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Families and Babies (Maternal Child)

Welcome to Families and Babies

At Southlake, our Maternal Child Program provides care for infants, children and adolescents. We understand for children and families, the hospital environment can be a frightening place to be. Knowing this, our highly skilled team ensures that Southlake’s youngest patients and their families are treated with the utmost compassion.

We want your birthing experience to be exactly what you and your family have imagined it to be. During your stay at Southlake our highly skilled team will work together to care for you, your baby and your family. Our team is passionate about helping you build a healthy family by providing the best possible care at all times. Always with compassion and respect for individual needs.

Two support persons (spouse, partner, doula or other) are currently permitted to attend the hospital for labour support and postpartum. This means that for labour support and for as long as mom and baby are admitted for care, ONLY two people are allowed. The support persons must screen negative. Click here to read the support person letter.

If your primary support persons have a positive screen, are on quarantine or have a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, they will not be allowed to come into the hospital.

All patients, visitors and support persons must wear a mask. Mask exceptions for children may be considered given developmental or health issues.

If you are booked for a c/section you will be required to have a COVID-19 swab three days prior to the procedure. Information about this will be provided to you by your care provider when this is implemented.

For full Maternal Child and Paediatrics visiting information please click here.

Patients needing information and resources available to you during your hospital visit (e.g. parking, what to bring, discharge times and other helpful information) please refer to the Preparing for Care section on this website.

Pregnant individuals are eligible to receive their vaccine through Public Health Unit(PHU) immunization clinics by booking an appointment through the provincial call centre at 1-888-999-6488. Pregnant individuals who are in a PHU not using the provincial booking system will be directed to their local PHU to book an appointment. A doctors’ note is not required.

Pregnant individuals may choose to receive the vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. However, essential consideration should be made for those in the later stages of their pregnancy.

It is recommended, but not required, that pregnant individuals have discussion with their treating health care provider, or with a health care provider familiar with their pregnancy, that includes:

  1. a review of the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine,
  2. a review of the risk of acquiring a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy,
  3. a review of the potential risks /consequences associated with a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy, and
  4. an acknowledgment of the limited evidence from clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines in the pregnant population.

Please see the COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations for Special Populations for further details on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant individuals.

Please Note:

  • A letter from a health care provider is not required for vaccination.
  • The extended dose interval of 16 weeks remains appropriate for this population.
  • The Province’s Prioritization Guidance and website will be updated in the coming days to reflect this change in prioritization for pregnant individuals, but implementation can begin immediately.

Please click here to read full visiting information during the COVID-19 pandemic for labour and delivery, antepartum, post-partum, NICU, Paediatrics, eating disorder program and general guidelines.

Southlake’s Birthing Unit offers private birthing rooms where mothers labour, birth, and recover in a warm and comfortable setting. Each room is spacious and includes a three-piece washroom and a pull-out chair for family members to spend the night. Modern Operating Rooms and a recovery room are located within the Birthing Unit for both elective and emergency cesarean sections.

Birthing Room Guidelines

All labouring women are admitted to a private birthing room to labour and birth. Following birth, we make every effort to give new mothers an available room that matches their insurance coverage. All mothers will be given the option to pay to upgrade from a ward or semi-private to private room accommodations. Private rooms are available in the Birthing and Post-Partum Units.

Post-Partum Unit

This unit that focuses on assisting new families following the birth of their baby. Staff on the unit help new families prepare for their return home and educate them on how to care for both mother and baby. This unit also supports undelivered mothers requiring hospitalization due to complications of their pregnancy until they are ready for discharge.


Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed babies, thus, human milk is the perfect food for the healthy growth and development of babies. Southlake is committed to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Southlake supports informed decisions regarding baby feeding.

We endorse the World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with the introduction of age-appropriate solids, until two years and beyond.

Our NICU offers Donor Milk to newborns who meet specific criteria. Please speak to one of our health care providers for further information

Southlake is pleased to partner with a leader in prenatal education, Markham Prenatal, to deliver a series of prenatal classes to support expectant parents and their support persons. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all prenatal classes will be offered in a virtual format, at no cost to registrants. Our prenatal classes have been developed with the goal of providing accurate, current and unbiased information that will provide parents and families with an opportunity to learn and prepare for birth and care of their newborn.

All classes will be facilitated by Registered Nurses experienced in maternal and newborn care.

To register please click here.

For information on breastfeeding, healthy babies/children, preventing flat head and more please go to the York Region Public Health website or the websites listed below.

Newborn jaundice information

Caring for the uncircumcised male infant

Breastfeeding Resources

York Region Public Health

Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham, Vaughan or Keswick Free, one to one instruction for York Region residents Call Health Connection 1-800-361-5653.

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Breastfeeding Place

Weekly drop-ins; Barrie, Collingwood, Alliston and Bradford Public health nurse for breastfeeding, infant and child health, developmental stages and parenting https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org

Victoria Park Breastfeeding Clinic

1448 Lawrence Ave, East, Suite 214 (Toronto) M-F 9 a.m. -5 p.m.
Telephone: 647-344-5990

Prenatal and Well Baby Clinic

Barrie & Community Family Health Team
Telephone: 705 721-0370 x4

Dr. Aziza Rajan

712 Davis Drive, Suite 306, Newmarket
Telephone: 905-836-6721 *Referral Required

Private Lactation Consultants (fee for service)


Jacqueline Cooper IBCLC

Nancy Gale RPN IBCLC

South Simcoe

Katie Wickham BScN RN, IBCLC


Timea Szalay IBCLC
Wholistic Women Wellness & Wisdom


Samantha Petkou RN IBCLC RLC
The Lactation Lounge


Carla Mantero BScN RN IBCLC


Dr. Jack Newman Breastfeeding Clinic
Physician or Midwife referral only

For information about breastfeeding support services in communities across Ontario, visit www.ontariobreastfeed.ca.

Renovated with a skilled designer, the Family Suite is available on a first come first served basis – just like private rooms. It is completely updated and includes a smart TV with internet access, an updated sleeper for a support person, a private washroom and a fridge and microwave. If you are interested please let the clerk or nurse know when you arrive.

At Southlake we understand that compassion and exceptional care are essential for babies who require a higher level of care. The NICU team is comprised of intensive care providers and dedicated volunteers to support new families during this difficult time. Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has medical expertise, progressive technology, and state-of-the-art equipment to provide specialized of care.

As a regional Level 2C Nursery, our highly trained nursing staff and physicians are able to stabilize and care for babies if born at 30 weeks or greater from conception to delivery — often referred to as preterm babies. Other full-term babies may require close monitoring for breathing and nutrition after birth in the NICU. Other complex services and treatments include:

  • Mechanical ventilation for up to several days
  • Nasal CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • Blood transfusions
  • Placement and maintenance of umbilical lines
  • Maintenance of PICC lines
  • Total parenteral nutrition (IV nutrition)
  • RSV Prevention Clinic for outpatient palivizumab administration for at-risk babies
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Clinic for babies requiring ROP eye exams and monitoring
  • Neonatal follow-up

To offer continued support to parents with babies in our NICU, courtesy accommodation is available for mothers whose babies must remain in the NICU after mom is ready for discharge.

For more information download the NICU brochure.

NICU Visiting Policy during COVID-19

For NICU inpatients – only one caregiver at a time is permitted. Exceptions may be made for NICU patients who need daily support of two caregivers (e.g. children with special needs).

All visitors must be screen negative – no fever, respiratory symptoms, recent travel abroad or contact with another person who may be ill.

Caregivers are not to leave the NICU while visiting. All caregivers are permitted to stay with the baby until 11pm. Caregivers are not allowed to stay overnight in the NICU. At this time, the courtesy room will be closed to stay overnight.

Caregivers are welcomed to bring food for the day and eat in the courtesy room. Washroom access will also be in the courtesy room.

Our visiting policy may change based on provincial direction. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Click here to read the letter for caregivers in the NICU.

Our 12-bed Paediatric Unit and its team of staff specialize in providing compassionate care to children 0 – 18 years-of-age who are suffering from a wide range of diseases and illnesses.

Southlake’s Paediatric unit works with SickKids, CHEO and Holland Bloorview, as a community member of Kids Health Alliance (KHA). This great partnership brings together some of the best resources for providing care to children and youth.

Paediatrics Visiting Policy during COVID-19

Additional information for patients and caregivers regarding COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the page on our website: Doctors Taking New Patients

If you have any security concerns, inform a staff member immediately. They will notify the Security Office at 905- 895-4521, ext. 2385. If ever in any doubt, contact your nurse immediately.

All normal vaginal deliveries are generally discharged approximately 30 – 36 hours following delivery. In the case of caesarean delivery, in approximately 48 hours.

Our NICU contains courtesy accommodation for mothers whose babies must remain in the NICU after mom is ready for discharge.

Southlake offers a labour and delivery hotline for expectant mothers who require labour and pregnancy support. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Southlake provides families with direct communication with a registered nurse in the Birthing Unit who will discuss your concerns and provide you with labour and delivery information.

Call our hotline at 905-895-4521, ext. 2225

Our special care nursery is sometimes called a level 2 NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The NCIU will care for your baby if he or she is born at 32 weeks or greater from conception to delivery — often referred to preterm babies. Other full-term babies may require close monitoring after birth at the NCIU.

Your baby’s safety is an important part of our care at Southlake. It is mandatory for all staff, volunteers and physicians to wear their Southlake ID badge. Immediately after delivery, you, your support person and your baby are identified with matching arm bracelets. Remember to not remove these bracelets until you arrive home.

It is important to not release your baby to any individual who is not wearing an appropriate Southlake photo ID and never leave your baby unattended.

If families wish this service you will need to make arrangements to bring baby back to the Ambulatory Day Care area. Information is available on your unit. Please be reminded the cost of newborn circumcision is not covered by OHIP. Circumcision includes two fees — a hospital fee and a physician’s fee. Once the hospital’s fee is made, a receipt will be issued and must be presented to the nurse before the procedure can be performed. You will need to talk to your physician about their costs. 

Payment can be made at the Cashiers’ Office located on level 1 of the East Building at the main entrance, or the nursing station. Physician fees vary and it is recommended that you speak in advance to the doctor who will perform the procedure about fees and method of payment.

Our Birthing Unit offers private birthing rooms for mothers during labour, the baby’s birth, and recovery. Each room is spacious and includes modern amenities and a pull-out chair for family members to spend the night. Our operating rooms and a recovery room are located within the Birthing Unit for both elective and emergency caesarean sections.