March 15, 2015

International Birth Stories – Brazil

International Birth Stories

Y’all, you know how much I love a good birth story…so I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am to introduce my new series to you:  “International Birth Stories- Americans Give Birth Abroad”

I’ve interviewed almost a dozen American women who have given birth internationally and their responses were amazing!  Every one of them had such interesting stories and I’m so thrilled and honored that I get to share them with the lovely Best of Baby readers.

Every week, I will be featuring a different lady and sharing her international birth impressions.  In general, their testimonies will cover details of their prenatal, birth, and postnatal experiences

As a quick disclaimer, these testimonies are not meant to be a representation of the healthcare system in the given countries.  Just as in America, pregnancy and birth experiences can vary greatly from woman to woman, hospital to hospital, etc.  A woman could be in a fantastic health facility and still have an awful experience, and vice versa. In many countries, public vs. private medical care also makes a big difference.  This series is strictly a collection of the personal experiences of individual women.

To start off the series, we have Emily.  Emily is married to a Brazilian, and her and her husband are both missionaries abroad.  They have 2 kids, one of which was born in the US and the other in Brazil.  She has lived in three different Brazilian cities and has had prenatal care in each of one of them.

International Birth Stories

1.)  What surprised you about prenatal care in Brazil?
I have had two different pregnancies in Brazil, though only one of my kids was born there.  Prenatal care is, in general, very disease oriented.  Doctors tend to treat pregnancy as a medical condition that needs to be attended to.  With my first pregnancy, my doctor sent me for extra ultrasounds, put me on bed rest for a weekend, and had me get many unnecessary blood exams.  Yet, my pregnancy was low risk and I was very healthy…no complications at all!  My second pregnancy, I searched out more “humanized” (the term that is used here) doctors, and had fewer ultrasounds, fewer blood exams, and felt much better cared for!  Finding these humanized doctors took me months of research.
2) What surprised you about giving birth in Brazil?
 Hospitals in Brazil have one of the world’s highest c-section rates.  The first question people ask when you are pregnant or just had a baby here is “C-section or vaginal?” because many people schedule c-sections without medical reasons.  Private hospitals have c-section rates of upwards of 80-90%.  I think the thing that surprised me the most was that I overcame that!  I had a totally natural, normal birth in a private hospital with a very high c-section rate.  The nurses were surprised that I was sitting up and walking around hours after giving birth, since they rarely see women who have had a natural birth.  I had the right team — a doula, a supportive husband, and a doctor who is one of the best in the city for vaginal births — and a short labor, so the combination of that allowed me to have a natural birth.
3) What surprised you about postnatal care in Brazil?
The funny thing about post natal care here is that everyone talks about the “resguardo” which is essentially the first 40 days after giving birth.  In these 40 days, there are a bunch of cultural taboos of things you can’t do or eat.  Like you can’t eat cabbage or eat spicy food or go on walks or take the baby out in public.  As an American, I don’t have these taboos, so I pretty much just continued my normal life, just slowed down a bit.  I took the baby out when she was three days old.  I was at the playground when she was two weeks old.  The good thing is that my doctor didn’t put any restrictions on me after birth, as apparently some do.  In terms of postnatal care, I felt like it was the same as in the US — two postpartum visits with the doctor, one at two weeks and another at six weeks.
 4) Overall impression of the Brazilian pregnancy and birth culture
Pregnancy and birth have so many cultural misconceptions surrounding them that affect even the doctors.  I think women in Brazil really need to take it upon themselves to become more educated about pregnancy and birth, and not just rely on what they learn from their doctors.   Many people end up having a c-section for reasons that are not actually sound reasons to have the surgery, but most people believe that a c-section is safer (even though it is statistically riskier!) than a normal birth.  People often are surprised that I birthed both my kids vaginally, simply because c-sections are, in many places, more common than normal births.
 International Birth Stories
Thank you so much Emily!  Stay tuned for next week’s international birth story featuring Northern Ireland!

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Iulia is a former educator turned stay-at-home mama of a spunky toddler and a squishy infant. With a touch of sass and a good dose of self-deprecating humor, she has an ever-expanding repertoire of bloopers, insights, stories, and impassioned opinions to share. Iulia likes to think she has this parenting gig figured out, but her littles remind her daily just how far from the truth that is.

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    Reply Beka March 16, 2015 at 9:44 am

    This was so interesting!

    For starters, I was a MK and my Mom had me in Brazil! She had me all natural too and it was not fun for her. My Mom couldn’t speak much of the language and they kept telling her over and over “just one more minute!” Well, after many ‘few more minutes’ they checked her and she was ready to push!

