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Forum: Labor and Childbirth

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  #1  
May 19th, 2010, 07:14 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
Posts: 16,335
so, i am very curious about birth in Germany! Is there where Jack was born?


Do you see a doctor or a midwife?
What is the c-section rate in your area?
How common are epidurals?

Tell me everything!
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Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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  #2  
May 19th, 2010, 08:30 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 4,654
Sure! Will try not to overshare The main difference between here and the US is there is socialized healthcare.

About pregnancy:
-You see a gynecologist for care during pregnancy. The same one that sees you for paps, birth control, ect.
-On your first visit you get a 'MutterPass' (mother passport), which is a little booklet you carry around with you all the time. It has all you blood work results, urine results, ultrasound info... basically everything in case you need to go into the hospital at any time.
-The gynecologist that sees you does NOT deliver babies. Babies are delivered at the hospital by the doctors on staff there.
-Every woman is offered a NT Scan, regardless of age or risk. Of course, you can decline.
-Ultrasounds and NST's and bloodwork are administed by your gynecologist in their own office. No going somewhere else, and no u/s techs.
-You tend to get a lot of u/s. One every appointment, and then extra ones for the NT scan and the 20 wk anatomy scan.

About Birthing:
-Most deliver in a hospital. There are birth centers but they are not very common.
-L&D is staffed by midwifes. But midwifes here have a bit more education and have all the capabilities of an RN.
-You do not know which midwife or which doctor will be delivering your baby. It depends on who is working that day.
-German hospitals are VERY non-interventionist. You are told right away that you will never ever be offered any drugs. If you want them you have to ask, and also request what you want. They will not artificially rupture membranes. You can decline an IV catheter. You are told you can labor in your l&d room, or go down to your post-delivery room or walk around anywhere in the hospital. You have to come back every 2-3 hrs for 15 min NST.
-They do not offer you a hospital gown... I found that weird!
-Rooms are small, and not very 'fancy'. But then again, we do not pay for l&d out of pocket.
-Midwifes are pretty hands off. They check up on you every couple hours and you can buzz them if need. When you are hooked up to the NST, they monitor you from their office. The idea is to leave you alone with your SO as much as possible.
-I want to say the c/s rate is 16 or 17% overall in Germany.
-The majority of c/s are done under GA.
-Episiotomy rates are less than 5%. Lucky me... I got one!
-You can elect to have a homebirth with a midwife. This is covered by insurance.
-No Hep B vaccines or eye ointment is used after routine births. Hep B is given later on, starting at 2 months.
-Vit K is given in oral form (unless an NICU baby). The 2nd dose is given at baby's first pedi appt.

After the birth:
-For an uncomplicated vag birth, the hospital stay is 7 days. It is called the 'Wochenbett' (week bed). It is a very traditional thing. It is seen as a time of recovery and relaxation. The nurses only check you once a day. The rest of the time you are free to meander around, visit family, whatever. You can ask to go home earlier.
-You can stay with baby all the time. They encourage co-sleeping. They bring in a special side panel for your hospital bed (looks like a toddler side rail) so baby can sleep with you.
-BF'ing rate in hospital is 91%.
-After discharge, you return to the care of your gynecologist.
-Everyone hires a midwife, paid by insurance. She comes to your house 2x the 1st week, then once per week for a month. She helps with bf'ing, answers questions, and weighs baby.

OK... sorry I overshared again I tell you, I have a problem, lol.
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Cody Ryan
December 3, 2013 at 433 pm
7 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches
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  #3  
May 19th, 2010, 08:53 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 4,654
***I forgot to add that there is no routine circumcision of male infants.
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Cody Ryan
December 3, 2013 at 433 pm
7 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches
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  #4  
May 19th, 2010, 09:27 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
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WOW! that is amazing! Can I move to Germany?!!!!


That is seriously in..CRED..ible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! you totally did not overshare! if there is more, share, girl, share!!

that's totally amazing! Way to go, Germany!!!!!!!!!!


we just got socialized healthcare...i wonder if the US will make changes like that!

Do you have any pics of your hospital or anything to share (the room, the building itself, what you wore during L&D, etc?)
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Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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  #5  
May 19th, 2010, 10:15 AM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,446
Chels, we don't have socialized healthcare or anything even remotely close to it. We are still on the privatized health insurance system. There won't be any changes coming of this nature
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My daughter is perfect, but her birth was not. If you or someone you love is struggling to cope with a traumatic childbirth experience, please visit http://www.solaceformothers.org/
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  #6  
May 19th, 2010, 10:35 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
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true, but maybe it's a step since insurance is now available to moms at risk for all the interventions many don't want (since many had shotty insurance since they overqualified for medicare)..and now with the govt paying more and more out of pocket changes will start ot make? im trying to find the silver lining in health care reform
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Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth
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  #7  
May 20th, 2010, 04:55 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 4,654
Germany has one of the best socialized medical systems in the world. Having experience American privatized insurance, UK socialized health system (I lived in Scotland for 3 yrs too), and the German system, I found that here is above anything else I have experienced.

One of the main ways it works so well, is the government limits what doctors and hospitals can charge for procedures. Still doctors receive a very good living, but no where near what they do in the states.

Just as a comparison, I am a veterinarian. Just a general practitioner, not a specialist. In the states, I can refer a very large breed dog (same weight as a human) to a university referral hospital for a hip replacement. They will be operated on by a board certified specialist (same length and quality as a human surgeon) and be anesthetized by a board certified anesthetist. The medications cost the same. The actual artificial hips are made by the same companies.

Essentially, costs, times, and education are the same for each. For the dog, it would cost approx $4000 for one hip. For a human, a doctor/hospital would charge $40,000-50,000 minimum. To me (not trying to start a debate, just discussing), there is something wrong and greedy about that. The vet hospital would make a couple thousand $ profit, and the human medical system would walk away with over 10x that.
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Cody Ryan
December 3, 2013 at 433 pm
7 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches
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  #8  
May 20th, 2010, 06:58 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm a husker girl :)
Posts: 16,335
I totally agree! I worked in a vet clinic for 4 years and went to vet tech school (never took the boards, decided it wasn't for me...didn't wana be someones b!tch my whole life, and didnt have the ambition to go to vet school )


we give the dogs, cats, horses, etc. the exact same drugs we give humans, just in smaller doses (or sometimes not smaller!)....my last day working at the clinic I had to go help with a prolapsed cervix on a heifer and the vet had to give her an epidural ...I was about 7m preggo then so it was pretty hilarious to me...not sure why

but anyway, america's healthcare sucks.
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Maverick Jude
December 9, 2013
5:20PM 8lb3oz 20.5"
Hospital water birth

Last edited by ChicaChels; May 20th, 2010 at 07:02 AM.
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  #9  
May 29th, 2010, 04:46 PM
Cheet_oh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 9,984
Hey, everyone on FB is calling Obama a socialist and that the health care reform is socialist. Don't you know everyone is an armchair politician/doctor/expert??
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