Back to Top COVID-19 Obstetrics Patient Information and Visitor Restrictions | The Ottawa Hospital

Patient & Visitor Restrictions at The Ottawa Hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Ottawa Hospital is currently in low visitor restrictions as part of the hospital’s ongoing response to COVID-19. Here are the visitor restrictions for each unit:

Birth Unit

  • One support person can stay with the patient throughout triage, labour, delivery, and postpartum stay.
  • Once admitted to the Birth Unit, in labour, patients may have one unique visitor in addition to their support person. There is no exchange of visitors.

Mother Baby Unit

  • One support person may stay around the clock. Visitors are allowed during visiting hours however a maximum of two people (including the support person) may be at the bedside at any time.
  • Antepartum patients may have one designated support person who may visit between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in addition to visitors during hospital visiting hours for a maximum of 2 at the bedside.


  • Both parents may visit their infant together at any time. One visitor is allowed to accompany a parent during visiting hours for a maximum of 2 at the bedside.

Obstetrics Clinic or Obstetrical Ultrasound

  • One support person may accompany the patient.

Note: Patients can include Doulas as either their visitor or their support person in labour, depending on their preference.

To encourage safe social distancing practices, walking in the hallways or inpatient care areas is not permitted and movement in the hospital should be limited. Seating is available for nutrition breaks in the cafeteria only.

Birth Unit, Mother and Baby Unit, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU-General Campus)/Special Care Nursery (SCN-Civic Campus)

Please review the following information to help you prepare for the birth of your baby.

What to expect when you arrive at the hospital:

  • You will be verbally screened at the hospital entrance.
  • All patients and visitors will be given a mask to wear and directed to wash your hands.
  • Your support person will not be permitted to join you in the Triage Unit until you have been assessed and are admitted to the hospital.
  • You will be registered and then assessed in a triage room. If you are being admitted, you may provide your support persons’ name to the nurse and call them to come in.  Your support person will need to give their name to the screeners at the hospital entrance.
  • Please note that if your support person screens positive they will not be permitted to enter the hospital.
  • If your support person passes screening they will be directed to your room.

Children are not permitted in the Hospital at this time. You will need to find alternate arrangements for children.

What if I screen positive for symptoms or contact history of COVID-19?

Patients who screen positive will still be allowed to enter the hospital. You will be given a surgical mask to wear and directed to wash your hands. You will be given a new mask every four hours.

What if my support person screens positive for symptoms or contact history of COVID-19?

If your support person has any symptoms of respiratory illness or if they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, they will NOT be allowed to enter the hospital. This is for the safety of our patients and staff members. Please ensure that the support person who is planning to come with you does not have any symptoms of respiratory illness and has not been in contact with anyone who has been sick.

Triage and Early Labour

Support persons will be called when you are admitted to the hospital

Women who come into the Obstetrical Assessment Unit (Triage) for assessment may be asked to go home until they are further along the progress of active labour. This is normal practice.

Birth Unit

One support person will be allowed during labour

When you are in active labour you will be admitted to the Birth Unit.  At this time your support person will be called to join you.  Your support person’s name will be provided to the screeners at the hospital entrance.  Your support person must be healthy and able to pass screening.

Your support person cannot rotate or change through the labour process. This includes after delivery, while you recover and until you are discharged. Your support person will be able to leave the unit to purchase food at the cafeteria or coffee shops during your stay, or they may leave the hospital on a limited basis.  Otherwise your support person must remain in your room with you. Please ensure both you and your support person have everything you need during and after the delivery.

Cesarean Birth – your support person is welcome to join you in the operating room.  If you have a scheduled cesarean section, your support person may accompany you when you present to the Triage Unit for admission.

Induction of Labour – Patients who are admitted to the hospital for induction of labour may have their support person accompany them for the duration of their labour, delivery and postpartum stay.  Patients receiving an outpatient induction will not be able to have a support person with them until they are admitted in labour.

Mother Baby Unit

Ensure that you bring everything you will need for the duration of your stay.  Bring a cooler with any snacks and drinks that you will need as you will not have access to the patient kitchen during the pandemic. We will provide ice for your cooler and water to drink. If you bring food that needs to be reheated, ensure food is in a resealable container.  The nurse will reheat the food for you.

We discourage support persons from leaving the hospital unless absolutely necessary.  When in hospital, your support person must remain in your room other than to buy food in the hospital cafeteria or coffee shops.

Postpartum Readmission – Occasionally patients are readmitted to the MBU after discharge for postpartum complications.

If you or your baby are re-admitted, and we are not concerned about COVID-19, you will be able to keep your baby with you and your support person may stay if needed.

If you are readmitted with COVID-19 your baby should remain with a healthy care provider at home, and your nurse will help you with pumping if you are breastfeeding.

Antepartum Admission Patients – Patients who are admitted to the Mother Baby Unit for monitoring until they deliver may identify 2 designated visitors. One visitor may come per day for up to 8 hours between the hours of 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.


While we continue to recognize the importance of parents’ presence in the NICU/SCN, we need to face the very real concern of COVID-19 infection being passed on to our fragile patients and their health care professionals.

At the current time, parents or their designated care provider* with a baby in the NICU/SCN may continue to visit anytime.  However, we are limiting visitors to 1 parent or designated care provider at a time, remaining at the baby’s bedside for the duration of the visit.

Last updated on: September 1st, 2021