Montreal is a community rich in amazing resources for expecting and new parents. Here are some of the services, organizations, and products we love!
Section 1 - Birth Preparation and Healing
One of the calmest births I ever saw involved an acupuncturist. Acupunture is a valuable tool for alleviating prenatal discomforts, helping to turn a breech baby, and reducing undue pain in labour thereby creating an often quicker and more efficient birth.
- Aina Zhang, Clinique SinoCare 4177 Decarie Blvd, (514) 483-6669
I have sent many women with fertility challenges to Aina's clinic, with great success.
- Guillaume Gagnon, 4211 St. Hubert, 514-527-5282
I have not personally met Guillaume, but have heard nothing but marvellous things about him from clients and other doulas.
- Jean Levesque, 56 St. Joseph West, (514) 525-2425
I had the opportunity recently to attend a birth with Jean, and he very efficiently alleviated the mother's stubborn back pain. He stayed throughout the delivery working his magic, and was a calming, respectful, truly lovely presence.
BellyDance for Birth is a beautiful, nurturing way to prepare for birth. The gentle movements of this ancient dance open the pelvis, reduce tension, and induce a relaxed, hypnotic state conducive to more comfortable birthing.
- Maha Al Musa, www.bellydanceforbirth.com
I own a copy of Maha's dvd “Dance of the Womb”. It provides an important aspect of childbirth preparation missing from our North American culture. This dvd also shows footage of Maha's beautiful home water birth to her daughter, whom she had at the age of 46. Maha is also author of the book Dance of the Womb.
- Patrick Freud, 2100 Marlowe, Suite 406, 514-483-3444
Dr. Freud is beloved by the families he serves. I have not met him personally, but consistently hear about how kind he is and how effective his work is.
- Valerie Lavigne, 3608 St. Charles BLVD, Kirkland, 514-694-7111
Val is a master at what she does, and runs a wonderful clinic in the West Island. She does amazing work with pregant women and babies, and is also a lactation consultant.
Both Patrick and Valerie are well versed in the Webster technique for helping to gently turn breech babies by aligning the mother.
Lesley Everest of MotherWit is a Pre-Perinatal Massage practitioner, and once a new space is established, she will be once again taking massage clients.
Osteopathy is one of the most amazing, effective ways of creating space, flexibility, and resources for birthing. Babies and children also benefit greatly from osteopathic treatment.
John Glenn, email@example.com
I have sent many clients to John over the last few years, and the majority enjoy straightforward, unmedicated births.
Prenatal Yoga is a comprehensive method of childbirth preparation, incorporating exercises for body, mind, and soul.
Clearlight Gerald, Studio Yogaspace, 5252 deMaisonneuve W. #100, 514-933-8671
Montreal yoga studio Yogaspace provides Kripalu, pregnancy, mom and baby yoga classes, and workshops taught by Clearlight Gerald, M.A., R.Y.T., a certified Kripalu yoga teacher with specialized training in pregnancy yoga.
Clearlight is the best prenatal yoga teacher one can ever hope to have. I myself have taken her prenatal yoga class, and found it so nourishing and empowering...she is truly gifted. Yoga is an essential tool for birth preparation. Clearlight also teaches a workshop for expecting couples, as well as mama/baby yoga classes.
Dr. Tamara Soles, Founder of The Secure Child Centre for Family and Children, 1205 de Maisonneuve West, Suite 250, 514-699-3890
Dr. Soles is a psychologist and infant massage instructor. At The Secure Child, they offer infant massage classes, Baby and Me meetings, parenting instruction, individual and family therapy, and assessments
Montreal Birth Companions, 514-692-0986
Rivka Cymbalist is the lady behind this amazing organization which provides free doula care to women in serious financial need. A good birth is especially important to women in challenging situations. Good support is crucial to getting motherhood off to a happy start, and some of the women who come to Montreal Birth Companions have nobody to help them during this vulnerable period in their lives. If you have found the care from your doula invaluable to your birth experience, please consider making a donation to this important cause to create this opportunity for someone who cannot afford it.
Section 2- Breastfeeding Support Services
As we are just starting to get the hang of breastfeeding again as a culture which, for the most part, did not breastfeed for several generations, it is important to have support.
La Leche League Canada
This is an organization that has been around for over 50 years. They provide mother-to-mother support and breastfeeding educational opportunities by having monthly meetings and La Leche League Leaders you can call for free, over-the-phone breastfeeding support.
This is also a breastfeeding support group. A new mother has the opportunity to enlist the help of a breastfeeding mentor to support her through the challenges of the new breastfeeding relationship.
The Breastfeeding Clinic of the Jewish General Hospital
For free consultation, get a referral from your doctor, midwife, or doula, and make an appointment.
Carole Dobrich, Head Lactation Consultant
Goldfarb Breastfeeding Program
Info: (514) 340- 8222 ext. 3269
These are breastfeeding experts who have extensive training and experience in helping women overcome difficult breastfeeding challenges. They do charge a fee, and come to your home to provide hands-on help.
