Welcome to "Making Connections!" A blog-post series highlighting the amazing women entrepreneurs we have the pleasure of knowing and working with in Lac La Biche, Plamondon and surrounding areas! Each week we will be highlighting a different woman entrepreneur who is benefiting the community with their knowledge, drive, talent and skill. We're truly honoured and blessed to call these beautiful individuals our friends and are so excited for the opportunity to work with them in our little piece of northern paradise!
Our first segment of "Making Connections!" features the incredible Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt! Those of you who know Chantal can attest to her warm-hearted, kind and compassionate nature. Upon first meeting Chantal I was immediately inspired by her story and her desire to bring midwifery services to northern Alberta. A huge congratulations are in order to both herself and her practice partner, Marianne King on the opening of their absolutely GORGEOUS (seriously immaculate) clinic space and birth house, which is now open and thriving in Plamondon. Chantal, your passion for providing holistic prenatal care to women and families in the community is truly inspirational.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so delighted to introduce Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt...
"I am Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt, a Registered Midwife and lover of LIFE! I grew-up in Plamondon with environmentally conscious parents who took our family's health to heart by growing a big garden and making homemade concoctions for colds, flus and tummy aches. Holistic health seemed 'normal' to me, however it was through my travels that I discovered my passion for woman's health. While volunteering overseas, I did a homevisit with a doctor in Guatemala for a woman who had just had her baby. I was intrigued by the village midwife who was helping to care for new mother and making her sip on a special herbal tea to help her uterus.
I came back to Canada and realized midwives are very hard to come by and was disappointed to learn that it was even harder to get the necessary training. My secret dream of becoming a midwife took the back burner and I become a massage therapist.
My desire to work with pregnant women and their families grew stronger every year. I specialized in pregnancy and baby massage & maternity reflexology and then decided to become a doula. Ten years after having been inspired by that Guatemalan midwife and nearly 4 years after having witnessed my first birth, I decided I could no longer put off my dream... my passion! In 2008, with the help & support of my loving husband and family, I moved to Trois-Rivières, Québec to complete a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery Education.
Once I graduated, I was thrilled to find work in Edmonton at the Lucina Birth Centre. This busy birth and wellness centre and practice of 8 Midwives allowed me to grow in my own practice and complete a 1 and a half year residency in Alberta. After having experienced 'my own' midwife waterbirth, I am finally back home and so excited to be offering holistic prenatal care to women and families in my community.
With my practice partner Marianne King, I am so proud of what we have accomplished since we started this adventure in October of 2015. Tree de la Vie Midwifery ( translation: Tree of LIFE) went from searching for clients to fill our care quota to having a waitlist. We have built our own clinic space and birth house, fully equipped with a birthing tub and a king size bed to offer an alternate option to home birth and hospital birth. We have partnered with our county hospital, the mom care doctors, a herbalist, a homeopath, a cranio-sacral therapist, a lactation consultant, a clinical hypnotherapist who teaches Hypnobirthing and a Bodytalk Practitioner in order to offer the safest, most well-rounded, comprehensive care to the families in our area and from miles around."