Birth Centre celebrates 1st anniversary

First and 100th baby come for birthday cake

baby Jack, father and minister
One-year-old Jack, the first baby born at the Birth Centre, and his father Anthony Chilufya talk with Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald at the one year anniversary party for the Birth Centre.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winnipeg's Birth Centre marked its first anniversary today, with two milestone babies in attendance at the party.

Having the first and the 100th child to be born at the centre among the guests was something to celebrate, said Joan Dawkins, Executive Director of Women's Health Clinic.

"Not only have 112 moms given birth here, exceeding our initial target of 100 for the first year, but hundreds of women from across the city have attended educational sessions, forged new friendships and established important links and relationships that will continue to be a benefit to them and their families in the years to come," said Dawkins. "There have been more than 3,200 midwifery appointments there already this year."

Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald congratulated the staff and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

"Midwives offer their clients so much more than just the opportunity to give birth in this wonderful facility," said Oswald. "Staff at the Birth Centre offer a wide range of prenatal and post-partum care and support for families, whether they are, or were, under the care of a midwife or a doctor."

Oswald left her prepared speech behind and spoke directly to the staff of the centre, lauding them for never giving up on the dream of having Canada's first birthing centre outside of Quebec, no matter what the criticism.

"So many moms in Winnipeg want midwives," she said. "You are the visionaries who are transforming maternal care. I'm so proud of you. You are making history, by providing love and support and caring for moms and their families in Manitoba."

100th baby

Lori Lamont, Chief Nursing Officer with Winnipeg Health Region, admires one-month old Alivia, held by her mother Leslie Hall. Alivia was the 100th child born at the Birth Centre.

Lori Lamont, Chief Nursing Officer with the Winnipeg Health Region, said Manitoba is seen as a leader in pre- and post-natal care, thanks in part to the role played by the Birth Centre.

"We're celebrating a milestone today. We'd hoped to have 100 children born here in the first year, and now we're hoping to have a New Year's baby born here," she said.

Opened last year, the centre is managed by the Women's Health Clinic. It provides a range of services, including prenatal, pregnancy and postpartum care, counselling and education programs that support a woman from early pregnancy through to being a parent. Midwifery services such as primary prenatal, interpartum and postpartum care, and non-midwifery services are available to women and their families.

The $3.5 million centre, located at 603 St. Mary's Rd., received an architectural award during a special ceremony on Oct. 16 at City Hall.

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