Home birth in Montreal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 66 Old 05-03-2009, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Me (32), married to DH (35)

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#2 of 66 Old 05-04-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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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...

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#3 of 66 Old 05-04-2009, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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...

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#4 of 66 Old 05-05-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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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:

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#5 of 66 Old 05-06-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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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?

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#6 of 66 Old 05-06-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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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?

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#7 of 66 Old 05-06-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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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!
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#8 of 66 Old 05-09-2009, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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).

Me (32), married to DH (35)

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#9 of 66 Old 05-09-2009, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, are midwives covered by the government here in Quebec or do we have to pay? What about doulas?

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#10 of 66 Old 05-09-2009, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#11 of 66 Old 05-09-2009, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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).

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#12 of 66 Old 05-09-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 66 Old 05-11-2009, 06:06 PM
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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.
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#14 of 66 Old 05-12-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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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...

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#15 of 66 Old 05-12-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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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.

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#16 of 66 Old 05-12-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 66 Old 05-12-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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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....

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#18 of 66 Old 05-13-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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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.

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#19 of 66 Old 05-23-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 66 Old 05-25-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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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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#21 of 66 Old 06-04-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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so where would one find an underground midwife?
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#22 of 66 Old 06-04-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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so where would one find an underground midwife?
Start your search here...

Alternative Naissance
514.274.1727

or here

Groupe MAMAN
(450) 664-0441


 
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#23 of 66 Old 06-04-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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Good to know....if anyone finds more info about that let me know!!!!!

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#24 of 66 Old 08-06-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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Hi,

I was searching for info on google and found this thread. I have been having a n awful time getting access to any midwives or information on natural births in Montreal. I have called every center twice and they all told me I could not use their birthing centers because of my address (downtown) and long waiting lists. I called as soon as I was pregnant. I am now 30 weeks and called again to no avail. The receptionists don't even know anything about midwifery so it is incredibly frustrating.

I am fearful of a hospital birth, my doctor is unkind and uncommunicative with me even though this is my first baby. I am supposed to deliver at the Royal Vic and am very disturbed by the stories in the news recently about problems in the birthing ward there. She also told me she would not attend my birth as only one doctor is on staff per day to deliver. So i am going to have a random stranger!!?? Not very comforting.

Can anyone suggest anything? I don't know what to do and am stressing out as I really do not want medical interventions that are needless. My mother died 2 years ago next door (Montreal General Hospital) post surgery because of an un-sterile environment.

I am willing to pay for a doula. I am due October 12. (30 weeks now)

Sorry for the rant, I am just so frustrated with Quebec medicine right now.

Regards.
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#25 of 66 Old 08-06-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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februaa...I SO feel your pain. I was where you were in 2007, when I got preggo with my first child.

You really should talk to Lesley Everest or her partner Rivka. They are the main educators for the DONA program here in Montreal. They really know the ins and outs of getting a natural birth here. Even if you don't end up hiring one of them, they are a WEALTH of information.

Here's Lesley's website:
http://www.motherwit.net/

Here's Rivka's website
http://montrealdoula.tripod.com/livingbirth/

Call them!

Also, here's a link to the Yogaspace website, which lists a whole bunch of useful childbirth and childcare related resources, here in Montreal. There's also a list of doulas who practice in the city.
http://www.yogaspace.com/resources/pregnancy.html

The doula I hired, Jessica Leduc, was FAN-TAS-TIC in helping me achieve the natural birth I wanted. She argued for me, she supported me whenever I called or emailed her, she was there from beginning to end for my induction (long story, I went to 42 + 1 wks), and she was in contact with me afterwards. I don't know if she's working right now since she had a baby a little while back. You can find her info on the Yogaspace website.

Call all the doulas that practice and meet each of them to see which one you click with. Be warned though, it'll cost you anywhere form 600$ to 800$, usually half of it upfront, to hire a doula here. It's so worth it though because a good doula will offer you the support that the medical system here in Quebec won't. From my doula I got prenatal education, a lot of discussion about my fears for childbirth, and constant emotional support. She was also rather understanding when I puked on her shoes during labor

As for your doctor...if you don't like him or her, get another one! I had a horribly impersonal and withdraw OB assigned to me at St-Mary's, AFTER she realized that I wasn't having a miscarriage and tried to get me to have a D&C...Needless to say, I didn't trust her one bit. So I called around and got myself an awesome doctor. Even if you're 30 wks, you don't need to stay with a doctor that you dislike!! This is something that women in Québec don't know about and they let themselves be victimized by the system put in place here.

