View Full Version : Posting for my sister in law

10-14-2005, 12:58 PM
I'm posting this for my brother's family. They recently migrated to Canada from U.S. And my sisiter in law just found out she's pregnant with their first child. Needless to say, they are thrilled but worried at the same time too.
They have some questions and hope moms in canda can help. What general stores equivalent to the ones in US such as Walmart, Target, Ikea and Babyru? Where does one go shopping for baby furniture and gears reasonablly priced? What about clothes?
They are still trying to figure out the insurance part. Can moms explain how the insurance works in canada, what's covered and not?
What kind of examination would be done through the pregnancy visits process? Once in hospital for delivery, is there on site lactation consultatant?
Wow, that's a lot of questions. Thanks for taking time reading this far. Greatly appreciate any advice you can offer.

10-14-2005, 03:30 PM
Hi there,

First, congratulation.
I'll try to answer a few of your questions. I'm sure other moms will be able to answer the others.
Well, let's see, we have the same Walmart, Ikea and BabyRUs. However, they might not carry the same products as the ones in the States. We don't have Target here. But there are a lot of similar stores, for example, Zellers. Other big department stores that also carry quite a bit of baby stufs are the Bay and Sears... And of course, depending where exactly your brother's family is, I'm sure someone here can point out some local baby specialty stores for baby furnitures and gears.

As to insurance, are they Americans or Canadians? Health care practice might vary a bit from province to province. Also, different province covers different things. Your brother's family can certainly visit their local hospital to get some information. I think for an uneventful pregnancy, one usually gets to see their family doctor once a month until the last month or the last couple of months of pregnancy. And then usually an OB/GYN takes over and the visits might be bumped up to once a week. I don't know if the hospitals here have LC on site or not.

I hope this helps a bit.

10-14-2005, 07:52 PM

10-17-2005, 12:37 PM
Thanks very much for the information. They live in winnipeg. They are not canadians yet just permanent residents.
What tests will they be given throughout the pregnancy process?
How much out of pocket expenses would it cost them?

10-17-2005, 07:52 PM
Ooooh, not knocking Winnipeg, but boy that's one cold place. I lived there for 3 yrs and when it was cold, it was COLD!!!

I don't know much about natal healthcare in MB, but why don't you check out the ivillage site for Manitoba and ask questions there? There are province-specific boards that you can probably get better answers, unless there is a MBer here.

10-17-2005, 08:17 PM
iVillage is a great recommendation. In my part of Canada, the tests one receives is completely at the docs discretion - some test for everything, others are more relaxed.

10-22-2005, 09:00 PM
Well, I'm not in MB, but maybe I can cover off some of your questions.

If they are covered by provincial medical insurance (I think its mandatory for permanent residents), then 100% of their necessary medical (including diagnostic testing) is covered. Most hospitals charge for u/s pics & videos, though. In my province (BC), circumcision is "cosmetic" and not covered (unless it is necessary for a medical condition). Here, midwives are covered, as are in-hospital LC's, but private LC's charge for home visits. Doulas are not covered by medical, you pay for those separately.

By far the majority of babies in BC are delivered by family doc's. Only high-risk moms are seen by OB's. Ditto for pediatrict care -- most babies are seen by the family dr, not a pediatrician. But, if you medically need either an OB or a pediatrician, that is 100% covered by your provincial health care.

In the 1st 2 trimesters, in BC, you are seen 1x/m. Once you hit the 3rd trimester, it is every 2 weeks, then weekly closer to the end. The timing of the visits seems pretty similiar to what my US friends have done. From what I've heard from US friends vs what I experienced, the exams and tests themselves are virtually the same here as in the US. One thing I did notice is a definite bias towards only as many u/s's as necessary, not as often as mom wants, KWIM? I don't know if that was just my dr and OB, or if that is the norm here. C/S rates vary widely by hospital, and even by dr. The overall c/s rate in Canada is close to that of the US (and significantly higher than the upper threshold recommended by the WHO). Elective (on-demand) c/s is controversial here -- some dr's will do it, others won't unless it is medically necessary, especially for a 1st baby. A "scheduled" c/s for a 2nd child, where the 1st child was a c/s isn't considered elective and is covered. As in the US, some dr's will do VBAC, others won't (but unlike in the US, I've never heard of that policy being at a hospital level, it is the dr's choice)

As for the services available in hospitals, that varies widely, even within a large metropolitan area. Some hospitals have private labor/birthing/pp rooms, whereas in others, you labor in a ward and birth in a separate room then go back to the ward with your baby. It really depends on the hospital. Also, not all hospitals have 24hr obstetrical anesthetists (if they even have OB anestetists at all, often just a regular anesthetist will be used), so that is a question to definitely ask about on the hospital tour if your SIL plans on wanting drugs during labor.

I delivered at the largest single-room birthing hospital in the country and nearly all the nurses had lactation training and midwifery training, even if they weren't certified LCs or MWs. So, the knowledge is there to help the moms, even if the hospital d/n have a certified LC.

Also, drug companies and formula companies are not allowed to give freebies of formula out at the dr's office or hospital here. So, no nifty cheapo diaper bags. If your SIL wants free samples of formula, she'll have to sign up at the formula co's sites and ask for it.

And, breastfeeding is really encouraged here (at least in BC). I wouldn't say there is pressure, but a lot of "support" for it. I found it helpful, but I don't know how I would have felt if I had already decided that I wasn't going to BF, KWIM? I've heard that more moms BF in Canada and BF for longer, though I don't have the exact stats to back that up (just going on what I've heard). That does seem to be the case here, compared to my US friends. Of course, the 12m maternity leave might have something to do with that.

Also, if your SIL works as an employee paying EI premiums for I think 700 or 600 hours before the birth of the baby, she will qualify for EI maternity leave for 50 weeks.



Maya Papaya!

10-25-2005, 02:23 PM
Thanks very much for the detailed information. I'm passing on all these to them.