My Love Letter to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women

Dear Lois Hole Hospital for Women,

I wanted to write you a love letter, because you deserve it.

You specialize in many areas of women’s health, but the one I most deeply connect with is your outstanding work in perinatal health — labour and delivery and postpartum care. You are the only dedicated women’s hospital in Alberta, right here in the heart of Edmonton (wow!!!). I have so much gratitude for what you do, for women at all ages and at all stages of their lives.

Having a baby was the most pivotal period of change in my life, and the Lois Hole Hospital for Women was there.

In 2015, my newborn and I spent some time in your care.

You’re a busy hospital. You deliver 7,500 babies a year. That’s enough babies to fill a kindergarten class every day. One mom might not stand out from the crowd — but you saved me.

I owe you my health after I gave birth to my son at home — and a home birth was not my plan. I was supposed to deliver in your hospital with my midwives, but had fast-paced birth, bringing my first baby into the world in my master bedroom. After that, I suffered a serious Postpartum Hemorrhage.

At the Lois Hole, you know high-risk pregnancy and birth, and luckily, I was close by. I was brought to you in an ambulance and cared for around the clock, and was given a blood transfusion so I could muster strength to nurse my newborn. I was scared, in pain, tapped of all energy, and got the help I needed to continue forward. I didn’t regain normalcy for many months, but you set me on the path to healing. I accessed your Reproductive Mental Health Office for support afterwards, as well. (Here’s my birth story)

You’ve helped so many other Edmonton Moms, too.

Here’s what other Edmonton Moms said about perinatal care at the Lois Hole:

I spent 37 days admitted while pregnant there. They took amazing care of me and my babes, very grateful.

I have given birth there; twice! First with a doctor, and second, with a midwife… both were great experiences.

I delivered there! Such a beautiful hospital. My mom worked there for over 20 years, and if I’d given birth 2 days earlier, I would have had my daughter on my birthday in the same hospital I was born in, and likely with the doctor that delivered me. 

I’ve had a c-section and a vaginal birth after Cesarian (27 months later) there.

I delivered a stillborn baby at the Lois Hole, and then a little over two years later, I had my twin girls there as well. Though the experiences were obviously very different, the care I received both times was absolutely amazing.

I had my baby at the Lois Hole. I had a high risk pregnancy and a number of visits before I delivered. The care was always top notch and I always felt like it anything went wrong everything would be just fine.

I had three c-sections and many, many, many visits to the perinatal clinic. So grateful for the fantastic care we received!

I visited the prenatal clinic for several treatments with my firstborn (Oligohydramnios). My second-born was also delivered there after such a fantastic experience. Due to apnea, I required NICU assistance in the delivery room for a few minutes. I was fully supported using hypno-birthing and was highly respected. I was able to do what I needed to do to birth my babies. We truly are lucky to have that facility here with such passionate and skilled staff.

You were also the first hospital in Alberta to provide skin-to-skin contact for mothers and babies after Cesarian section surgery. Pretty incredible.

Photo credit: Lois Hole Hospital for Women

Lois Hole’s All Ages, All Stages Campaign

I cried watching your All Ages, All Stages video on YouTube.  It’s a beautiful, real-life way of illustrating what you do. As women in Edmonton and Alberta learn more about the extent of your work, we become more and more aware of the resources you have for us.

I’m so proud of the research and work you do, as a national leader in women’s health.  We make up 50% of the population, and yet, the majority of research is done on males. Women and children have been overlooked and you are making sure that doesn’t continue to happen.

You fund the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) along with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. (Page 18, Hope Magazine, Spring Edition 2017) You are dedicated to learning and focusing care on postpartum mental health, pelvic floor health, menopausal support, ovarian cancer research and treatment, and so much more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, not just from me, but from us all.

With Love,

Rachel Jones