Any one given birth in spain?

Discussion in 'First Trimester' started by Claudine, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Hi,

    I live now in Spain and plan to give birth here but have heard some stories regarding having to have an internal examinaton at my 1st scan, smear test during pregnancy and having to have lots of blood taken (more than in uk).
    Not to mention no gas & air, my local hospital doesnt offer an epidural and no chance of a water birth.

    Has anyone given birth in spain or can anyone offer some real advice on how it really works over here. I have a very un-interested mid wife.
    Thanks
     
  2. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Just done my tickler.
     
  3. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I sympathise with your situation, you are very brave. Good luck getting the answers you need.
     
  4. Kerry

    Kerry Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who lives in spain who asked me the exact question a while ago. This is what I found out from her from other Doulas.........

    Kerry, I used to live in Catalunia and have one friend in particular who had a baby a couple of years ago and who I'm still in touch with. We were talking about my being a doula and that, of course prompted her birth story.

    It doesn't sound too brilliant - very medicalised and interventionist. She was induced at 40+2 for no medical reason and she felt like doulas would definitely 'working uphill' in Spain.

    I'm sure some research would uncover the counter culture, though. It must be there - I know Valencia has a thriving arts/hippy/natural lifestyle scene, so I bet the natural childbirth movement has some proponents there too.

    Are there any doulas in the area? Hasn't Michel Odent done a course in Barcelona - or did I dream that - anyone?

    I suppose it also depends on how good her spanish or catalan is - you can't make informed decisions if you can't understand all of what's going on and depending on a translator in the midst of labour might be a bit of a pain!

    What I do know about the healthcare system in Spain is that it can be infuriating. I queued for a day at a special clinic to get the pill, only to told that this particular doctor didn't prescribe it for 'moral reasons' and I'd have to come back another day when a different doctor was there.

    I was also told when I had an achy knee (since found to be the beginnings of arthritis) that I was homesick!!

    Wish her good luck and ask her to say hello to lovely Valencia for me!


    one of my sister in laws is Spanish - horrid medicalised births and she states that they would look at you like you have 2 heads if you so much as suggest homebirth! She is a really assertive woman and really into womens rights and politics etc but states its almost impossible to fight the system.
    She is in Madrid and when I asked her - she said she would come back to England to have babies now she knows how different it can be.




    My most recent client is Spanish. She told me everyone in Spain has an epidural or a caesarean and she felt quite the odd one out wanting to avoid medical intervention - and I'm glad to say she succeeded.


    Well I know of a very positive birth in Spain - my sister moved out there a few years ago and she had my niece there in May 2003. I was very worried prior to the birth because I know how medicalised birth in Spain is, but my niece, Soraya, was my sister's first child at the age of 37 and it was a 10 hour labour and lovely waterbirth in a local birth centre (fortunately my sister lived fairly close by) - the centre is called "Acuario". My sister received very good and positive care and had been aiming possibly for a homebirth but due to her high blood pressure in last few weeks they asked her to come to the centre. My sister lives in Alcalali not far from Alicante.... I've dug out something on the internet about the birth centre - it is from Andrea Robertson's Blog diary online and she describes the centre here:

    http://www.birthinternational.com/diary ... 00217.html

    Andrea says that the centre is an hour south of Valencia and that women from miles away come to the centre so that they can have a physiological birth..... and here is a quote from that Blog....
    Quote:
    The buildings are located in a quiet village about an hour south of Valencia, towards Alicante and the grounds have gardens and a row of ancient pine trees, which add a special ambience.


    You should mention to your friend about this place as my sister is really pleased with the care she received when things could have been so very different. The more the centre is used, the more they will realise that it is needed and slowly but surely things will hopefully change
     
  5. Guest

    I thought England's NHS was bad :shock:
     
  6. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Hi,
    Thanks everyone for comments and words of sympathy!!!
    Especialy thanks to Kerry, Im gonna check out the aquario centre as its only about an hours drive from where I live.
    I will also look into the San Juan hospital in Alicante (3/4 hr drive in the other direction) as it´s rumoured to have a british feel to it???!!
    Have appointment for 1st scan on 1st Aug!!! cant wait although it has been confirmed that it will be a internal scan, I´d better get used to it eh!!
    Claudine x
     
  7. Guest

    hey

    i did live in gibraltar for 7 years, i know its not spain.. but i did have some treatment in San Juan hospital. it is a very good hospital.... even the british army use it for more technical treatments, i also know quite a few people that used it for serious health matters (cancer... heart attacks...not pregnancy unfortunately) but every one praises that hospital... most staff speak english and you feel like u are in a nhs hospital... i know some spanish hospitals can be a bit scary, but i would definately recommend looking into this hospital.


    hope this helps a little

    good luck and let us know what u come up with

    love elaine and flump
     
  8. sarahj

    sarahj Well-Known Member

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    hi i had both my children in barcelona!!!!! good luck! there really is not anything to worry about they do alot of tests and you see the hospital loads more than you do in england but all for good reasons! there is no gas and air and you should be able to have an epidural but some hospitals charge as much as £500 but i used my e111 and got it for free! there methods of birth are just old fashioned but safe and good. my only grumble was the amont of time i spent waiting to see midwife in the busy hospital once a month and it was never the same one. the level of care you get in hospital was excellent and you will find yourself in a room rather than a ward which is nice. really there is no need to worry most of the staff will probaly speak english. just do not expect any visits from a midwife when you go home! they do not do that so you are pretty much on your own. get some good books so you can answer all your own questions! the spainish are keen on breast feeding and will try hard to help you. Good luck and let me know how you are getting on so i can give you some advice!

