Pregnant in Germany: The Midwife Follow-Up Report

It feels like I have been out of the blogging routine for far too long.  It’s only been a few months, but so much has happened during that time.  I’ve got several updates, trip reports, and reviews to get out of my system before moving on to new stuff.  All the while, I’m doing my best to keep up with life and little boys and the adventures that come with the privilege of being a mama to three. 

Hopefully all your “what about…” questions will be answered very soon, starting with an update on my thoughts regarding what I consider a very positive aspect of the social health care system in Deutschland.  Take it away!

As I mentioned in a previous post, all pregnant women in Germany are entitled to midwifery care before, during, and after the birth of their child(ren).  Though my experience with one of the midwives at the hospital was less than stellar, I definitely lucked out with my ante- and post-natal care.

My midwife (let’s call her Maya) was of great help to me before Big Foot arrived.  She spoke great English so I didn’t have to stress about my German skills which seemed to rapidly disintegrate as the pregnancy progressed.  She came to my house so I could spend more hours at home than in a doctor’s office.  She brought a wealth of experience not only about the German system but also of the British system which seems to be a hybrid of the American way and the German way.

When I experienced a host of unexpected and severely unpleasant symptoms, Maya prescribed homeopathic and natural remedies.  She also presented me with free samples and coupons.  I think we might have been made for each other!

Maya also offered me suggestions on what to do and where to go when I realized I would need to be induced.  She told me which hospitals would be likely to cave to my sob story, and which doctors were better for situations that might arise such as a breech baby.

After Big Foot was born, I emailed Maya from my phone while waiting to be released from the hospital.  She set up a time to visit me the very next day which just happened to be a Sunday.  After that, she dropped by every other day for the first week and once a week after that.  In all, Maya came to my home for seven post-natal visits.

Each time she arrived, Maya would ask all sorts of questions about how I was doing, how Big Foot was faring, and how the family was getting along.  She really listened to me and cared about my answers.  She offered advice when I needed it without being pushy.

She checked my recovery, weighed the baby, and even did the heel prick test (similar to the test performed in the UK to check for hidden health conditions) so I wouldn’t have to make a trip to the pediatrician.

In the last two visits, Maya showed me some exercises I could do to wake up my abdominal muscles and strengthen my floppy midsection.  She left me with a poster detailing additional moves but not without first demonstrating each one to make sure I understood and could perform them correctly.

Maya mentioned to me at our final meeting that I still had several visits left in my quota.  Apparently, I can call her at any time up until Big Foot’s first birthday with questions, concerns, etc., and her services would still be covered by my insurance.  Wow.

I can’t say enough good things about my experience with a midwife, compliments of the health care system in Germany.  The only thing that would have made the whole shebang better was if she cooked, cleaned or babysat the older boys.  I guess that’s asking a bit much, but hey a girl can dream big, right?

Anyhow, despite my hospital horror show, it’s good to know that will remain but a lone dark spot in a mostly brilliant albeit baffling German birth experience.

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