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Home birth in Montreal

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

Has anyone had experience with home births in Montreal? Is it difficult to find a midwife who will do this? I have heard that it is difficult to get a midwife, period. Has anyone been successful?
post #2 of 62
It's actually really simple to get a midwife so long as you've planned in advance. All the midwives registered in Quebec can attend homebirths, births at a birthing center and hospital.
HOWEVER, in order to get a midwife you must call the birthing centers (one in Cote des Neiges and one in Pointe Claire) AS SOON AS you know you are pregnant or else you will never get off the waiting list. The midwives all work through the birthing centers but you get to chose where you give birth. I've noticed that most people who call before they are 6 weeks pregnant tend to get in...
post #3 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the advice. Do I have to wait until I'm pregnant to get on the list or can I sign up when I'm TTC?

Does it matter that I don't really live very close to either of the birthing centres? I live in the east of the island...
post #4 of 62
I think you actually have to be BFP on the pee stick before you call. Otherwise you'll be showing up at your first prenatal appointment too early or not pregnant yet.

They are opening another birthing centre by Fullum and Parthanais, if that's any closer to you.

Good luck TTC:
post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahstw View Post
All the midwives registered in Quebec can attend homebirths, births at a birthing center and hospital.
Last I checked there was only one hospital in Quebec that allowed midwives to attend to the births. That was in 2007 though - has this changed?
post #6 of 62
OK I found the Quebec Midwives website. This page talks about where births with midwives can take place (birth center, home, and there's a list of six hospitals): http://www.osfq.org/choix_lieu.php

There's also a link to an article talking about how a midwife determines if a home birth is safe for you.

It's all in French though - can you read French Sourire?
post #7 of 62
I had a homebirth last May. Ditto the above posters that you need to register as soon as you POAS. I signed up when I was 3 weeks 6 days, lol! There can be a a wait list, and yes, there is a new birthing centre near Fullum. My old MW is working there now. I was seeign my MW through the Pointe Claire CLSC. Good luck! It was the best experience of my life!
post #8 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info everyone. Yes I can read French. I am so glad to hear there is another birthing centre in Montreal, especially since it is more in the east (though I am in St-Leonard so it is still not quite at my doorstep).
post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 
By the way, are midwives covered by the government here in Quebec or do we have to pay? What about doulas?
post #10 of 62
Thread Starter 
And another question that just occurred to me: since I live about the same distance from the Côte des Neiges birthing centre and the new Jeanne Mance one (depending on traffic on the 40!), can I put my name on the waiting list for both of them to increase my chances?
post #11 of 62
Thread Starter 
Hey I happened to stumble on a couple of recent articles in Châtelaine magazine (in French) that you may find interesting:

http://fr.chatelaine.com/sante/sante...24_101528_1424
http://fr.chatelaine.com/sante/sante...01_114208_7440

Based on the following comment in the 2nd article: "If no birthing centre serves your territory, contact your CSSS and inform them of you expectations", I wrote an email to the "commissaire à la qualité des services" of my CSSS in Saint-Leonard. Here is the text of my email in case anyone is interested in doing the same (sorry it's in French, it would have been a bit long to translate!):

Quote:
En tant que résidente de l'arrondissement de Saint-Léonard, j'aimerais vous exprimer mon désir d'avoir un meilleur accès aux services d'une sage-femme dans l'est de l'Ile de Montréal.

Je crois que toutes les femmes enceintes devraient avoir l'option de faire suivre leur grossesse par une sage-femme si elles croient que c'est le meilleur choix pour elles et si leur santé et le déroulement de la grossesse sont assez bonnes pour le permettre.

Les femmes enceintes dans l'Ouest de l'Ile de Montréal ont la chance d'avoir accès à une sage-femme à travers la Maison de Naissance Côte-des-Neiges et à la Maison de naissance CLSC Lac-St-Louis, à Pointe-Claire. Je suis aussi très encouragée par la nouvelle cette année que les femmes enceintes peuvent maintenant avoir accès aux services d'une sage-femme à travers le CSSS Jeanne-Mance.

Malgré ces faits encourageants, il reste que plusieurs femmes qui désirent avoir accès aux soins d'une sage-femme se font refuser par manque de places (cette information provient d'un article dans le magazine Châtelaine de avril 2009: http://fr.chatelaine.com/sante/sante...08_7440&PAGE=1). Pour les femmes enceintes dans l'est de Montréal, l'accès est encore plus difficile car les CLSC et CSSS qui offrent ces services sont plus loins pour les résidentes de l'est de Montréal que pour les résidentes ailleurs sur l'Ile.

Un autre article dans le magazine Châtelaine de mai 2009 (http://fr.chatelaine.com/sante/sante...24_101528_1424) contient une citation de Dominique Breton, du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, selon laquelle la politique de périnatalité au Québec prévoit que d’ici 2017, il y aura 21 maisons de naissance au Québec par rapport à 10 présentement. Je crois donc que les CSSS dans l'est de l'Ile de Montréal, comme le CSSS de Saint-Léonard et Saint-Michel, serait des endroit idéaux pour l'implantation de centres de naissance ou d'un partenariat entre les sage-femmes et l'hôpital (comme dans le CSSS Jeanne-Mance).
post #12 of 62
Most people go on the waitinglist for all Montreal area birthing centres. It is very much advisable to do so. Access to midwifery in Quebec is pathetic. You need to be pretty proactive. Midwives are covered by the provincial health coverage as long as they are employed by a birth centre (not underground midwives-who charge). Doulas are not covered by health coverage, and the good ones go for about $800. If you would like to know more about Montreal doulas let me know and I can connect you with the best ones in town!
Montreal has the most comprehensive doula training that Ive ever heard of in any country, and definitely in NA so you are in the right place for doulas.
post #13 of 62
Hey Sourire!

