit is here to care for you as you recover form childbirth and equip you with the information and tools you require to ease your transition from the hospital to home. Below are the services we focus on:

  • Teaching you how to care for yourself and baby and build your confidence as a new mother
  • Preparing you to go home
  • Providing families with community supports that can be accessed after discharge

Your Care Team

  • Dr. Susan Ellis
  • Dr. Rebecca Steen
  • Dr. Tejal Patel
  • Angela Reitsma
  • Anna Marie Smith
  • Midwives
  • Pediatricians
  • Women's Health Concerns Clinic
  • RN, RPN, Unit Clerks, Lactation Consultants, Social Work, Public Health, Pastoral Care, Medical Learners


Women's and Infants' Program Information Line
905.522.1155 ext. 33515

Preparing for Your Stay

Please view the following “What to Bring to the Hospital” video to help prepare for your stay in the Mother Baby Unit.

Also, prior to giving birth please review your care plan with your Family Doctor/Nurse Practitioner/Pediatrician/Midwife – let them know you are having a baby and confirm with them that they will care for your newborn after you deliver.

If you do not have a Family Doctor it is important to find one prior to giving birth.

Your baby will need to see a doctor or midwife within his/her first week of life.

It's also very important to learn about infant car seats, specifically how to install them in your car and how to adjust the seat to fit your baby safely.

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

Maps and Directions

The Mother Baby Unit is located at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton – Charlton Campus, on the third (3rd) floor of the Bishop Dowling Wing, next to the Special Care Nursery.

Registration Procedures

An Ontario Health Card Number for your baby is issued at time of birth - you will be given a form to fill out and return to the Unit Clerk prior to discharge - attached will be your infants temporary Health Card. Remember to take it to all to your baby’s doctor and hospital clinic appointments.

If you were not issued a Health Card Number for your baby you will have to apply for one at a Service Ontario office.

Registering your Baby's Birth, applying for birth certificate, Social Insurance Number and sign up for Canadian child benefits.

At St. Joe’s we offer two private post-delivery care rooms allow mom and baby to experience all the comforts of home and all the compassionate care of St. Joe`s. Each room features a double bed, private on-suite bath, in-room refrigerator and flat screen TV. You can register to stay in The Charlton Suites for a non-tax receipt donation of $99 dollars per night above the private room rate. The revenue generated by these rooms support patient car in the Women’s and Infants' Program at St. Joe’s. If you would like to stay in The Charlton Suites, please mention this to our obstetrical registration staff when you arrive at the hospital.

Registration Forms:

Program Registration Form
Preferred Accommodation Form

Once the form is filled out, please submit it to St. Joe's. your options are:

  • The form can be hand delivered to the Birthing Unit.
  • The form can be submitted to your health care provider.
  • The form can be mailed to the following address:

Attn: Birthing Unit
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, L8N 4A6

Please view this video to learn more about The Charlton Suites and/or call 905.521.6036.

After Your Visit

You will need to arrange an infant follow up appointment with your family doctor/nurse practitioner/midwife within 24-48 hours of your expected discharge as soon as your baby is born.

A Public Health Nurse may meet with you and arrange a follow up appointment at home. You may also call Health Connections at 905-546-3550 for a self referral.

Breastfeeding And Newborn Assessment Clinic follow up appointments are sometimes arranged as a condition of discharge. It is important that you come to this appointment with your baby.

Hearing Screen - If your baby's hearing screen was a "refer" result - you will be given information to arrange a hearing test at an Early Words Centre.

Women's Health Concerns Clinic - If you think you may have or are at risk for mood changes in pregnancy or after childbirth and wish to make a self-referral.

For a video demonstration on bathing your baby, watch the video below.

Safe Sleep for Your Baby