Fat-friendly Obstetricians in Ottawa? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-13-2011, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in TO now, but will be moving to Ottawa soon.  I'm in my 5th week, and am classified as "morbidly obese."  I would like to have a pregnancy and delivery with as little intervention as possible, but I know that at my size doctors see a big sign on my forehead that reads INTERVENTION.  Are there any plus size mammas out there from Ottawa who have had positive experiences with obstetricians and/or midwives?  I'm also on a student visa from the states, so our insurance does not cover midwives, that's why I ask about obstetricians in particular. I'll be contacting midwives about their prices and hope they are not too prohibitive.



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#2 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 05:44 PM
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Hey mama! I live in Ottawa and have had my 2 LOs here. DD1 with an OB and DD2 with a midwife at the Midwifery Group of Ottawa. The OB birth at the General Hospital went from a planned natural birth to all sorts of interventions. The midwife birth was at the Montfort Hospital, and it was amazing. I was induced for both my babies for suspected IUGR, but with DD2 all I needed was Cervidil to ripen my cervix enough for my midwife to break my water and from there labour proceeded naturally, with only one internal exam. One thing that I will tell you is that the midwives' availability is *VERY* limited, so if you hope to go that route, you would need to call asap. A friend of mine who had no Canadian Citizenship had her baby with someone from East Ottawa Midwives, and they paid out of pocket and I don't think it was too prohibitive. Actually, I seem to remember her telling me that some OBs turned her away because she didn't have insurance...check out this website for midwives in the Ottawa area.


As far as your concern, I have to tell you that with whom and where you end up giving birth depends somewhat on if you or your baby are classified as "high-risk". "High-risk" moms tend to be directed to delivering at the Civic Hospital, but the Midwifery Collective also has priviledges there, while "high-risk" babies tend to go to the General Hospital since the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario is right next door. If you have to go the OB route, I would call some midwife offices and ask them for recommendations of natural birth-friendly OBs.


Hope this helps! 

Wife to one amazing man and mama to three!

DD1 (03/09), DD2 (06/11), DS (01/14) love.gif

2014: 30/70lbs, 4/52 crafts
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#3 of 8 Old 10-19-2011, 08:02 AM
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I would talk with your insurer. In Ontario, midwives offer primary care to pregnant women in exactly the same way as family docs and obstetricians and are fully licensed and regulated.
I was plus-sized for my first pregnancy and used a midwife who never once mentioned my weight or weighed me, however a recent document on scope of practice seems to say that BMI should be calculated at the first visit and low and high BMI moms counseled on potential risks: http://www.aom.on.ca/files/Health_Care_Professionals/Clinical_Practice_Guidelines/CPG_BMI_July_2010_FINAL.pdf
I think you're right to try to find a natural-minded OB who won't automatically consider you high risk and refer you to one of the high risk centres - the Civic or the General Hospital, where I had my two subsequent babies. The General clinic is simply not a place you want to be unless it's truly necessary - appointments are cattle calls with a different maternal-fetal medicine resident every week, you rarely see your "real" doc and I found I had to fend off unnecessary interventions that aren't even evidence-based because the docs have little experience with normal birth.
A better choice if you can't get a midwife might be a family practice. I go to the Melrose family medicine clinic at the Civic which is affiliated with the medical school at the University of Ottawa where you're cared for by both residents and their professor, your official family doc. Many of the docs do obstetrics and I've found them in general to be up-to-date on current research and willing to listen to you.
PMing you, too.

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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#4 of 8 Old 11-09-2011, 07:12 PM
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I don't know if this OB is " fat friendly" or not, but it would be worth contacting him.  My last two births were with a MW, but I had to have an OB consult for an issue that arose in my last pregnancy. I was sent to Dr. Posner.  He was really great.  I told myself that if I ever had to have an OB birth, I'd want him.  I'm overweight, but he didn't even bring it up - and it could have been a issue with my particular issue...

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#5 of 8 Old 11-12-2011, 04:07 PM
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BMI or weight alone is not a contraindication to midwifery care, as long as you don't have any related health issues like diabetes or hypertension. Also, midwives bill differently than physicians in Ontario so you don't need OHIP or any private insurance for the midwifery portion of your care. If for some reason a consultation or transfer of care was needed during your pregnancy or labor that would be billed separately (though you say your insurance should cover this).


If you are wanting midwifery care, you should call now and if you are told that there is a waiting list you should mention the fact that you have no OHIP and you will likely receive priority.


Hope this helps!

Grateful midwife and peaceful mama to my wonderful children: dd11, dd8, ds5 and 07/15

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#6 of 8 Old 11-12-2011, 07:05 PM
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Are you going to be in Ottawa or outside of the city? We are just west of the city & went the other way up the valley the pembroke. I was very happy with my ob there & even when i brought up my weight he wasn't concerned. Pm me if you want info.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#7 of 8 Old 11-21-2011, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your responses, they've been extremely helpful at calming some of my nerves.  I've been put on several waiting lists for midwives and did as suggested and asked them for recommendations of natural birth minded OB's.  I will be living in Hintonburg in the city.  We are going to go and sign our lease this week, and most likely be moved in by mid December.  I've already got an appointment set up with Dr. Lamensa (he delivers at the Civic) who was recommended by one of the midwifery groups.  I'm also considering going the family doctor route as some of you have also suggested, I also got a recommendation for one from a midwife.  I really hope that I do get into one of the midwifery practices as my first choice would be to birth at home.


Thank you all so much for your support!



crochetsmilie.gifWife to DH (PhD candidate at U of T) who also photosmile2.gif.  We conceived baby #1 in September joy.gif.  We plan to signcirc1.gifbfinfant.gifmomsling.GIFdh_malesling.GIFfamilybed1.gif and possibly homebirth.jpg

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#8 of 8 Old 11-27-2011, 09:07 AM
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Welcome to Ottawa!


While I didn't have an OB w/my DS (my DD was born in the States when we lived there), I've heard wonderful things about Dr. Posner, too. Both my SIL and a good friend had him as their OB and really liked him. They both found him to be compassionate and empathetic. We were with the Ottawa Valley Midwives (in Carleton Place - the have hospital privileges at Queensway-Carleton in Napean - the West end). Not sure how convenient it will be for you living in Hintonburg, but If you can get into the OVM, I would think that they'd have no issue with your weight. I had a homebirth and Kristin (from OVM) caught my baby...she wasn't even into weighing me at each appointment. It was up to me if I wanted to know where my weight was or not.


Best of luck to you and congratulations on your pregnancy! :)

Diana. Wife and partner to Jon since 11/04. Home-birthing, natural milky momma to Katie Annalie - 08/06 and Evan Frederick - 06/09

designer/manufacturer of: http://www.onyababy.com

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