It was like she wasn’t even in a hospital.
That’s how Latoya Ali describes her experience delivering her second child by water birth in The Scarborough Hospital’s (TSH) new water birth room at the Birchmount campus.
Beautiful little Zayn Ali was born on March 30, 2016 at 8:51 a.m. after about five hours of labour for Latoya and “just three pushes.” Zayn is the second child for Latoya and her husband Adam, who also have a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter named Samia.
“I always wanted to try and have a water birth,” admits Latoya.
“My first child was born at the General campus and I used a tub there for part of my labour. But being able to deliver in this new water birth room was a great experience. I was able to dim the lights and really enjoy the moment. And the room is so spacious; it easily accommodated my family, midwives, and doula.”
Zayn was delivered by midwives Valerie Downer and Tenisha Hibbert from Diversity Midwives, one of two midwifery organizations TSH partners with. Valerie was also Latoya’s midwife during her first pregnancy with Samia.
“Latoya amazes me with how she handles her contractions,” said Valerie, one of the founders of Diversity Midwives and a midwife since 1973.
“Initially she was requesting pain management. However, once in the birthing pool, she was calmer, relaxed, and visually appeared to be coping better. Birthing in water enhances normality. This new room has made water birth a more comfortable experience for everyone.”
Latoya also used TSH’s Hospital Birth Doula program to find her doula, Helena Neault McMann.
“Helena was my doula when I gave birth to my first child as well,” said Latoya. “She’s a truly beautiful spirit who has been like a mother to me.”
The new water birth room includes a special tub that was chosen in consultation with Family Maternity Centre staff at the Birchmount campus, as well as Diversity Midwives and TSH’s other midwifery partner, Sages-Femmes Midwives.
“We advised on many aspects of this tub, including height and the location of handles, as well as whether or not to include jets,” explains Tenisha.
Dr. Nathan Roth, Co-Medical Director of the Maternal Newborn and Child Care program at TSH, notes that all elements of the new room were specifically designed with patient care, safety, and comfort in mind.
“Our stunning and calming space is intended to provide our patients and their families with an exceptional experience as they bring a new life into our vibrant community with the support of our outstanding interprofessional team,” said Dr. Roth.
View a video of Latoya’s water birth on her YouTube channel.