I had a home birth in Montreal in January. Yes, it's completely covered by your provincial health insurance.

Call ALL the birth centers as soon as you know you are pregnant. I called both the one in CDN and Point Claire when I was 10 weeks pregnant and went on the waiting lists (yes you can be on multiple lists). I was told it was very unlikely that I'd get on at the CDN center. I held out hope and kept phoning the Point Claire center and was accepted when I was 25 weeks (I was working up north all summer and wasn't back in the city until I was around 21 weeks, so it worked out very well).

As far as I know, the new center downtown is also a kind of outreach place targeting women least likely to receive prenatal care, so I'm not sure it's exactly like the other birthing centers.

I'd also recommend Clearlight Gerald's prenatal yoga and yoga/breathing workshops for labour.

PM me if you want any extra info or have more questions! I loved, loved my midwife. I had a long hard birth at home, but it the greatest experience of my life. The pre and postpartum care I received was amazing.

Edit: Oh, and Point Claire might seem far, but you can grab a bus at Lionel Groulx that goes straight there. It takes between 25 and 35 minutes depending on traffic.
post #14 of 62
I just found out that i'm pregnant. I'm about 5 weeks. I live on the south shore of montreal and have called all the birthing centers in montreal. None of them will take me because I don't live on the island...i'm 20 minutes away.... I just feel like crying. I really don't want to have a hospital birth...what can I do ??? Anyone...any ideas...I'm really apprehensive to dot it in a hospital...
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by memz View Post
I just found out that i'm pregnant. I'm about 5 weeks. I live on the south shore of montreal and have called all the birthing centers in montreal. None of them will take me because I don't live on the island...i'm 20 minutes away.... I just feel like crying. I really don't want to have a hospital birth...what can I do ??? Anyone...any ideas...I'm really apprehensive to dot it in a hospital...
Are you sure you understood them correctly? I've known plenty of people who have lived off island who are still able to get in to the birthing centers. They may refuse you a homebirth due to your location but you can give birth in the birthing center... Call them back and make sure that you are on a waiting list. *Everyone* gets wait listed at first except repeat clients. It may take a while before they call you back but at 5 weeks you are very likely to get in.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by memz View Post
I just found out that i'm pregnant. I'm about 5 weeks. I live on the south shore of montreal and have called all the birthing centers in montreal. None of them will take me because I don't live on the island...i'm 20 minutes away.... I just feel like crying. I really don't want to have a hospital birth...what can I do ??? Anyone...any ideas...I'm really apprehensive to dot it in a hospital...
I did a search to see if they had a website, and I found this page about the Maison de Naissance Côte-des-Neiges: http://www.clsccote-des-neiges.qc.ca...Naissance.aspx

I'm not certain when it was published, but it says that demand for midwives is three times higher than what they can provide. It also says that their client base is broken down as follows: Cote-des-Neiges (13%), Plateau Mont-Royal (24%), Rosemont (22%), East Island (14%), Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (6%), Verdun-LaSalle (4%), West Island (3%); and old clients from the South Shore (5%) and the North Shore (6%).

So, it looks like they used to accept off-island patients, but stopped (due to the to high demand perhaps?).

My son was born on the South Shore, at Hopital Charles Lemoyne. It's a certified baby friendly hospital. I was very happy with my doctors and nurses. I made sure to take the course offered by the CLSC, and tour the hospital beforehand, to ensure I knew what to expect. They have a tub for you to labour in, and my doctor was open to delayed cord clamping. I wanted to deliver in-hospital, because I'm a worry wart. I'm happy I did (there was a very scary 20 minutes where my son's heart rate got really low). It all worked out very well for us.

If you end up delivering in-hospital, perhaps the support of a doula would make you feel safer.
post #17 of 62
For the birthing center in POinte claire they told me I had to be within 35km of the center which I'm not and at cote des neiges, they took all my info the date of my LMP and said that no problem they would have a midwife for me. But then they asked me my address and when I gave it to them they said that they couldn't take me since I didn't live on the island and to try POinte claire which I told them I already did. I even asked if there was anything I could do if I didin't want to have a hospital birth...they didn't have much to say...so here i am. I even thought of given a friends address that lives in montreal....
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by memz View Post
For the birthing center in POinte claire they told me I had to be within 35km of the center which I'm not and at cote des neiges, they took all my info the date of my LMP and said that no problem they would have a midwife for me. But then they asked me my address and when I gave it to them they said that they couldn't take me since I didn't live on the island and to try POinte claire which I told them I already did. I even asked if there was anything I could do if I didin't want to have a hospital birth...they didn't have much to say...so here i am. I even thought of given a friends address that lives in montreal....
Wow, that really sucks. "Universal health care" at its best.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixMom View Post
I think you actually have to be BFP on the pee stick before you call. Otherwise you'll be showing up at your first prenatal appointment too early or not pregnant yet.
FTR I believed that this was true with my second, tested at 6 DPO and called immediately, and the waiting list was already full but they told me there were ten reserved spaces and that I was within a few names of the top of the list. I didn't get a call for 6 months and then got in a hair under 30 weeks after I called to complain on the day another woman dropped out, so I got her spot. So it's also not all list. Be persistent, and also be lucky. :roll

TBH though I see no issue with calling when you are trying, giving a due date close to the first of the month, then cancel if it doesn't stick.

I didn't get my first appointment for several weeks after calling.
post #20 of 62
I am on the south shore too... I would have had priority at CDN when I was pregnant with #3 because the first two were born there but I was told that I was out of their region now so I couldn't...

I had a UP/UC for him....and I will be having another...

If you are willing to pay, there are "underground" midwives that can do pre-natal care and homebirths...
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