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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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

Addis Ababa

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

Last 6 months (oct 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...

My experience was positive. Health care was easily available and cheap. The obgyn was supurb. The birth was induced. Unfortunatelly spinal block for vaginal birth unavailable in all hospitals. C-section common. I had a c-section by spontaneous choice (not medical reason). I am rh neg, my partner rh positive. Antigen D available, but my boyfriend had to search the city for the med after birth. Expensive injection $300. Operation about $500. No health insurance available to cover pregnancy. Doctors and nurses experienced and professional. Great good wonderful memories. I was afraid at first and wanted to return to Australia. But so glad I stayed!

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

We liked the obgyn at besethda hospita.

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

no.

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

Try several hospitals and OBGYNs. Decide what is most important. Eg partner in the room? Do you need ICU? Then maybe choose Korean hospital (they have these).

Can you handle the pain? Then good - if you need an epidural, then leave Ethiopia.

Are you ok with the prospect of a c-section? This may be a reality if you struggle with pain.

Do you have support for after the birth? Eg family to cook, clean and help? Then go where you have support.

Check the citizenship options. Make sure you apply early for the citizenship you need, check the requirements first.

Do you have any health issues? Check the hospital can handle the worst case scenario. Only Korean hospital has an ICU for babies.

I went with a small, local hospital. And it was an excellent choice because the staff were fantastic and so supportive and knowledgable. Also, I had few expectations and this made it easier to go-with-the flow. Also I had an easy uncomplicated pregnancy and birth (except for the rh difference).

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