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Univ. of Montana vs. Montana State

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

So we are currently in Idaho at U of I and are looking to transfer to either UMT or MSU and I was wondering if any of you mama's were familiar with either? We are a non-vaxing, babywearing, breastfeeding (hopefully soon if we can get a bean to stick!) and cloth diapering family that likes to stay on the more alternative side of things. Anyone have any pro's and con's of Missoula vs. Bozeman? Any advice? Which town do you like better and why?
post #2 of 10
What are you studying/teaching (I assume you're students?)?

UM definitely has a reputation as being the more 'granola' of the two schools - and more liberal community as well. It's a quite liberal community but there are still some conservative people as well ....

However, there are liberals and a progressive air to MSU too -- you might need to seek them out a little.

I worked at MSU from '98 to '01 and loved it. I'm from the area. I have family who live in/near Missoula, so am familiar with it as well.

Weather, etc. can matter too; both get a lot of snow, but Bozeman has more sun .... Missoula is wetter year 'round than Bozeman. I don't know for sure but suspect that Bozeman's economy is a little better than Missoula's right now, since there have been several big businesses which have closed in the Missoula area recently.

I think Bozeman has a VBAC ban now? And Missoula doesn't (yet - their Birth Center closed recently, the doctor who owned it died suddenly and one of the hospitals bought it for some other purpose (read: so there wouldn't be a birth center anymore); but there are quite a few midwives in the Missoula area I think.
post #3 of 10
Hi, and welcome perhaps to Montana. I have to say the dark dreary winters in Missoula would kill me, but there's plenty of people who live in seattle, so it can't be all bad. You can have a vbac here. But the Deaconness hospital has a monopoly and is not the best, honestly.

Missoula has lower housing costs. Both places have great outdoor activities if you like winter sports, you will be happy. I think Missoula is more granola, but honestly in the past couple years Boze is catching up. we just got four new naturopaths in town just this year! The coop is very nice too.

MSU is a great engineering and ag school from what I hear, what you are studying probably matters too.

Here's one midwife service in town (there are several)

I've lived in Bozeman since 05 and every time I see a young kid on his snow equipped bike hauling skis on his back to take the free bus to bridger or Big Sky(great free bus system here) it makes me smile. I love it here!
bus system:
post #4 of 10

I have lived in Bozeman since 2005, and I was raised in Missoula. They are honestly both great places, but Zootown tends to be a little dreary in the winter, and a lot hotter in the summer. Bozeman is 2000' higher than missoula, and so it's cooler in the summer. Also, sunny year-round. Great skiing. There is quite a community of attachment parenting folks in Bozeman, a cloth diaper store, etc.

And, the Green Midwife is my midwife! There are lots of options for VBAC in Bozeman, but not at the hospital.

You will be happy at either place, so I would go with whatever school is best for you, and where your hubby can get a job. Let me know if I can help with anything! PM me if you want.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much guys for the info! We were leaning a bit towards MSU so its nice to hear so many positive things about it and UM We both are up for some pretty big scholarships at both schools so we'll decide after we see the finaid packages and visit em both (one over presidents day weekend and one during spring break) We are so excited to embark on this new part of our lives!

Another question - are there any docs that are ok with not vax'ing? We have been lucky so far and gotten pediatricians that aren't pushy and while they aren't 100 percent behind us, at least respect where we are coming from.

jenrett - I may be pm'ing you here as soon as we find out where we are going for sure
post #6 of 10
OOh, so good to hear about your scholarships. I did not read closely enough - you are BOTH in school?

As for vaccinations.....I have no experience with it yet, but I do know of at least one other mama who does not plan to vaccinate. So, I know it is possible. There is an attachment parenting group here in Bozeman, and they have a lot of info. They are definitely a good resource! If you decide to come here, I will hook you up with them. I am expecting my first baby in May so I have not been too involved yet, but I have met a few of the new mamas.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help at all
post #7 of 10
I would definitely say MSU over UM if schooling wise and financially it is the same to you. I grew up in Pullman and know WSU and UI very well. We moved here to Bozeman and then I went to the UM for graduate school because they didn't have my program here. Anyways, if you like the smaller town feel, Bozeman is much more appropriate, it reminds me a lot of the Pullman/Moscow area but with bigger mountains and WAY better restaurants Missoula is a great place but definitely has a bigger city feel and feels pretty closed in because it is right next to the mountains. I always loved coming home to Bozeman while I was in school!

In terms of pediatricians that support the no vax there is a MD in Belgrade that is very supportive of that but he unfortunately is not taking new patients, at least when I called in September. But ours is pretty understanding of our beliefs, she wouldn't sign a medical exemption but she does not make us feel bad for choosing not to vaccinate.

There is a great community here in Bozeman of moms with your similar beliefs and values!

Congrats on the scholarships and good luck in your decision
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post
I think Bozeman has a VBAC ban now? And Missoula doesn't (yet - their Birth Center closed recently, the doctor who owned it died suddenly and one of the hospitals bought it for some other purpose (read: so there wouldn't be a birth center anymore); but there are quite a few midwives in the Missoula area I think.
The hospital in Bozeman has a vbac ban, and the hospital in Missoula does not. The birth center just reopened with the same midwife who used to work at the old birth center but without a physician. Its a really nice setup. I believe they just received their accreditation and licensing too (but not in time for my vbac). There are a lot of homebirth options in either city, but Missoula has a better hospital for premature/problem births (they have a great NICU).

I've attended both universities, and both are great. The atmospheres are a bit different, but overall you can find your niche in either city, I would think. I prefer Missoula, though. Its an older city with a lot more hometown feel.
post #9 of 10
I was going to throw my 2 cents in here than realized you probably already decided. Did you and why? I am thinking we may move to Bozeman from Missoula and just wondered what your thoughts were.
post #10 of 10
Loved Bozeman! Lived there from November 2006 to May 2008. Very nice place to raise kids. My most favorite Ped is there.

I had a CS at Bozeman Deaconess. They were great. The lactation department was awesome. They met me in recovery to get my DD2 latched. Saw me several times during the week. Even called me after I left to make sure everything was going okay.

This is the view from the back patio of the townhouse we rented.




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