Sonntag, 18. Oktober 2015

Giving birth in Berlin: A Foreigner in Berlin experience

If any of my readers were maybe curious why so many silence gaps in my online presence, the right answer is that in the last months I was busy getting used with pregnancy challenges and particularly in the last weeks and days being ready to welcome the baby. Although summer travel went well, a couple of restrictions applied - such for instance the impossibility to go on an airplane in the last two months of pregnancy. Also, because of the unusual summer heat, I preferred to limit as much as possible my travels and to include as many stops as possible - preferrably for refreshments and various foodie tastings. 
And when the time has come, everything went well and everyone is healthy and happy - although considerably sleep deprived. Not necessarily on purpose, but the delivery was chosen at a medical center that I extensively covered a couple of posts ago: DRK Westend, a place I was recommended by many of my expat friends too and that I recommend it further on too. The overall services and medical support I benefited was high class, also thanks to the benefits of my insurance that covered extensively a lot of services, including some acupuncture session that was considered necessary by the medical staff. 

After the baby was born, I was hardly left alone for more than one hour: nurses come to check us periodically, with special advice about how to handle the baby, but also specific advice for me. For instance, the day after a therapist come to check my motric problems counseling me to take it easy and not get ready for a marathon in less than 2-3 months after delivery. This in addition to various vitamins and screenings and checkings done fast. I always complain about the slow motion and lack of responsiveness of the customer service in Germany but this time I was really impressed about everything: the way we were treated, the everyday help and kindness of the nurse that offered me a lot of coffee after confessing that did not have the chance in the last months of tasting the strong version of my favourite beverage. Last but not least, not forget about the kind doctor that come with a German English dictionary in his pocket after he heard out that we were not locals. 
As a general rule, future mothers in Germany need to do periodical checkings that are mentioned in the famous Mutterpass that should accompany you when going for delivery. This 'passport' is providing information about the medical history of the mother and has details about the various medical checkings done during the nine months.
The insurance company is covering the costs and after being many years on private insurance, I realized how lucky I was to be the customer of one of the big state companies. Every time I had to go to the doctor, I just had to show my insurance. 
Something that should be kept in mind before giving birth is to find a reliable midwife (Hebamme) that will help the mother at least in the first two weeks of life of the baby. The costs for the service offered are also covered by the insurance company. My mistake was to not make the choice and find out after around 100 phone calls that no midwife in my area was available, except one private one paid with 70 euro the hour. 
Another intersting thing in Germany is that after the birth, the mother has 2 full months - at least - of paid leave, the salary being partially covered by the insurance company. 
One month after, everything is going fine and trying to include my writing into my new very busy life. For more updates about my adventures with the pram across Berlin, check for now my Instagram account: ilanaontheroad.
See you soon!

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