Have you tried getting in with Dr. Hélène Rousseau at CLSC Côtes-des-Neiges? She's very pro-natural childbirth. Also, Dr. Lisa Graves is very "natural birth". Finally, if you can't get in with those ladies, I would really recommend going to the Herzl clinic at the Jewish General. I know that the Jewish has a reputation for being a high intervention hospital, but if you go with a FAMILY DOCTOR and not an OB/GYN, you have better chances of having the natural birth you want. This from the mouth of Lesley Everest, whom I trust.

You probably won't be seen by the same doctor at the Herzl...they work in teams, but you'll get to know your nurse and your team of doctors really well *if* you're vocal about what you want. I talked openly and loudly about my desire for natural birth, I called the clinic A LOT whenever I had concerns about low fetal movement or weird pelvic pain, I got angry and cried when they talked of induction, I fought to keep going beyond 40 wks, I had my DH and my doula argue with the doctor about how much pit and for how long, ....needless to say, they knew who I was and what I wanted.

Re: the birth centers, I gave up on those as soon as I called them. It was clear that I wouldn't get in because I hadn't called soon enough. Don't despair though, you CAN have the birth you want. Stay at home with your doula and your partner for as long as possible. Show up pushing at the hospital...that way there's less chance for medical intervention. Be prepared to fight for what you want, no matter which doctor you're with. Even my super-duper-pro-natural-birth doctor (who's now gone to Toronto, sadly), was trying to schedule me for an induction at 39 weeks because she thought I wanted it. I got pissed, then I cried and told her No Way No How. I gave in at 42 + 1 wks, because I just couldn't take it anymore, but even with a course of pit for 3 hours, I never took any meds for pain, spent most of my labor in the shower, I danced around in my room listening to Hypnobabies and felt like a champ when it was over 20 hrs later.

If you need more info, PM me! Good luck
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#26 of 66 Old 08-06-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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wow awesome response. Thank you so much. This will be a useful post to any other ladies searching the web.

I had coincidentally contacted Rivka a few months back and sadly she is fully booked. I contacted Leseley today and she is booked too.

I emailed a bunch of doulas off a french website and one replied called Mareva LAFRENIERE. I will give Jessica Leduc a shout as I have seen her name all over the web when searching. Also I will contact Dr. Hélène Rousseau like you mentioned as my doctor is just too careless. She doesn't seem to remember who I am when I see her and never knows what week I am in.

Thanks!!!!
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#27 of 66 Old 08-06-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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If you are willing to pay a bit more than a doula you could find an 'underground" homebirth midwife. They are not in the system so you pay them out of pocket but there are there...

For hospitals in Montreal, Lasalle has the best reputation so I would try to find one of the doctors there... Two of the female doctors have a good reputation... I forget the name of the other OB but one is Dre Lalande. She is supposed to be one of the most open in MTL but I had a really bad experience with her at a friends birth... so I honestly hate to recommend her but everyone does.

There is another hospital on the south shore that has a good reputation... which is Anne Laberge in Chateauguay, they are one of the rare "baby-friendly" hospitals in Canada (under the Unicef Baby-Friendly Initiative) and I have heard that the rooms are nicer than Lasalle...

If you have go to the hospital, find a doula or at the least a friend there that is willing to advocate for what YOU want... remember that you are the boss and though they can use scare tactics and most likely will, you have the right to say no to anything...

Also, write to your MP about birthing choices. There is a sample letter on the Groupe Maman website... it is not right that women have so much trouble getting the care that they want here in Quebec.

 
~paxye~
Mama to Xavier (July 02) , Colin (Sept 04), Khéna(Nov 06) & Wilhelmina (Jan 10)
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#28 of 66 Old 08-09-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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I'm going to Lasalle this time, even though I'm in CDN. At the Nazareth Clinic they take you if you're preg. no questions asked. I was surprised they gave me an appt. right away. It's family doctors, not OB's, but they have an OB on duty all the time for emergencies, C/S. They actually have the most births in their hospital, than all the other Mtl. hospitals.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!

Mom to 4 Boys
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#29 of 66 Old 09-12-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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Montreal is in a sad state right now.
Just a correction, Lesley and Rivka are not DONA instructors. Their course is FAR from DONA.
Jessica LeDuc just recently had a baby so I doubt she will be taking clients for a while.
I know a lot of the underground midwives I know aren't taking clients right now for various reasons, but dig hard and you can probably find someone. You can at least ask the doulas/ mws you call if they know of anyone taking clients.
Try Kimberly MacKenzie. She's a great Lesley-Rivka affiliated doula.
MONTREAL DESPERATELY NEEDS MIDWIVES AND DOULAS! Take Lesley and Rivka's doula training and serve your community ladies! This is a problem. So sad.
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#30 of 66 Old 09-13-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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Hello,

Does anyone know of the cost of using an "underground" midwife? If I can't get in at a birth center I plan on using one.

Thanks!
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