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Expat Advice: Having a Baby in Athens

Submitted by zera

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Athens

How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?

9 months ago

Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...

For the private sector:

I chose my obstetrician first. He was affiliated with one of the 3 large private maternity clinics in Athens. It is a very large clinic.

Positive points: very clean, plenty of staff on hand 24 hours (even if they are rushed), very modern facilities.

Negative points: very expensive (around 2000 euros for the cheapest room option - 6 mothers sharing a room, not including doctors fee); impersonal; breastfeeding difficult because rooming in is near impossible; staff ill-informed about breastfeeding; Too many visitors and visiting hours are not strictly enforced by staff. I had natural childbirth with epidural. Hospital stay: 4 days. The birth experience was positive thanks to a fantastic UK-trained midwife and obstetrician. My experience with the clinic was very negative.

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

I found my midwife by searching online, I found her website www.venusmed.gr and contacted them for an appointment. She works with her husband who is an obstetrician.

I was impressed by their attitude to natural childbirth (c-section is very common in Greece) and by the fact that they had worked in the UK for 10 years.

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

I'd like not to have to use the maternity clinic again but my obstetrician is affiliated with them. Otherwise, wouldn't do anything differently.

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

I would give her my doctor and midwife's contact details, would warn her about the prevalence of unnecessary c-sections, give her my book on breastfeeding. Dealing with the maternity clinics requires some know-how but luckily my midwife did this for me (insisted baby was brought to me whenever it cried, etc.), told them I didn't want a systematic enema when admitted for labour, etc. It's very useful to have someone else negotiate this stuff for you, the last thing you want when you're in labour is to have to argue with nurses.

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