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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.

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.

  • Designated Care Partners (DCPs) will be allowed in the hospital in accordance with the guidelines below, provided that they are 18 years of age or older.

General Guidelines

  • All DCPs must wear a mask at all times
  • In and out privilege need to be kept to a minimum
  • DCPs do not need to book a scheduled visit
  • DCPs do not need to be vaccinated

COVID Positive Moms and DCP

  • The COVID positive mom can have one DCP as long as their DCP is asymptomatic.
  • The DCP will be allowed to come for the labour and delivery and will be allowed to stay in postpartum room until discharge. There will be no in and out privileges allowed. A meal tray can be provided to the DCP staying with the mom
  • If the patient needs to have a caesarean section, the partner would stay in the labour/post-partum room. They would not be able to go to the operating room.

COVID Positive Paediatric/NICU patient and DCP

  • COVID positive Paediatric patient can have one DCP as long as their DCP is asymptomatic
    • The DCP must not leave the room until discharge. There will be no in and out privileges allowed. A meal tray can be provided to the DCP staying with the patient
  • DCP of a COVID positive NICU patient cannot visit unless they are cleared by IPAC and asymptomatic


  • Visitors must be vaccinated and over the age of 18
  • Must be the same 2 visitors throughout the stay
  • Do not need to book a scheduled visit, only allowed to visit during visiting hours

Visitors names must be documented in Meditech.

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.

Upcoming Markham Prenatal webinar for on mental health during pregnancy and the post partum period:

Is it ok not to be ok? Having your baby during COVID & your mental wellness

Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Click here for more information and to register.

Led by Joey Crump (MSW/RSW), this live, 1-hour presentation will provide an opportunity for you to learn strategies to improve your pregnancy and post partum mental health, resources and early intervention options available to you in the GTA, post partum mood disorder and baby blues.

If you are looking for support, resources or additional help, Southlake’s Maternal Child team is here for you! Resources have been put together by Southlake staff along with our Patient Family Advisory Committee (PFAC) members to support you and your family. Click here to view these resources.

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.

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.