    Emily, what hospital did you deliver at? My Mom went to the Albert Einstein hospital.

    I now live in Myanmar and they pretty much all deliver by c-section. They do this because the ‘fortune teller’ tells them their baby should be born on a certain day of the week so they schedule a c-section to make sure it falls on that day.

    The weird taboos? They have them here too. Women can’t shower for a month after birthing and they especially should never ever wash their hair for that first month. Isn’t that the grossest thing ever? I have no idea why they do that either.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad it went well for you!

    Reply J @ A Hot Southern Mess March 16, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Such a neat series! I loved her story! It’s so interesting how different countries have such different views on pregnancy and birth! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply Brandyn March 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Such an interesting post! I love hearing about how different cultures approach things like birth. Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!
    Brandyn recently posted…Mommy Meetup Mondays Week #15My Profile

    Reply Ashleigh March 17, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I’m so excited to read more stories during this series! I love hearing about the difference in cultures and how they effect our lives. I also had a baby overseas {I emailed you} and found it to be much different then in California. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day!! xx Ashleigh
    Please come link up with me and share this amazing story starting tonight!

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Ashleigh! Thanks for the email…stopping by your blog right now! (And I love reading about cultural differences too!!!)

    Reply Donna March 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Visiting from Tuesday Talk! This is such a neat idea for a series. I love learning about daily life in other cultures. Looking forward to reading more posts on this topic! 🙂
    Donna recently posted…Tuesday Talk: Bookshelf EditionMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Donna! I hope you come back next week for Northern Ireland 🙂

    Reply Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom March 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I loved this. How fascinating that pregnancy/prenatal care is treated like an illness/disease. I’m glad to hear you had a more humanized care the second time around.

    Thanks for sharing! I have a feeling I’m going to love this series!
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…The Best Second-Hand Shopping Tips for Your FamilyMy Profile

    Reply Sarah @ GlamGranolaGeek March 18, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I think what suprised me the most was that in Brazil and USA you only get seen by a doctor 2 and 6 weeks after having the baby! In Canada my midwives came to my home loads of times afterwards! (I have not had an OB here though)
    Sarah @ GlamGranolaGeek recently posted…Ladies Collective Linkup – #7My Profile

    Reply Casey March 18, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Love this! I’m a missionary in Cambodia and have had 2 births in the States, 3 in Thailand, and one at home with a midwife in Cambodia. This is such a fun series, and I hope it makes it into the missionary mom blogosphere!
    Casey recently posted…Confessions: I Don’t Like to ShareMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Casey wow! It sounds like you would have some very interesting birth stories to share. Also, how could I reach the missionary mom blogosphere? I didn’t even know such a thing existed 🙂

    Reply Nikki @ MBAsahm March 19, 2015 at 7:45 am

    This is a BRILLIANT idea for a series!! I LOVE this! Good job 🙂 And obviously very interesting to hear that C sections are so popular in Brazil. Great story 🙂

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you Nikki! I’m glad you’re enjoying it…I’m LOVING reading the testimonies of all of these women!

    Reply Carol March 20, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Great idea for a series. This post was informative and thought provoking. I will share this on my Facebook page.

    Reply Jennifer S. March 20, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I love this series. I love reading birth stories. I’m looking forward to following these.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…Waiting and TrustingMy Profile

    Reply Jenny March 20, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    What a fun read. It’s always fascinating to read the differences in things like child birth.
    Jenny recently posted…Large Family Recipes: Cauliflower HashMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby March 23, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      I agree! I could read this stuff all day 🙂

  • Reply International Birth Stories - Northern Ireland – Best of Baby March 22, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    […] Now back to the International Birth Stories series!  If you haven’t already, check out last week’s testimony from Brazil.  This week, I’m featuring Tiffany, who gave birth in Northern […]

  • Reply Awkward and Awesome - That time my husband tried my breast milk... – Best of Baby March 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    […] suuuuper excited about my International Birth Stories series that just started.  Every week, I’ll be posting a new birth interview from an […]

  • Reply Tooth Troubles & Informed Consent | Health & Home & Heritage March 25, 2015 at 10:35 am

    […] In Brazil 80% to 90% of births are cesarean sections. A young woman living in Brazil wanted a natural birth. Emily tells her experience at the site, Best of Baby. With my first pregnancy, my doctor sent me for extra ultrasounds, put me on bed rest for a weekend, and had me get many unnecessary blood exams.  Yet, my pregnancy was low risk and I was very healthy…no complications at all!  My second pregnancy, I searched out more “humanized” (the term that is used here) doctors, and had fewer ultrasounds, fewer blood exams, and felt much better cared for!  Finding these humanized doctors took me months of research. To read more, click here. […]

    Reply Jaclyn Kent March 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    This is a great post! I’m glad you (Emily) had the right support and knowledge going into birth, so you could birth how you wished and feel supported in that decision! I bet you’re a great source for other mamas in Brazil!

