submitted photo: The first 2018 baby born at Northumberland Hills Hospital (of the of the 552 born during the fiscal year ending in March) was Maiya whose parents are Kelsey Greenfield Smith and Dante Ough of Baltimore.

15 New Life Midwives and Quinte Midwives have hospital privileges

Article & images by Valerie Macdonald:

Melanie Lyman has given birth to all four of her sons at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) over the past decade and has seen things change during that time.

Ten years ago, there were fewer breastfeeding resources and the hospital stay was three days compared to “a lot of resources” supporting breastfeeding now and a hospital stay of just 24 hours, the Grafton-area woman said in an interview this week.

There were 458 babies born in the year ending March 2014 which is almost 100 fewer babies than were born at the NNH this fiscal year ending March 2018 which includes Lyman’s five-month-old son Murray.

Lyman says she is “not surprised” to hear that the number of births keeps going up (552 this year to the end of March) and attributes that, in part, to the number of midwives taking part in deliveries at NHH.

In addition to family physicians and Obstetrician-Gynecologists, two midwifery groups are associated with NHH,” says hospital spokesperson Jennifer Gillard. “They are New Life Midwives and Quinte Midwives. NHH has approximately 15 midwives combined with privileges at the hospital today, and births are supported by a mix of general practitioners, midwives and obstetrician-gynaecologists together with our wonderful maternal/child team.”

Another key factor in the increase in births at the Cobourg-based hospital is the expertise and capacity with three Obstetrician/Gynaecologists working there. Dr Michael Green and Dr Asiya Hameed have had a third colleague for the past year or so with the arrival of Dr Nasser Abu Awad (whose patients just call him Dr Awad,” he says).

These doctors provide pre-natal and post-natal care, as well as deliveries.

Mothers who don’t have a GP or want a specialist to help during their pregnancy and delivery can telephone either Drs Abu Awad or Hameed at their offices,905 377-7764 and 905 377-7796, respectively. Their offices are in the hospital next to the birthing suite.

Dr Nasser Abu Awad and laparoscopic trainer

Dr Abu Awad told News Now Network he has been trained in high-risk pregnancies and while the deliveries take place elsewhere, their prenatal care can be handled by him.

On-call doctors can support midwife deliveries if there are complications and respond to emergencies that present in the emergency department. Dr Awad also noted that he has handled a series of breach births without surgeries.

He also has expertise with invasive laparoscopic gynaecological surgery which NHH didn’t previously offer, Gillard said. Not only are hysterectomies done this way in most cases but the removal of ovaries, cysts and tubal ligations.

The benefits include less pain, bleeding, (chance of) blood clots… infection” in addition to the cosmetic aspects of smaller surgical entrances compared to larger abdominal incisions, he said.

These are usually outpatient procedures that are cost-effective for the hospital and free up beds for patients who are sick, the doctor added.

Fundraising from residents and the hospital’s Foundation Gala in 2017 paid for much of the laparoscopic equipment Dr Abu Awad required to perform procedures, including a $60,000 laparoscopic gynaecological trainer that allows Dr Awad is able to share this knowledge with residents and other doctors.

In addition to the internal hospital expertise, NHH has recently partnered with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit presenting ‘Getting Ready for Baby’ information sessions, says Gillard. These take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month (6 to 7 pm.) on the second floor of the hospital and include a “short presentation:

•      on getting ready to give birth at NHH, and making an informed decision about how to feed your baby

•      a tour of the Maternal Child Care Unit at NHH 

•      a question and answer opportunity regarding local birthing options and feeding your baby.

“Preregistration is required. Call 905-372-6811, extension 4122 to sign up. It is recommended that sessions be scheduled when you are 32 weeks pregnant or later.”