Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Birth (and pregnancy) Israel-style

Things are run very differently here than in the States. Very differently.

Goes like this (in a normal pregnancy):
Home pregnancy test (optional) --> blood test in the kupah (health fund) --> appointment with OB --> ultrasound to confirm pregnancy --> see doctor every 6 weeks-ish and the nurse every month-ish --> early anatomy scan-late anatomy scan --> glucose tolerance test-see doctor at about week 32 for prescription for estimated weight ultrasound and GBS screening --> do 32 week ultrasound for estimated weight and GBS screening --> deliver baby --> see doctor 4-6 weeks after birth

Seriously. 

The nurses monitor you every month (I went every 6 weeks, because my doctor wanted me to do the maakav herayon/pregnancy monitoring the day I went to see him and I was not going to go every 2 weeks for maakav herayon for a low-risk pregnancy)-- weight, blood pressure, pee on a stick to check protein, sugar, etc., and general "how are you doing?".
The doctor does not see you every week in your last month.
If you go past your due date then you go to the women's clinic as a walk-in for "maakav herayon odef" (overdue monitoring) every few days until you give birth. Then you stop :)
If you have anything out of the ordinary (say, a kid from work kicks you in the stomach or you are on a bus that gets into an accident), you can go to the women's clinic for a check or if the clinic is closed you can go to the hospital. When these kinds of things happen, they do a combination of a physical check, an ultrasound and put you on a fetal monitor.

In terms of giving birth-- your doctor does NOT deliver you, unless you arrange it beforehand as a private delivery. Generally the midwives deliver you, unless there are complications and/or you have a planned c-section or you plan beforehand to have your doctor deliver you.
In general there seems to be a trend towards letting women labor and deliver in whatever position they prefer, provided it's safe (for example, if a woman has an epidural she MUST stay on the bed (unless it's a walking epidural); if a woman wants to deliver squatting or on her side, that's generally fine). Hospitals have individual policies on when to try to speed things up; at the hospital I went to, after 6 hours they asked me if I wanted Pitocin.

You also pre-register for the hospital. You can do this at as many hospitals as you want-- all it means is that they send you stickers that you can bring in when you go to the hospital. It does not cost anything and does not obligate you to go to a specific hospital (I registered at three hospitals).

They do all the standard things-- measurements, blood checks, eye drops, shots.

Rooming in is not always offered or available. If it is not, you can sometimes have it anyway by asking or if your roommate agrees.

Private rooms? No, no, no. The number of women per room varies based on the hospital. Also, since I think all of the hospitals are kosher, no need to order kosher food. And you might have to go get it yourself (for example, one of the Jerusalem hospitals has a strict policy about eating only in the ward dining room and not bringing meals back to your room).

Home births: Don't know much about them, but if you have questions I can ask a friend who had one here and get back to you with her responses.

Labor coaches/assistants: Doulas are very popular here. I did not have one. There was a doula who needed a few more births to get her certification, but in the end she did not attend Sesame's birth because it was over chag. More questions about doulas? Let me know and I'll get back to you.

What else? Ask away!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am in school for graphic design and for my final project I am designing a website for olim. (It will not be an actual published website) I want to have a section that will have different kinds of aliyah and Israel stories. I found your blog and was wondering if I would be able to use some of your stories.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete