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New Book Authentically and Humorously Normalizes Pregnancy and Birth

New Book Authentically and Humorously Normalizes Pregnancy and Birth

North York General Hospital is going through a transformative renovation that, once complete, will reflect the renown care, services, and comprehensive programs it is known for. As one of the biggest pre- and post-natal facilities in North York, the Birthing Centre helps thousands of families bring their newborns into the world every year.

Once completed, the $32 million renovation project will include private and accessible birthing rooms and facilities that meet the needs of all parents, with beautiful, inclusive lounges where family members can gather, and the most state-of-the-art technology to make the labour and delivery the best experience for new parents. It will be a warm, welcoming, and safe centre where patients want to be in and staff feel proud to be part of.

As part of the fundraising efforts and to celebrate this monumental renovation, the North York General Hospital and Foundation developed and published a book What No One Tells You When You’re Expecting for expectant and new parents. Seanna Millar, President and CEO of the North York General Foundation, oversaw the development of this exciting book.

The book talks openly and candidly about events, feelings, and bodily changes and functions that are part of pregnancy, labour and delivery, and post childbirth. It is designed to normalize all these events and bodily functions so parents of all genders and ages don’t feel alone about their pregnancy, labour, delivery, and newborn care experiences.



The statements in the book were submitted by current and former family members and patients of the North York Birthing Centre. The hospital and foundation board members ran an open campaign on their website and social media platforms to reach out to parents to request participation. They also provided promotional materials to affiliate doctors offices and kept brochures, pamphlets and posters in the hospital to invite patients to submit their comments for the book.

The response they received from the community was overwhelming. As the board reviewed the submissions, they used the pattern they found in the statements to organize the content and create the chapters of the book.

What No One Tells You When You’re Expecting has nine chapters covering a variety of topics including: pregnancy, birth, post-birth and recovery, feeding, poop, sleep, life with a baby, sex and relationships, and feelings. All the comments and statements in the book are easily relatable to new and experienced parents.

The pages are full of honest and candid comments like, “I didn’t expect my nose to blow up like a balloon while I was pregnant.” Throughout the book, doctors, nurses, and midwives also provide brief explanations of why certain functions or experiences occur so readers can fully understand what they and their newborn are going through.

The pages are beautifully designed using vibrant colours and eye-catching illustrations by Illustrator Emilie Muszcozak, a well known Freelance Art Director and Illustrator in Toronto. The beautiful simplicity of the books not only creates a visually appealing book but is easy to read and navigate through.

Those who have experienced having a baby will smile and laugh as they read the statements from other parents and realize their own experiences, while normal, are rarely if ever talked about. This book is not only a celebration of the renovations of the hospital, it is also a celebration of North York’s community.

What No One Tells You When You’re Expecting is available in a free PDF format at Additional and future parent submissions are posted on this website as well.

For those wanting a hard copy version of the book, it is available on Amazon. All monies from the purchase of the book go back into the hospital and foundation.