Politics
New birthing centre opens in Toronto

QMI Agency reporter Elizabeth Bower talks RN Cassandra Driver at a birthing centre in Peterborough in April 2012.

Credits: CLIFFORD SKARSTEDT/PETERBOROUGH EXAMINER/QMI AGENCY

JONATHAN JENKINS | QMI AGENCY

Liams and Olivias dropping into Toronto will soon have a new place to land.

Those two names, topping the charts for Ontario babies in 2012, are likely to be attached to arrivals at the new GTA Birthing Centre, set to open next summer.

Premier Dalton McGuinty proudly noted Liam -- which he and wife Terri chose for one of their four kids -- is now the most popular boys name in the province.

"It only took 28 years for my baby's name to catch on," McGuinty tweeted Tuesday.

Liam soared past Ethan, which led the boy pack for six years, in 2012. Jacob, Lucas and Noah rounded out the top five.

For girls, Olivia has held top spot for five years, followed by Emma, Sophia, Ava and Isabella.

Health Minister Deb Matthews said in a statement Tuesday the new birth centre "will give women more choice on where they can deliver healthy babies.

"As part of Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care, we are moving more routine procedures out of hospitals and into specialized not-for-profit clinics like birth centres, where evidence shows that high-quality care can be provided for better value."

The new centre will be run in conjunction with the Seventh Generation Midwives and Women's College Hospital. It's expected to handle up to 500 deliveries a year.

A second Ontario birthing centre is also planned, with an eye to keeping low-risk deliveries out of hospitals, freeing up more space for the more complicated cases. The government is just wrapping up the lease details for the centre and has yet to announce the location.

Birthing centres will not offer caesarean sections, inductions or epidurals but will provide breastfeeding support, post-partum care and education programs.

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