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Old 30.12.2010, 20:04
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Experience with a birthing doula?

Hi,

I am relatively new to Zurich and am expecting my second child in March. I do not speak German and am a bit nervous about giving birth in a country where I don't speak the language. I plan to go to Triemli hospital and hear that most of the doctors & midwives there speak english (I plan to take a tour of the hospital in early January, but not sure if they offer it in English). I am considering getting a birthing doula to assist with labor and delivery (and to assist with any language barriers I may encounter). Would love to hear if anyone has:

1) used a birthing doula recently and what their experience was like?

2) what their experience was like delivering at triemli (I've read lots of the posts on this forum and everyone says it great... but any specific tips like filling out forms, things to ask the staff that might not be obvious, etc)?

3) what is the typical cost of a doula?

Thanks in advance for your time.
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Old 30.12.2010, 20:43
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

You may be interested in the Delphys birthing house (www.delphys.ch), which offers an alternative to the classic midwife/doctor/hospital birth.
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Old 31.12.2010, 16:59
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

I can't help with the doula or Triemli hospital but when I was pregnant with my son the language issue was a huge concern for me. I found that there were only two staff who spoke no English and on the odd occasion I needed to speak with them either one of the other ladies would translate or we would get by with my very basic German and pointing. I'm sure there was a big sticker on my file which said I only spoke English because most staff who dealt with me immediately started speaking in English.

My advice would definitely be to visit and discuss your concern with them when you are there.
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Old 31.12.2010, 19:23
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Thanks for the information on the alternative birthing location and for the comments about the language barrier not being an issue. It helps a lot hearing about the positive experiences of people with similar concerns. Happy Year Years.
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Old 31.12.2010, 20:19
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

I had a doula for the birth of my daughter nine months ago (back in the U.S.) and it was one of the best things I did t help get the kind of birth I wanted. Together with my midwife she helped keep me on track through a long final stage of labor unmedicated. I would recommend anyone get a doula, especially for your first baby.
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Old 31.12.2010, 21:17
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Interesting. Didn't know this existed.

Anyway, upon looking, there's: http://www.doula.ch/

Found via: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doula
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Old 01.01.2011, 16:45
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

I had a doula in the Uk as my husband was working abroad and it was possible that he wouldn't have been there for the birth. In the end he was and she also plus a midwife I knew already so I felt really spoilt!

Still, I built a good relationship with the doula, got a lot of information and advice pre - birth while we discussed the kind of birth I wanted. In addition it was great to have that support during the birth. She took loads of photos post birth , straight away and they are amazing to look at now as my husband wouldn't have done that.

Research shows that with a doula there is less drugs, intervention and the birth is less likely to result in a c-section or with other complications. I am sure you can google for this kind of research results.

hth,
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Old 05.01.2011, 21:26
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Hi

Although I don't have any experience of using a doula, I am also planning to give birth at Triemli - at the end of March. I also don't speak much German (yet!) and am pretty new to Zurich having moved here a couple of months ago with my other half and two-year-old son.

I gave Triemli a call and the midwife spoke English and said that most midwives and doctors there speak English. I plan to take a tour one Saturday afternoon as I believe you can take a look around the maternity unit. I know they have talks on a Tuesday evening - but I don't think I'm going to go to that as it will be in German and unfortunately I won't understand.

As long as I can visualise the place I will be giving birth that's good enough for me. And also look at the parking facilities etc.

I'd be more than happy to share any info I get on Triemli with you or just have a chat in anticipation of the births.
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Old 06.01.2011, 01:21
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Can I encourage you to take as many opportunities as you can to visit the hospital and be reassured ? Even if you don't understand German, it will still feel better if it's more familiar!

I don't know specifically if doulas are common or accepted in Switzerland. I'd be more inclined to recommend a birthing centre or midwife care model if you want a less medicated, less doctor-controlled sort of birth experience...

