Listuguj Community Health Services – Providing the Utmost Care for Expectant Mothers, Babies, and Children


Listuguj Community Health Services offers several programs at the Health Centre that aid in wellness and care to community members. One program is the Maternal and Child Care Program. The nurses who provide care and resources for this program are, Katrina Guitard (Registered Nurse), Caroline Jacques (Licensed Practical Nurse), and Avery Jacques (Licensed Practical Nurse).

There are two parts to the Maternal and Child Care Program. The first is Pregnancy and Prenatal appointments. Clients who are pregnant will come in for regular checkups and teachings every four weeks throughout their pregnancy. This will allow them to have access to prenatal, postnatal, and breastfeeding information and the occasional group activities for families in the community. If the client attends at least six prenatal appointments, they are eligible for incentives in the program. These incentives include monthly nutritional support such as monthly milk tokens – this will provide clients with six free 2L of milk each month, monthly grocery bags, a small baby gift at each appointment, and financial support incentives will be available after the baby is born.

 Once the baby is born, the nurses will do postnatal appointments for the mother and baby 24-48 hours after discharge from the hospital. These postnatal appointments will ensure that the mother and baby are healthy and if they require any additional resources, the nurses will arrange this.  The community of Listuguj also holds an annual Newborn Celebration, where families can celebrate expectant mothers and newborn babies in the community. It is a special event, with a catered meal, guest speakers, gifts, and new babies will be gifted a welcoming eagle feather.

The second part of the program is Childhood Vaccinations and Growth and Development. This part is all about providing the appropriate care for children in the early stages of their lives. It includes the administration of childhood vaccinations based on the Quebec Immunization Program. It also offers regular assessments of children’s growth and development and offers referrals as needed to maintain healthy development. The community of Listuguj strives for children’s well-being and this program assists families in the community to have access to all resources when it comes to their children’s health needs.

As of recently, the Listuguj Community Health Services now offers Midwifery Care for expectant mothers who are looking for a holistic approach to their pregnancy. This program is based out of the Gaspe region and is Indigenous and natural-based. If a pregnant client is interested in Midwifery Care, they will initially need to be assessed by the Maternal and Child Care staff to see if this is an option for them. If the client meets the criteria and has been permitted to take part in Midwifery Care, the client will be registered and assigned to a team of two or three midwives. Just like the Maternal and Child Care Program, the client will receive checkups every four weeks in Midwifery Care, eventually moving to every two weeks, and then every week. The midwives will offer personal and informative appointments with their clients to ensure the pregnancy is progressing in a typical fashion, midwives are available 24/7 via phone or text for their clients throughout their entire pregnancy. When the baby is ready to be born, two midwives will be present at the birth, as well as the client’s partner and/or support person. At this time, clients who are working with a midwife will have their babies at the Maria hospital. If health complications arise during the birth, the medical team at the hospital will take over, but the midwife will still assist the client as their “Doula” for support and coaching. If completed with the midwives, the client will be able to go home within three to four hours post-birth. After this, the midwives will provide care for six weeks post-partum, including checkups for the mother and baby. The midwives are also trained lactation consultants and will assist new mothers with breastfeeding.

“The benefit of this program is ensuring that our clients receive the best prenatal/delivery/and postnatal care possible. Having that care so accessible in the community alone is an opportunity for the community. In addition, the holistic and natural approach taken erases a lot of the medical-based technicalities to the care given. This brings out a more organic and spiritual experience to childbearing and birth based on your wants and needs,” said Katrina Guitard (RN).

Everyone has a different pregnancy and birth story, and the nurses at the Listuguj Health Centre work hard to make sure their clients are receiving proper care, have access to resources, and make their pregnancy and birthing experience positive and memorable. When asked if the staff have any advice to pass along to expectant or new mothers, Guitard said, “When they say it takes a village, it’s the truth. Be kind and patient with yourself. Being a parent is one of the hardest titles to hold, but one of the most rewarding.”

The Maternal and Child Care Program takes new clients as they receive requests. If a client becomes pregnant and would like to have regular prenatal appointments, they can contact the Health Centre at (418)-788-2155, and request to be transferred to the Maternal and Child Health Department.

By Ann Marie Jacques

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