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CBHSSJB midwifery team celebrates opening of Chisasibi Birthing Home

December 7, 2021
Summary

On December 1, 2021 in Chisasibi, the Cree Health Board Midwifery team held an Open House to celebrate the opening of a temporary Birthing Home in the community. Located across the street from Chisasibi Hospital, it is a comfortable place for women to give birth, surrounded by family and connected with Cree traditions.

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The Cree Health Board re-established birthing services in Chisasibi in 2017, but space was limited. On November 24, the first baby was born in the new spacious and accessible Birthing Room, attended by the Midwife and Birth Assistant.
 

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    Group of people standing in birthing room
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    Group photo: (from left to right) Bertie Wapachee, Marcella Washipabano, Sylvie Carignan, Gabrielle Dallaire, Maude Poulin, Denise Perusse, Arlene Swallow, Lisa Bobbish, Mariève Hémond, Sara-Michelle Bresee, Margaret Dick, Sarah Tapiatic, Natasha Bates
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    Bed and bathtub in birthing room
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    Birthing Room of the temporary Birthing Home, Chisasibi.
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    Bathtub where woman can give birth
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    Bathtub in the Birthing Room of the temporary Birthing Home, Chisasibi.
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    Traditional quilt
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    Quilt made by Chisasibi Elders, used for traditional purposes in the Birthing Room of the Chisasibi Birthing Home. Nishiiyuu documented many birthing traditions passed down from Traditional Midwives.
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    2 women sitting in chairs in an office
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    Birth Assistants Lisa Bobbish and Arlene Swallow.
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    Interim Coordinator of Midwifery Services Denise Perusse and Chairperson Bertie Wapachee.
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    Interim Coordinator of Midwifery Services Denise Perusse and Chairperson Bertie Wapachee, in the Birthing Room of the newly renovated temporary Birthing Home in Chisasibi.
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    Sylvie Carignan (Interim Head of Midwifery Services) is giving Chair Bertie Wapachee a tour of the birthing room.
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    Sylvie Carignan (Interim Head of Midwifery Services) is gives Chair Bertie Wapachee a tour of the birthing room.
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    Man looks at woman opening chest of drawers
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    Sylvie Carignan (Interim Head of Midwifery Services) gives Chair Bertie Wapachee a tour of the birthing room.
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    Man looks at woman show changing table
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    Sylvie Carignan (Interim Head of Midwifery Services) gives Chair Bertie Wapachee a tour of the birthing room.
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    2 women and a man
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    Sylvie Carignan (Interim Head of Midwifery Services) gives Chair Bertie Wapachee a tour of the birthing room. Also present (left) is midwife Sara-Michelle Bresee.
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    Cake with words in icing, "Welcome to the Birth Home"
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    Cake baked by the Birth Assistant Lisa Bobbish for the December 1, 2021 opening of the temporary Birthing Home, Chisasibi.

Building on the Chisasibi experience, the CBHSSJB is planning the expansion of Midwifery services to every community in Eeyou Istchee. In 2022, construction will begin on permanent Birthing Homes in the three regional poles of Chisasibi, Waskaganish and Mistissini, each serving the smaller neighboring communities.

The CBHSSJB is also developing a Midwifery Education Program, which will train the next generation of Cree Midwives, ensuring the continuation of services that are deeply cherished by the community.

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Healthy women having a normal pregnancy can choose to be followed by a midwife based in Chisasibi.

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