    Reply Stephanie March 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I am really excited for this series! So interesting.
    Stephanie recently posted…George-7 monthsMy Profile

  • Reply International Birth Stories - Djibouti – Best of Baby March 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    […] series.  If you’re just joining us, check out the previous weeks’ testimonies from Brazil and Northern Ireland.     This week, we have Rachel Pieh Jones, who gave birth in a […]

  • Reply International Birth Stories - England – Best of Baby April 18, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    […] make sure to check out the previous weeks’ testimonies from Djibouti, Northern Ireland, and Brazil.  Up this week is Erin with a birth story from England!     Erin gave birth to two […]

  • Reply International Birth Stories - Japan – Best of Baby April 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    […] to check out the previous weeks’ testimonies from England, Djibouti, Northern Ireland and Brazil.  This week, I am featuring Melissa, with a birth story from Japan.     Melissa gave […]

    Reply Daffny April 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    My friend is a missionary to Mexico, and when I was helping her do research, I too was surprised at the cesarean rate. Even more surprising was the rate of infections that required further surgery after a cesarean. I was also surprised that through her entire pregnancy- they never actually touched her. Every exam was done by sonogram. It’s so interesting, the difference between treating pregnancy like a medical condition, and “humanized” care.

    • Reply Bestofbaby April 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Wow! Daffny, I’m sure she would have such interesting things to share!

        Reply Daffny April 24, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        You could say that! She wound up with an emergency cesarean and a post-surgery infection. She was completely traumatized. Which, to be honest, may have happened anyway in the US, but I think what compounded it was not having female support- only her husband. It was her first, so she has absolutely no frame of reference otherwise. I was very worried about postpartum depression after, but I think the danger of that has passed and she’s settled into motherhood fairly well. My friend who gave birth in Romania had much better experience!

    Reply Flip December 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    For the love of God, keep writing these artleics.

    Reply Christy December 24, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    When I ornigially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    Reply http://www./ December 30, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Hello.Excellent post, really educational. I surprise why the opposite specialists in this sector do not recognize this. You must proceed your producing.Best regards from Italy.

    Reply http://www./ December 30, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Bravo,Romulo!Vc transcendeu os conceitos e mostrou ser a pessoa inteligente que parece ser.O CORONEL pega pesado com a mineirada e,sendo mineira,embora more fora há tempos,acho ótimo,porque somos maiores que a corja que nos governa.Continua batendo,CORONEL!!!Com um Presidente como o Lula,somos todos xexelentos…fazer o que?Um abraço.

    Reply http://www./ January 19, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Also bei einem Spiel, das eine Fortsetzung ist und sein Konzept im Namen trägt wäre so etwas schon sehr gewagt.Oder, mit weniger Zynismus: Wenn eine 2 hintendran steht erwarte ich kein revolutionär geändertes Spielprinzip, da ist es dann eine großartige Innovation, wenn das bekannte Spielprinzip

    Reply kfz versicherung kind unter 23 February 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Zabrina Caldwell / I would love to win this for my son, he is going through another year of head start because of his birthday, is ready for Kindergarten and is actually starting to read well, this would help him out especially since he has ADHD it will be something new to look at!

    Reply Anna February 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Hi!! I am planing also to have birth in São Paulo and I want a natural birth! Now looking for a good doctor who provides natural birthrs, would be great if you can recommend yours!! And which hospital you were in? 🙂

    Reply Alexandra April 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    disse… "Alit perdeu de proposito, pelo visto ele é o mais comico dos Barians !&h;touArtqur Alit não perdeu de propósito. Te recomendo a ver o episódio novamente e prestar mais atenção! Astral chamou a atenção no final do duelo para a magia Quick-Play do Alit a qual teria dado a vitória a ele se o Yuma não tivesse ativado a Trap. Foi isso que espantou o Astral, o Yuma ativar a Trap dependendo da sorte, e caso ele não ativasse ele perderia o duelo por causa da magia do Alit.^^

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