Welcome back to the International Birth Stories series. If you’re just joining us, make sure you check out the other testimonies in the series: Germany, Senegal, Spain Switzerland, Japan, England, Djibouti, Northern Ireland, Brazil This week we have Peggy, with a birth story from Australia.
Peggy gave birth in a private hospital due to insurance reasons. She says there are significant differences between private and public Australian hospitals.
Intro: What brought you to Australia?
1.) What surprised you about prenatal care in Australia?
Nothing at all. Prenatal care was identical to what I had received before departing the U.S.
2) What surprised you about giving birth in Australia?
It surprised me how supportive they were of natural birthing and breastfeeding right off the bat. The midwives there were the biggest cheerleaders and had the best ideas to get you through the process. It also surprised me that circumcision was never mentioned or offered for our son. It’s just not done here. Luckily we’d discussed it and decided to leave him intact before I went into labor!
3) What surprised you about post-natal care in Australia?
They definitely take care of you here. It’s not like the drive thru birthing back in the US. The minimum hospital stay for vaginal birth is 3 days and 5 days for a caesarian section. The midwives were super helpful in getting bub to latch the first 48 hours. And they had classes every day on breastfeeding, handling baby, bathing baby, etc. I felt totally prepared and confident bringing our baby home after we were released.
4) Overall impression of pregnancy/birth culture
I thought the pregnancy and birth culture was wonderful, however they can be a little preachy/pushy on natural birthing and “breast is best”-isms. Even employers are super supportive of childbirth as they’re all legally required to give 6-months paid maternity leave if you’ve been employed long enough!
Stay tuned next week for yet another installment in the International Birth Stories series!