I'm expecting my first baby next summer, and now I'm looking for a hospital where I can deliver. I'd love to have a natural birth (no unnecessary medication, and most importantly, C-section only when absolutely required). I'm probably too late for a midwife and I'm already thinking of using the help of a doula.
As hospital, I'd consider St. Mary's, Lasalle, Jewish General and Royal Vic, but I have no idea how to select one (or worse: how to find a doctor that I'm comfortable with). For the Royal Vic, I've read some really horrible stories, but they already happened a few years ago. Unfortunately, I'm pretty new to Montreal, and I don't really know anybody personally that I could ask for help.
How did you pick the hospital for your delivery? Did you go have a look at the birthing centre? Or did you go by word of mouth?
Do you have any recent experiences with any of those four hospitals? I'd love to hear your stories and recommendations!
And finally: Do you know an ob/gyn doctor you can recommend who will support a natural birth?
PS: I wouldn't have thought that coming from a western European country, the health systems here and back there are so different...
I chose to go to Lasalle after many of my friends loved their birthing experiences there. I absolutely loved it and will definitely be going back there for my next pregnancies. The doctors are very accepting of choosing to go the natural route, they actually try to make women who ask for the epidural right away to wait a while so as to not cause problems. This is quite different from the hospital close to my house which tries to get you on the epidural the second you walk through the door. They also encourage you to eat and drink during your labor and try to get you mobile to speed things along. I had issues with bleeding during and after my labour and all my nurses and doctors were extremely attentive to my situation. My son was prematured and had to go to the intermediate care ward but they still let me have him in skin-to-skin for almost an hour. My bleeding prevented me from moving around or nursing my son for the first 7 hours after they took him away and since I had told them I wanted to breastfeed exclussively they did everything they could to make the bleeding stop as fast as possible. The nurses in the ward taking care of my son even made sure to not give him a bottle so that when I would be allowed to breastfeed we had the most chances of succeeding.
The only problem with Lasalle is you need luck to get a doctor. I caught a cancellation and I'm now on the waiting list to make sure I keep my doctor for the next one.
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