Part 3- A Cultural Pregnancy

10 Sep

I just realized that I still owed you the third part of this series! Ha, shows how great I am at doing series. Anyways, our last 2 nations are Holland and Belgium and are very different than the other nations that have been featured so far. Read on ladies…

Arjanne- A midwife from Holland who has does not have any children of her own just yet. So the experiences she speaks about come from her work.

– What is considered a normal birth situation in your country? (ex: a natural, vaginal birth- baby delivered in a hospital by a doctor)
The norm is a natural, vaginal birth.  Most births are started at home with a midwife. If everything is going well during the delivery, the baby will be born at home. Most women in Holland see the home birth as normal and they are proud of the natural birth process they go through.  However, in the last few years a few couples are starting to choose to deliver in a hospital where a midwife will lead the whole delivery-process also.   

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

Normally midwifes will help you through your pregnancy and do the delivery. We also  also check on the baby after birth. Only if we see something isn’t right,we will refer you to the care of an obstetrician.

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

Normally you have 2 scans during pregnancy. Both are performed by the midwife. Grow-scans (every 4 weeks) are becoming more popular though. 
– Are you encouraged or discouraged to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

Discouraged…at home you cannot get an epidural. A midwife will help you to choose your own comfortable positions or recommend you take a bath to help with the contractions. In the hospitals you’d need to ask for it, otherwise you won’t get an epidural.

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

C-sections are only for emergency use only.

– Is breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?

Breastfeeding is considered very normal, but bottle feeding is generally accepted too, especially for ‘older’ infants. Almost 65 % start breastfeeding but only 35 % is still breastfeeding their 3-month-old infants.

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

2 to 4 kids.

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

Yes, for 5-10 days there will be nursing assistant who is specialized in newborn baby’s and in just helping you become a mom that will assist you. She’ll nurse the mother, take care of the baby, the household and where necessary she’ll take care of other kids. It’s normal that the husband will be home for a few days . The midwife will come the first week mostly every other day to check and will ask the nursing assistant if there’s any problem going on.  

– Are SAHM’s a luxury or a norm?

A luxury, but also often seen in the lower classes .
 

Emilie- A Belgium mother and mid-wife. Her first pregnancy was a vaginal birth with an epidural, in a hospital with a gynie. With her 2ns pregnancy she started out with a mid-wife in hopes to give birth at home but ended up having an emergency C-ser in the hospital.
 

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

Most women deliver their babies in hospitals with their gynecologist. But we also have home births with a midwife. A vaginal birth is definitely considered the norm though. 

– Is your gynecologist automatically your obstetrician (baby doctor) as well?
Yes. 

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

Normally you have 3 scans during pregnancy, all performed by your gynecologist.
– Are you encourage or discouraged to receive an epidural or any other delivery drugs?

It depends… In most hospitals women are encouraged to take an epi, but when women choose a midwife-attended birth in hospital (they go to hospital with their own midwife who followed them throughout the pregnancy) they mostly go for a natural birth without drugs.

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

C-sections are mostly for emergency use only.

– I breast feeding or bottle feeding the norm?

Breastfeeding is considered very normal, but bottle feeding is generally accepted too, especially for ‘older’ infants. Almost 65 % start breastfeeding but only 35 % is still breastfeeding their 3-month-old infants. 

– What is the size of an average family? (ie. 2 kids, 6 kids, etc)
2
 to 4 kids.
– Is it normal to have help with you baby? (ie. full time maid, nanny, mother helping for a bit)

No, not at all.
 
– Are SAHM’s a luxury or a norm?

Definitely a luxury.

So there you have it. That’s (finally) the end of my ‘A Cultural Pregnancy’ series. I think it’s just amazing that everyday thousands of woman around the world give birth and yet there  are so many different ways to ‘get the job done’!

If there’s one thing that being married, being married cross-culturally & living overseas has taught me it’s that their is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do most things- just the way we’re most familiar or comfortable with. Accepting diversity…


 

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One Response to “Part 3- A Cultural Pregnancy”

  1. Sunshine September 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Interesting reading… Hey Ruth, give us some dirt on love, isolation and friendship problems in early parenting. I've lost my closest friend through lack of understanding of my parenting style and battles I've faced, and I'm sure I'm not alone ….

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