Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giving birth in US

I was blessed to have my first baby in the US. Obviously I have nothing compare it to - I never had a baby in Ukraine. Or anywhere else for that matter. But a few friends of mine were pregnant pretty much at the same time as myself. So we talked. It was very interesting to compare, especially the little things. For example, in Ukraine no pregnant woman is told not to eat deli lunch meats or brie cheese. Raw eggs and sushi - well that's obviously an easy way to get listeria, even in Ukraine. But not cold meats or brie (which I missed oh so much!). In Ukraine nursing mothers aren't allowed to eat raw fruit of vegetables - at least not in the first couple of days after delivery. Gas? Bad for mom or the breastfed baby? Who knows why. But in the hospital - just hours after delivery - they brought me a salad from fresh veggies. Oh and broccoli and green beans, what! But they must know better - it's a hospital. In Ukraine a newborn baby should sleep on a side (not to choke on his own spit up). In US it's a big no-no - only on the back to avoid the risk of SIDS.

Anyways, those are just a few things from the top of my head. The biggest difference in my opinion is the way women are treated. All of my pregnant girlfriends in Ukraine delivered healthy beautiful babies, some births were more complicated then others. One of my friends had a partial placenta previa and was told in the US she would have to get a C-section for sure. But she went to Ukraine to be with her family for the birth of her first baby and had a natural delivery of a healthy 10-pound baby boy (yikes!). Anyways, I have no doubts about professionalism and experience of Ukrainian OB's.

But... one of my friends was told never to come back to the hospital where she had her baby - because she was too loud (and maybe a bit obnoxious - although they didn't say that to her face). How weird is that? I mean, yes - a woman in labor may become a little less patient, a little more mean to the medical staff and a little more loud. But hey, she has a person coming out of her! That's a little uncomfortable, bear with her. Nurses in the delivery room should know better.

So I am especially grateful for having my boy here. Not only because of the high quality medical care, a quick birth without complications, a healthy baby that was well-taken care for. Those are the things I am most grateful for of course. But I'm also especially thankful for the way I was treated. All the nurses, and my doc were so encouraging and sweet, willing to answer all of my questions and help me with any concerns. My stay in the hospital was more like a mini-vacation - I was checked up on every hour, meals delivered to my room, unlimited drinks and snacks, TV and comfortable bed, oh and babysitting available 24/7 - I don't have this luxury anymore! The hospital took such great care of me and my baby - and I'll be forever grateful for that. Upon my arrival home I got a few phone calls - from a lactation consultant and from a nutritionist - just to check on me, just to see how I was doing and if I was struggling with this whole new motherhood/breastfeeding deal. The lactation consultant would even come over to see me at home free of charge - if that was necessary. It brought tears to my eyes.

I definitely don't take it for granted living here, in the US. And being able to welcome our baby here was one of the biggest gifts I have ever received.


Suzanne said...

I love this post! I am so glad you had a great hospital stay. I enjoyed all my stays(being pampered) but I must admit, at the old PRMC(when it was PGH) I got up and made my own bed one morning! I knew then it was time to go home to the three other kiddies waiting for me:)

When I gave birth to Greg in Richmond, all the hospitals were in competition for moms to deliver at their places. We got an intimate dinner for two(with a glass of wine) and a limo ride home! Big Stuff!

Dasha said...

This is amazing, Suzanne! Wow. If things were the same now, I'd totally go to Richmond to have my next baby!

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