Part 2- A Cultural Pregnancy

22 Jun

Here we go again! The much anticipated Part 2 of ‘A Cultural Pregnancy’ has arrived.

This post features my friend Adriel, who is living in Australia and my friend April who I went to high school with in America.

Once again- enjoy!

April- An American, through and through- born and raised in the US, American husband and two pregnancies and births in the US. With her first pregnancy, April had a vaginal birth with an epidural & gave birth to a beautiful little girl. During her second pregnancy, her son was breach so she had a C-section at 39 weeks.

– What is considered a normal birth situation in your country?

I feel as though vaginal births are normal, however it seems that scheduled C-sections are on the rise with so many doctors prefering them, since it doesn’t interfere with their schedules.

– Is your gynecologist automatically your obstetrician (baby doctor) as well?
Yes, most doctors here are OB/GYN’s and practice both.

– How often did you have scans/ultrasounds during your pregnancy? Who performed them?

In a normal, healthy pregnancy there are only 2 scans- one at 8 weeks (vaginally) and then one around 18-20 weeks to check growth and the sex. I had at least 4-5 during both of my pregnancies but that was because of other issues. With my daughter, it was because I had a miscarriage at 20wks before her so my doctor, who I use to work with, wanted to reassure me. With my son, my new doctor checked on him regularly because his growth wasn’t “normal”. They also wanted to check for things that might have been affected by my miscarriage as it was a genetic mutation. They wanted to make sure both my pregnancies were okay and if they was anything abnormal, it was caught early on through the scans.
– Are you encourage or discouraged to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

I would say encouraged but I also think that women who have vaginal deliveries without drugs always have some sort of “superior” attitude towards women who have drugs, which is stupid. With drugs, you’re still going to be sore the same amount of time, you just don’t have to feel the baby pop out.

– Are C-sections for emergency use only or can they be elective by you or your doctor?
Both. Although my doctor told me that she, and I’m assuming most other doctors, won’t induce a vaginal birth or book a C-section until 39 weeks. The insurance companies won’t cover it unless it is an emergency. I had originally scheduled to be induced at 39 for this reason! Why wait another week? I had to have a C-section though in the end because my son was breach.

– Is breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?
I definitely think breast feeding is very much encouraged, though I think bottle feeding is also very common. Not a lot of women BF in public so they usually take a bottle that’s pumped milk to feed. I hate that so many people think it’s important to BF, yet when you are BFing in public, people glare at you like you are committing a sin. I could understand if my baby was 2 and I was BF or if my boob was completely hanging out but even if you are completely covered, there is still an attitude of grossness that people project onto you.
– What is the size of an average family?

Technically, I believe the average is 3.5 children. However:) I would say that most people here have 1-2 kids.

– Is it normal to have help with you baby? (ie. full time maid, nanny, mother helping for a bit)

No. I don’t know anyone that has maid or nanny. Though, it is definitely helpful for me that my parents and in-laws live close to help me out when I need it. If I knew someone that had a maid or nanny, then I would think they were rich.


– Is a SAHM a luxury or the norm?
Luxury. When I tell people I am a SAHM, they all say how lucky I am as if it isn’t such a normal thing. I think especially with the economy now days, most people are struggling and therefore both parents normally work. Which is insane to me! I want to raise my kids, not a daycare. Plus, daycare is SUPER expensive that by the time you do the math, you are working to pay for your kids to go to daycare.

Adriel from www.themommyhoodmemos.com 
An American married to an Australian, living in Australia. She first went into labor with a mid-wife at a birthing center only to be transferred to a hospital for an emergency C-section after twelve hours of labor because her son was breech.

– What is considered a normal birth situation in your country?

A vaginal birth in hospital by a doctor.

– Is your gynaecologist automatically your obstetrician (baby doctor) as well?

No, we don’t really have gynos or OB’s. We see our general doc (GP – general practitioner) and they do our gyno exams. If there was a problem, they would only refer us to a specialist. You continue to see your GP throughout your pregnancy and have 1-2 appointments at the hospital with whatever OB is on call that day- once around 24 weeks, another at 38 weeks-ish. When you go into labor your GP isn’t the delivering doctor, the baby is just delivered by whatever OB and/or midwife is on call. However, if you go through a birthing center (all natural, no drugs offered, but only low-risk patients allowed) then you have a midwife that does all of your prenatal appointments, your delivery, and the follow-up care. Otherwise it’s just your GP doing pre and post appointments and the on-call OB doing delivery. All of this is completely free through the public health care system.

– How often did you have scans/ultrasounds during your pregnancy? Who performed them?

You typically get a date scan around 8/9 weeks and another at 18/20 weeks. You are only booked for another if there is a medical reason. An ultra sound tech does the scan and then sends results to your doctor. You have to book another appointment with your doctor to get the results.

– Are you encouraged or discouraged by your medical staff to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

If you go to a hospital-run birth class they educate you about both ways and in the end it’s your choice.

– Are C-sections for emergency use only or can they be elective by you or your doctor?

I’m not sure about this one. I don’t know anyone who’s had an elective c/s, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible..

– Is breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?

Both, but I see a lot of nursing moms as it is very acceptable to nurse in public.

– What is the size of an average family? (ie. 2 kids, 6 kids, etc)

I would say 2-3 kids.

– Are SAHM’s a luxury or a norm?

Both – depends on the family.

– Is it normal to have help with you baby? (ie. full time maid, nanny, mother helping for a bit)

No.

– Any other interesting facts about your birthing nation in regards to pregnancy and child birth?

Now with my 2nd baby I’m not allowed to go back to the birthing center because I’ve had a C-section the first time around and am now considered high risk. I will have to be cared for by my GP all the way through this pregnancy. The goal is to deliver VBAC in hospital with an OB unless something comes up making that not possible.

Also, I mentioned this earlier but all of my pregnancy care was free. I spent $30 to have access to TV while I was in the hospital. So my delivery only cost us $30 out of our pocket- nice!

Thanks a million to Adriel (from www.themommyhoodmemos.com) and April for being a part of Part 2 of ‘A Cultural Pregnancy’. You guys are rock stars!

Unfortunately, Blogger is being a pain in the bum and won’t let me upload any photos! Otherwise, I would have added pics of April & Adriel for your viewing pleasure. How dare Blogger be so difficult! Don’t they know I have adoring fans to entertain? But alas, it is what it is- sorry:( So that also means no signature sign off logo. Today you’ll have to suffice with…

that’s how they roll 


 







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One Response to “Part 2- A Cultural Pregnancy”

  1. Mommafo July 18, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    This is SO interesting! I wonder a lot about how things differ from where you grew up. I always think of you whenever I drive by your old house! 🙂 I think it's great that you've been able to travel to different parts of the world. You're an amazing person!

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