What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?
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.
An interesting twist. We are moving to France on Sunday. The French authorities told me that I should bring the S1 form so we can be covered for medical and drugs in France. I went to the sanitary office in Palermo and asked for that form. They told me that it's only for those who have paid into the SS system in Italy. Since our pension is American, we are not eligible. Then she asked if we have the free coverage or the payment coverage now. I told her we had free coverage. She spoke to her supervisor and was told that we should not have that for the same reason and that we should be paying for Dr. Visits and an annual premium of about 500 Euro. Since she hadn't taken our names, my wife and I quickly stood, thanked her while she was still talking and skadaddled before she asked any more questions.
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