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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Paris, France

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

Paris

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

5 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...

Having birth here was a wonderful experience for me. I was lucky to get into a private hospital which fills up very quickly. In Paris you have to call right away to get a spot. The care was wonderful and the birth was mostly done by a midwife. In Ob/gyn had to come in at one point to turn the baby's head, but she left after that and let the midwife take care of the rest. I stayed in the hospital 5 days and got lots of help with the breastfeeding. Apparently that is not the case in most French hospitals. I did have an epidural which I wanted and it was dosed perfectly so that I could push. I didn't want the episiotomy, but ended up with one anyway. France is really big on episiotomies, though my hospital less so. Still, considering I had the biggest of 10 babies that day, the fact that I ended up with only 3 stitches is pretty good!

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

I didn't. I chose the hospital instead. From the 4th month one I would go there for my visits and see whoever was doing appointments that day. I never saw the same person twice, except for one doctor who I saw briefly during the delivery again. I chose the hospital by reputation. I had read about it at the site www.maman.fr (french only, sorry) and knew several expats who had given birth there.

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

Most of what I would do differently has nothing to do with where I live. For example, I would definitely do yoga during pregnancy! Also, I would want to see a hematologist next time. I have a genetic blood disorder which is not serious, but my blood count is always a little wacky. They kept giving me more and more iron to take, but that is not the way to treat what I have. I think next time I will see a specialist.

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

Register early!!!! Even if you aren't sure where to give birth, at least register somewhere so that you have a spot held for you.

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Comments about this Report

katertots
Sep 12, 2014 08:26

Hello. I just moved to Paris 2 weeks ago, I'm 20+1 weeks into my 1st pregnancy, and have my first appointment with an OB on Monday. Can you tell me about doctor's appointments leading up to birth? Will they do the normal 20 week sonogram? Also, which hospital did you give birth at? I'm hoping to get into the American Hospital in Paris. Any info you have would be SO helpful!!

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