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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Saltillo, Mexico

Submitted by Xanaidah

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

Saltillo

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

15 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...

As Clara is my first child, I really had no preconceived idea as to how the experience would be. OK, I knew it would be by-and-large unpleasant, so I was never expecting to enjoy the experience. Plus, we moved from Toluca to Saltillo when I was 7 months pregnant, so at times it felt like we were flying by the seat of our pants.

Our obstetrician is affiliated with the Hospital Universitario (a teaching hospital for the Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila). Originally, I thought this was a private institution, and while our private insurance paid for the entire birth (minus the pediatrician) it was listed on Clara's hospital birth record as a public institution. So I'm curious if IMSS would cover the cost of a birth there. However, I have no answers on that.

We went into the hospital at 10pm (after beginning labor at 6am. I was trying to limit the amount of time I had to spend in the hospital). But at 10pm I really wanted some drugs. Unfortunately, there was not an anesthesiologist on duty that late in the day, and it took the better part of two hours to track him down. Boo.

In talking with other friends who've had babies in Mexico, it seems that mothers are not usually given the choice of a non-medicated birth (no complaints here), but that they may wait to dispense those good drugs for longer than they might in the US. However, not having ever given birth in the US, I really don't know. (And I do realize that showing up in the middle of the night is not ideal for any doctor, so maybe that experience is not universal.)

We were in the hospital for maybe 36 hours. I believe that we could have stayed longer, but my husband and I were ready to be home.

Overall, it was a positive experience. It would have been more positive without an episiotomy, but, among my conversations wtih my friends, this seems to be a common experience, too.

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

We called our insurance company to see which doctors were covered under their plan. There were only 3 in the city, so we chose the one that lived closest to us. Fortunately, he was excellent (Dr. Jose Rafael Siordia Valdes).

A friend of mine is currently looking for a reputable midwife, which are difficult to come by. So far, the closest ones she has found are in Monterrey (an hour and a half away). If anyone has any leads, please contact me!

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

No, I loved that during every OB appointment we were able to get a 3D ultrasound (and take a copy home with us), and our doctor explained exactly what he was looking for and what he found. Furthermore, there was no billing. Just pay 400 pesos for every appointment and we were good to go! (And this included the ultrasound! If I were pregnant in the US, I may just come back to visit my doctor here a few times!)

I would more strongly request to my obstetrician that he please avoid an episiotomy unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. And if at all possible, I'd call the anesthesiologist before my obstetrician! ;)

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