85th Anniversary - ArchivesMay 2019

From the archives: JGH’s first birthing room opens in 1980

In 1980, the JGH became the first McGill University teaching hospital to open a birthing room, in whose home-like setting mothers went into labour, delivered their babies and recovered.

The objective was not just to enable women to give birth with less medical intervention (unless required), but to record and assess the medical and psychological outcomes of this relatively new type of room, compared to standard case room procedures.

For an expectant mother to be admitted to the birthing room, several criteria had to be met, including prenatal supervision by a physician, no indication of increased risk of complications, and willingness by the mother to move to a high-risk unit, if necessary.

Other McGill University teaching hospitals decided to delay opening their own birthing rooms until they could review the results of the JGH’s research. In the meantime, any of their pregnant patients who wanted to deliver in a birthing room were referred to the JGH.


The Jewish General Hospital’s 85th anniversary is an ideal occasion to take a glimpse into the past. By remembering the extraordinary efforts of the hospital’s founders, supporters, staff and volunteers, we honour the enduring legacy of the JGH.

Look for a new scrapbook item every week during 2019 in JGH News.

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