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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Alghero, Italy

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

Alghero

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

February 2010

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...

I gave birth in Ospedale Civile, it had been recommended to me by my gynecologist for having a low c-section outcome, other local hospitals are apparently quick to opt for them when a labour is progressing slowly.

It is an old hospital and I shared a room with 3 other women. The babies are kept in a nursery and brought to the Mums for feeding only. There were a number of shared bathrooms however they were all very shabby and small. I had to take my own toilet roll, cups, water but I knew this in advance.

I wanted a natural birth but presumed pain relief would have been available (after speaking to my mother in law), in fact they refused to give me anything despite being in labour for over 24hrs, I had been admitted as my baby was 10 days over due. Eventually a c section was required but I know for me there was no other option and the staff tried everything they could to deliver naturally.

Altogether I spent 6 days in hospital,because of being admitted, but normally only 4 days is required after a c section or 3 after a normal birth.

For me it wasn't a very positive experience, it was my first baby and I don't speak fluent Italian, when my labour started I wasn't moved to a private room, when the evening came my husband was told to go home and come back in the morning and that I should try to sleep which is not easy when you're having contractions every 5 minutes, they wouldn't break my waters until the morning which meant my labour progressed very slowly, the c section was fine, however my husband was not allowed to enter and when they took the baby out I wasn't allowed to see him so I had to wait a further 2 hours.

However, the gynecologists and midwives were all very nice and friendly but the nurses were brilliant.

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

I used the local consultorio familiare, I really like the gynecologist and midwife who worked there, they were both excellent and very thorough. I don't believe in paying for a private gynecologist when there is a state health service.

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

I would have another baby here but I would want to avoid another c section so would have to try and find a hospital which is prepared to try for VBAC, otherwise I know exactly what to expect.

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

Ask the hospital what pain relief is available, try and speak Italian.

On the Italy Expat Forum

Join our Italy Forum and talk with other expats in Italy who can offer you insight and tips about living in Italy. Here are a few of the latest discussions on the Italy Expat Forum:

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Elective Residence Financial & Length of Stay (13 replies)

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Italy expat forum topic
Italian National healthcare system (8 replies)

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guest
Mar 21, 2011 11:45

Can you have your baby in a private hospital in Italy? If yes, how does it work?

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