- MotherWit's own Kimberley Mackenzie: 514-278-8009
- Chantal Lavigne: 514-947-1877
- Lydia Marcus: 514-824-8208
Section 3 - Primary Care Givers
There are several options to explore for the birth of your baby. Most women have an OB/GYN attend their births, and they are reasonably easy to find. Make sure you feel like you and your doctor are a good fit. But there are other options. The Maison de Naissance is a Birthing Centre run by midwives. Under the care of a midwife, a woman can choose to birth at one the birthing centres, or in the comfort of her own home. Midwifery care is for those wanting a natural birth, unmedicated birth.
The Maisons de Naissance of Montreal:
- 180 Cartier, Pointe-Claire (affiliated with CLSC Lac Saint-Louis)
Info: (514) 697-1199
- 6560 Cote-des-Neiges, Cote-des-Neiges (affiliated with CLSC Cote-des-Neiges)
Info: (514) 736-2323
- 2187 Larivière, Montréal (at the moment for Plateau residents only)
Info: (514) 527-2361
A midwife's fee is covered by Quebec Medicare
Homebirth and births at Maison de Naissance are a pleasure to experience, and a pleasure to attend as a doula. The midwives provide a calm, nuturing environment which encourages you to truly own your own birth experience. Many women are afraid of the idea of giving birth outside of a medical environment, but studies have shown that out-of-hospital births attended by an experienced midwife is as safe as hospital birth.
Unfortunately, because the demand for midwifery care in Montreal is so high, by the time a woman decides to explore this option, all of the spaces are booked. Many women are very disappointed, and are not sure how to have a more holistic experience if they choose to give birth in a hospital.
A little known option is to have her pregnancy and birth followed by a family physician that focuses on obstetrics and newborn care. Some will take your baby on as a patient after the birth. This is a wonderful option for those who are looking for more continuity of care. Most family doctors I have had the pleasure of working with are supportive of and experienced with natural births. They are usually happy to catch babies in positions mothers prefer instead of insisting on her lying on her back, and are also extremely helpful with breastfeeding.
Here are some places you can try to find a family doctor to attend your birth:
- CLSC Cote des Neiges, 5700 Chemin de la Cote des Neiges, 514-731-4012
Clinique VMS, 1273 Ave. Van Horne, 514-271-1210.
- Herzl Family Practice Centre, Pavillion H-Second floor, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote St. Catherine Road, 514-340-8253.
- Centre Medicale Nazareth, 1171 Ave. Dollard, LaSalle, 514-368-5500
This list is not exhaustive, so please continue to research if you cannot find an available physician.
Section 4 - Mom and Baby Needs
Applecheeks Reusable Diapers:
These are seriously the most beautiful, amazing diapers ever...truly a revolution in re-usable diapering systems.
Boutique Bummis: 115 Mont Royal West, Plateau Montreal, 514-289-9415 and 278 Lakeshore, Pointe-Claire, 514-674-0828 www.boutiquebummis.com
Bummis is a Montreal institution, and provides gorgeous cloth diapers, as well as other products for mother and baby, such as clothing, baby carriers, ecological skin care products, and much more.
Melons et Clementines: 5659 Sherbrooke West, NDG - 514-482-LAIT (5248)
This breastfeeding friendly cafe is the perfect place to meet with friends while toddlers play. They are a breastfeeding supply resource, carrying everything you need to support your breastfeeding relationship, and also provide lactation consultant services. This is a great space to rent for breastfeeding positive workshops, classes, and events.
Natacha Silber BFA: Specializing in Fine art Newborn Photography, as well as maternity, children and families. 514-743-5392
Natacha is the talented lady who took the stunning photograph of the twins you will see as you peruse this site. Her work speaks for itself.
L'essentiel et les Petits Riens...:274 St. Zotique, 514-270-0539
This is a great new store created by moms. They sell eco friendly bath, skincare, and baby products, as well as herbs, essential oils, and homeopathic remedies. Soap making classes are also available.
Section 5 - Counselling
Occasionally a pregnant or new mother will need some support from a compassionate mental health professional.
- Leanna Zozula, Ph.D: (514) 337-2473
Leanna is a psychologist who specializes in reproductive mental health issues, including pre and postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as infertility issues.
- Mariana Gil Rodriguez:(514) 808-1484 bureau 301 520 rue Cherrier, Montréal
Mariana provides pregnancy, postpartum, and couples counselling. She also has a background in doula work, and brings a deep understanding of the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience to her work.
- Libby Parker: www.solutionsfromwithin.ca
Libby is a guide who empowers her clients to find healing for their challenges within their own higher selves. She is certified in Psycho-synthesis Psychotherapy, a deeply holistic approach to healing. Libby is a loving, nurturing presence. She also provides workshops for groups.
Section 6 - Recommended Reading
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
-Ina May Gaskin
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
Birthing From Within
An Easier Childbirth: A Mother's Guide for Birthing Normally
The VBAC Companion: The Expectant Mother's Guide to a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
Having Twins or More
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
-Ina May Gaskin
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
-La Leche League International
Do you know of any helpful resources that should be added to this section? If so, please email us at: info@MotherWit.ca