Birth Place Options

Midwives are the only providers in Alberta who offer choice of birthplace. Healthy birthing people who are at low risk for complications have the option to give birth in their own homes or at the Arbour Birth Centre in Calgary. You may also choose to birth in hospital. Your midwives will discuss the pros and cons of your options with you throughout your pregnancy.

Your midwife will come to your home when you are in established labour. They will stay with you throughout labour to assess progress monitor both you and your baby’s well-being as well as provide support and guidance. The second midwife will join you towards the end of labour to assist you and your midwife.

In a small number of planned homebirths, situations may arise where your midwife recommends a transfer into the hospital. The majority of these transfers are not urgent and you will head in to the hospital in your own car. On rare occasions an urgent situation may require ambulance assistance. Regardless of HOW you transfer, your midwives will make arrangements with the hospital to facilitate as smooth and stress-free a transition as possible and once at the hospital, will remain with you for your care.

Some reasons why you may choose home:

  • Privacy: many people feel more secure and comfortable in their own home
  • Convenience: no need to travel either to hospital during labour or back home after your birth.
  • Familiarity: you can eat her own food, rest in your own bed, use your own bath and shower for comfort, etc.
  • Choice: You are welcome to have as many support people as you choose,
    while at hospital there are restrictions on how many support people you can have.

Hospital Birth

South Health Campus, Rockyview General Hospital, Foothills Medical Center, Peter Lougheed Center, High River Hospital

The primary hospital site for Aurora Midwifery is South Health Campus but our midwives have privileges at all Calgary hospitals.

Your midwife will come to your home when you are in active labour. Receiving labour support in your own home allows you to maintain control of your environment and may reduce interventions associated with early hospital admission. While at home, you’re welcome to have as many support people as you choose. Your midwife will assess your labour progress at home, and together you can decide about the best time to go to the hospital.

Once admitted, your midwife will continue your care until after baby is born. A second midwife or nurse will be present at the time of birth to assist you and your midwife but usually no other hospital staff will be involved in your birth unless specifically consulted for assistance. For an uncomplicated birth, and if you feel well, you and your baby may go home within a few hours following your birth.

Some reasons why you may choose hospital:
Necessity: there may be a medical reason that means the hospital is the best option
for you or baby.
Preference: you may feel more familiar with the idea of hospital birth and/or prefer
to birth in hospital.

Birth Center

Arbour Birth Center

The Arbour Birth Center is the only free standing birth center in western Canada. It is located in close proximity to the Foothills Medical Center. It has three birthing suites with large tubs and endless hot water.

Some reasons why you may choose the birth center:

  • Proximity: You would like an out-of-hospital birth but your home is a long distance from a hospital.
  • Secluded: Your living arrangements (family or roommates) make privacy difficult during labour & birth at home.
  • Space: If you’re currently in a small apartment or other rental space, you may prefer the extra space available at the birth center.

There is an out-of-pocket cost to book the birth centre. Please ensure you
contact Arbour at least one month prior to your due date to make arrangements.


Whether you had your baby in home, hospital, or birth centre your midwife will visit you and your baby within 24 hours. Your midwife will typically see you at least two more times at home during your first week postpartum.

Additional postpartum visits are scheduled in clinic around two, four (first time parents only) and six weeks postpartum to ensure you and your baby are adjusting well to life as a duo. Midwives also provide extensive breastfeeding support during these visits.

For urgent postpartum concerns, your midwife remains on-call for you 24 hours a day until your care is complete