An Ottawa family has welcomed its first baby, and so has the new Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre.
Baby Olivia Mae Lapointe was born Saturday around 7p.m. in water and was born in the caul - meaning the infant is born inside the entire amniotic sac. This is a very rare occurrence and happens in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births.
Olivia's parents Melanie and Simon Lapointe said they're very happy with the delivery process. Melanie said, "I was able to do this naturally because of the calm atmosphere of the birth room. The birth centre is so well equipped to support women in labour. The birth tub and ceiling sling were instrumental in my delivery. I couldn't imagine my birth being any better."
The birth was attended by three Ottawa midwives and a birth centre aide. Also in the room, Melanie's parents.
The new birth centre is one of two pilot birth centres in Ontario. It's a regulated health facility funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that offers women a safe, home-like setting where they can give birth.
The Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre will accommodate up to 450 births a year, helping to free up hospital beds to focus on high-risk births.