Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giving birth in Switzerland

When we moved to our new apartment we switched cantons, which is pretty much like moving to another state. We had to change our license plates, residence cards, and health insurance. Even though the doctor I was seeing is close to our new place, he was in a different canton. So I have been forced to find a doctor in our new canton, which also happens to be primarily German speaking. Thankfully I was able to get a referral and so far my new doctor has been great! His nurse, on the other hand, speaks mostly German. And while she does speak French, she doesn't understand my french... so making appointments and asking questions has been quite difficult. One of the things I have been most terrified about since I found out I was pregnant has been giving birth in the German hospitals. I know NO german and I have nightmares of being in the hospital with doctors and nurses who don't speak english who are giving me drugs and doing things to my baby and no can tell me what is going on. I have been considering hiring a doula to not only help me through the birth, but who will also be a translator for me in case my nightmare comes true.

Well at my last appointment my doctor told me he doesn't deliver at the hospital. He has his own private clinic and he would only deliver my baby if I go to this clinic. The problem is that it is quite expensive as it is a private clinic. He told me if I chose not to deliver at his clinic, then I would go to the hospital and whichever resident doctor is on call that day would deliver my baby... english speaking or not. He then told me that all the midwifes at his clinic speak english at least as good as him. This alone is worth paying the extra money for, so we went to check out the clinic today.

One of the english speaking midwifes greeted us at reception. She was very friendly and took us up to one of the birth rooms. The birthing rooms are huge and they are very big on having a natural birth with no interventions. They offer almost everything you can think of to help you through labor including a pool where you can deliver the baby in the water if you choose:
Here is Jack checking out the birthing pool
A huge lounge area with a kitchen behind stocked with all sorts of snacks/drinks:

Here is the birthing bed:

The midwife told me I could have the baby anyway I wanted. I did not have to deliver the baby laying on my back on the bed. I would really like to try a water birth this time and she said that as long as everything is okay with me and the baby, I could have the baby in the water. 

After the baby is born, it is typical to stay in the clinic 5 to 7 days. Then, the insurance will pay for me to have a midwife another 5 days to come to my house and help with the baby. 

I feel much more confident about delivering a baby here now that I have seen the clinic and I know that there will be english speakers to help me.  Oh, and the icing on the cake is they offer (free) unlimited snacks and soft drinks for my entire stay! Seems like giving birth here is Switzerland is going to be much better than doing it in the states. 


  1. I would much rather give birth here! Sounds like a much better experience that giving birth in the states. Can I come to Switzerland to deliver my next baby? :)

  2. That is so great to hear! I am excited for you guys and hope and pray that the whole process goes well for all of you. :)

  3. Glad you found this! This birth is going to be awesome for you :)

  4. Hi, I'm a friend of Holly's who lives in Zurich. I have a dear friend who just delivered her first baby in Luzern, at a private hospital - and it was a great experience. The midwives were wonderful, and she was able to have a water birth. And the food was great!!! I hope everything falls into place for you. God bless!

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