Manitoba

Winnipeg's Birth Centre marks first year

Winnipeg's Birth Centre celebrated its first anniversary on Thursday with two special guests — the first child and the 100th child to be born at the facility.
Sara Heinrichs (left), mother of the first child born at the Winnipeg Birth Centre, talks with Health Minister Theresa Oswald. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)

Winnipeg's Birth Centre celebrated its first anniversary on Thursday with two special guests — the first child and the 100th child to be born at the facility.

"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 benefit them and their families in the years to come," Joan Dawkins, executive director of the Women’s Health Clinic, which runs the centre, stated in a news release.

Sara Heinrichs’ son Jack, who turns one on Dec. 10, was the first child born at the centre. Heinrichs lauded the staff and her experience there.

"The best part, other than Jack, obviously, was the fact that everyone was focused on me, not the busyness of a hospital," she said, adding the fact that her family was able to stay with her throughout the experience was a huge benefit.

Alivia Hall, who turned four weeks old on Thursday, was the 100th child to be born at the centre.

Mom Leslie Hall said she shares Heinrichs' assessment.

"It was a much more relaxed atmosphere," she said. "It was fantastic, actually."

Dawkins said the Centre is hosting an open house on Nov. 24 from noon until 3 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about the centre and the services it offers, including:

  • Post-partum adjustment supports.
  • Bilingual weekly drop-in sessions for mothers and their children
  • Counselling on eating disorders
  • Professional development sessions for the Women’s Health Clinic staff
  • Hands-on health cooking sessions
  • Specialized advice and support for new Canadians