    sarah x
     
  9. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Thanks very much for your messages guys, it makes me feel much more re-assured.
    Of course I´ll keep you posted on any developments, am looking forward to spanish style scan on monday!!!!
    Claudine xx
     
  10. Rooander

    Rooander Well-Known Member

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    And dont forget the email babe. LOL
     
  11. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Hello everyone!
    Had my second scan in Spain yesterday and fortunately it was an external one. The first one was internal combined with a smear test, had fun practising my terrrible spanish but it went ok.
    Going to the Acuario centre next thurs to meet the midwife there so we are really looking forward to that.
    I´ve calmed down about the whole birthing in Spain thing, thankfully!
    Will let you know how I get on.
    Claudine xx
     
  12. boo

    boo Member

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    Hi Claudine,

    I gave birth in a public hospital in Spain in February this year. It's NOT like the UK, not half as fluffy. You don't have the same kinds of choices...positions, birth partner, lighting, music, pain relief, etc...and it tends to be more medicalised. Despite (literally) fighting the midwives off when they tried to put me in stirrups, I really had no choice in the end and had to give in. BUT...it really worked quite well. The bed and stirrups were all electronic and adjusted so that I ended up suspended in mid air and it really allowed gravity to work its magic!

    I've heard a lot of complaints about episiotomies always being given but I insisted I didn't need one and that was fine. My husband wasn't allowed in until the very last minute, which was very stressful. And the woman I shared a room with after the birth had the whole town in to visit her until the early hours.

    BUT....I will say that I would have found the whole thing very much more relaxing if I had just known what to expect. It was the surprise factor that made it stressful. All the best with your pregnancy and birth in Spain. You'll be fine. Just brush up on your Spanish!

    Boo xx
     
  13. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Hi Boo,

    Thanks for telling me of your experience, since having scans & tests over here I can really emagine you fighting off the midwifes!!!lol
    I found them to be very persistant and stuck in their way of doing things! Definately no flexiblity when it come to having my husband in the room, or not as the case seems to be.
    I really want to try for a natural birth and most important I want my hubby there with me all of the time so thats why I´m considering going private.
    Was this your first baby and what pain relief were you offered?? if you dont mind me asking!
    Thanks again
    Claudine
     
  14. boo

    boo Member

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    Hi Claudine

    It was actually my third...I'm sure it would have been a lot more stressful if it was my first.

    The same as with my second, the birth was VERY fast (less than an hour and a half from waters breaking to baby arriving) so there was no time for an epidural but I wasn't offered any other option (gas and air, pethidine, etc). If you want an epidural, it's VERY important that you go along to the appointment they offer you just before the birth to check your heart and lung function and do blood tests (and sign a disclaimer and consent form). Without this check-up and the signed consent form, they will not give you an epidural.

    Is this your first? I would recommend an epidural to anyone having their first baby, unless there are medical reasons not to have one. I say this only because I know how stressful your first birth can be. The slightest complication can really be unbearable. I found that with my first, I was SO relieved to have had an epidural because it meant that all I had to deal with was the mental stress...and not the physical pain. Second time around, when you know what to expect and the mental stress is much less, you're better equipped to deal with the pain.

    I really can't advise you on how to make sure your wishes (husband being present throughout, etc) are respected in a Spanish state hospital. I'm currently pregnant, though only a few weeks gone, with my fourth and am already wondering how I can convince the midwives that my husband really does need to be there throughout. I have actually considered waiting in the car outside the labour ward until I can feel the baby's head coming out!!! In the end, I think the main difficulty will be actually getting to MEET the midwives who will be attending to you at the birth. It may be different where you are, but I found it a real struggle. And obviously this can be one of the benefits of going private.

    A first labour can be very long and it's obviously important to have your husband there with you...especially when you're in foreign country... I don't know why they have such a problem with it! You might want to take a look at your regional government's literature on the rights and responsibilities of patients - particularly pregnant women. Mine clearly states that I have the right to be accompanied provided there is no medical reason to suggest otherwise. I wouldn't try waving this around once you've already gone into labour but it might be worth using it to try to get some assurance from your hosptial maternity team IN ADVANCE, that they will allow your husband to be there.

    Anyway, good luck. How far along are you by the way?

    Boo x
     
  15. Rooander

    Rooander Well-Known Member

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    Babe text me when your online. Got to talk to you!!!
    Love ya
    Ema
    xxxx
     
  16. Claudine

    Claudine Member

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    Hi Guys

    Contratulations and good luck with your fourth pregnancy Boo! (cant be that bad can it!)
    I´m 20 weeks along on my first pregnancy, hence the apprehension!
    Well, I went to the acuario centre today and I have to say that it was everything I wanted it to be, they are the only place in Spain to offer gas and air, pethadine and a water birth!!
    The midwife is english and very nice, they are into natural births and are happy for my husband to be there the entire time!! I can even have my mum in with me if I want.
    I also get a private room to share with hubby.
    Being a private centre it will cost around 2,000€ for a natural birth and 3,000€ for a c section.
    It was such a nice experience chatting to the midwife there after dealing with my local midwife who is very unfriendly and unsympathetic that we booked in straight away!!!
    Just go to save a little harder now but it will be worth it as i´m happier and feel much more relaxed already!!!
    Hope everyones pregnancies are going well!!
    Love Claudine xx
     

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