This is information valid for women giving birth in Toronto, Ontario Canada, and although each hospital varies in policies, I thought it would be helpful to list what I had to ask for and bring.
Note: I wrote this while I was pregnant, so this will all sound like in the present tense.
“WE’RE NOT IN FRANCE, ARE WE?”
Upon hearing what we were expected to provide, not to mention the food that we would NOT be receiving, he turns to me and says:
“Wow. We’re really not in France. In France they really provide everything for you.
Here it’s like you have to bring everything.
It’s like you’re going to a restaurant but you have to pack your own food to eat there.“
There you have it.
Even our coveted “free”* universal Canadian health insurance is looked down upon by others!
*It’s not free. We pay for it in our taxes, but we pay about $500 a year, not thousands.
YOUR ONTARIO HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN (OHIP) ONLY COVERS WARDS
Wards are where you share with up to 4 women with a curtain separating all of you.
You can pay for a 2-bedroom or a 1-bedroom if you do not have any other health insurance from work, but it costs more money.
You can read more about how much it cost to give birth in Toronto here.
YOU WILL STAY ABOUT 2 DAYS ON AVERAGE IN THE HOSPITAL
It is only 2 days in a hospital and I am not really keen on paying for a private room for 2 days.
I’m going to try and jailbreak out of there sooner if I am able to.
YOU HAVE TO BRING ALL OF YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS
No actual meals. Nothing cooked, nothing prepared.
crap “food and drinks” like:
- Apple Juice
- Lowfat Yoghurt
- Lowfat Milk
- Chicken Noodle or Chicken Rice (soups I am guessing)
- Popsicles / Freezies
Now this is even worse for us because we’re organic-and-natural-food eating huppies*, so we plan on bringing our own food and meals, including bottled water and organic unhomogenized milk in glass jars.
*Huppies = Hippie + Yuppie
UPDATE: This was a lie. They actually fed me in the hospital breakfast, lunch and dinner so I don’t think the literature was properly updated!!!!
WHAT WE ARE BRINGING FOR FOOD AND DRINKS
They at least have a fridge, freezer and microwave oven, so we can bring our own food.
- Meals prepared and frozen ahead of time in glass tupperware
- Organic unhomogenized milk in glass jars
- Filtered Water in a glass bottle
- Apples (We kiboshed bananas because they could get squished easily)
- Walnuts (to snack on)
- 2 plates — We’re assuming it’ll be plastic so we’ll bring our own
- 1 cup — We are assuming it will be Styrofoam, so we’ll bring our own
- Cutlery — We are assuming it will be plastic there for convenience, we will use our own.
WHAT THEY SUGGEST YOU BRING FOR YOURSELF
- Hospital card (I do not even know what this is)
- Ontario Health Card
- Health Insurance information (not OHIP, your work or personal insurance)
- Pillows in coloured cases (e.g. breastfeeding pillows, I’m assuming no white as it’ll get stained)
- Nursing bra / Nursing tank (cotton sports bras are best)
- Nightgown or Pajamas (but you can wear the hospital gown)
- Old panties
- Large sanitary pads (I bought ones for maternity / night time)
- Facial Tissues (I am bringing handkerchiefs and a roll of toilet paper)
- Loose comfortable clothes to wear home
- Battery-powered tapes or CDs (seriously!?)
WHAT I AM BRINGING FOR MYSELF IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE
- My e-reader (Kobo Glo; that device can run for days on a single charge)
- Digital camera
- iPod Touch — It is my personal organizer
- List of telephone numbers and names on paper to call
- Own bath and face towel
- Sweater (I do not have a house coat)
- Hospital mesh panties (the mesh kind to hold up the sanitary pads to wear underneath your regular underwear)
- Notebook and Pen
- Light umbrella — just in case I have to go by myself because I am in labour and it’s raining or when I go to leave
- House Keys
- $100 in cash (no credit cards)
- Face wipes
- Light makeup
- Contacts, Glasses, Eyedrops and Contact Lens Solution in travel-sized bottles
- Nipple Pads — to soak up excess milk
WHAT THEY SUGGEST YOU BRING FOR THE BABY
- Diapers (about 10 – 20)
- Outfit to wear home
- Blanket, Booties, Cap and Mittens
- Infant car seat if you are driving home (mandatory)
WHAT WE ARE BRINGING FOR THE BABY
- For the diapers we plan on cloth diapering but just for those 2 days, we’ll buy disposables
Update: As for bringing formula, they provided it at the hospital, and also gave a day’s worth of disposable diapers and pads. Otherwise, you are on your own!