But for reassurance, we deal with a series of doctors/nurses/specialists because of our children's health needs, and all of them have had a lot more English than my German...
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Old 06.01.2011, 22:42
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

hi, here are some answers that might help you:

1) used a birthing doula recently and what their experience was like?
see this article in the New Stork Times about Swiss doulas: http://doula.ch/uploads/Doula_NST_Nov2010.pdf

2) what their experience was like delivering at triemli (I've read lots of the posts on this forum and everyone says it great... but any specific tips like filling out forms, things to ask the staff that might not be obvious, etc)?

My experience was good, I gave birth there two times. If you can afford it you might consider an upgrade to a double/single room after giving birth. As the birth rate in Triemli is high (as it is in all of the ZH hospitals) I would advise to bring along a doula... midwifes only have two hands and if they have to look after 2 women at the same time, you might be the one who would need more hands. Triemli is a doula-friendly hospital. Just tell them in advance you'll have your doula with you and everything should be fine.

3) what is the typical cost of a doula?
> see the NST-article (link above). doulas in training might have lower costs, check them here with the abbreviation "Doula i.A." http://doula.ch/index.php?page=liste...oulas&hl=fr_FR

and this is the general information about doulas in english http://doula.ch/uploads/dokumente/Br...glish_0810.pdf

for further questions or if you need help in finding the right doula you might contact info@doula.ch, that's the office of the Swiss Doula Association.

wishing you all the best
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Old 06.01.2011, 23:59
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

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You may be interested in the Delphys birthing house (www.delphys.ch), which offers an alternative to the classic midwife/doctor/hospital birth.
I gave birth (first baby) at Delphys a month ago having moved from the UK while pregnant and not speaking German. All the midwives speak at least some (easily enough) English and it's nice and easy as you can do all your check-ups there, no frauenarzt required. Also a nice relaxing environment to have your baby, doesn't feel medicalised although if you have any problems they will of course take you to the hospital.

You can only go there is you have an uncomplicated pregnancy though, and if you have only basic insurance any time you spend in 'wochenbett' is not covered.
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Old 07.01.2011, 05:59
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Hello All,

My wife and I also expecting a baby around June and we are considering homebirth and Doula support.

So thanks for the all the useful information. We are soon back in Switzerland will contact some of them to see how we proceed.

Any idea if the cost will be covered by complimentary health insurance?

Thanks.

Bala
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Old 07.01.2011, 10:13
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

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I gave birth (first baby) at Delphys a month ago having moved from the UK while pregnant and not speaking German. All the midwives speak at least some (easily enough) English and it's nice and easy as you can do all your check-ups there, no frauenarzt required. Also a nice relaxing environment to have your baby, doesn't feel medicalised although if you have any problems they will of course take you to the hospital.

You can only go there is you have an uncomplicated pregnancy though, and if you have only basic insurance any time you spend in 'wochenbett' is not covered.
I've always been interested in what it would be like to give birth there. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 07.01.2011, 12:48
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

hi again

"Any idea if the cost will be covered by complimentary health insurance?"

as far I know they don't cover doula costs but you could ask your doula to give you the "Aerztliche Verordnung" for your obstetrician to fill in and then send it to your health insurance. Just try, might be they pay at least a little...

all the best, kanga
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:04
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

You could also ask at Triemli if they can recommend a Beleghebamme - this is basically a freelance midwife who is registered to attend births at that hospital and so offers you tailored, personal care. The midwife will come with you to the hospital when you go into labour and stay with you throughout. She will also do the after-care at home too. That way you can guarantee that the midwife speaks English, and as you usually have the last few check-ups with that midwife as well, you get to know each other a bit in advance too, which never hurts. This should be covered by your normal health insurance apart from a fee that you pay the midwife to ensure that she will be free when the time comes (called Pikettentschädigung, and meaning she's not committed to attending another similar or home birth at the same time that you are due).

It's quite new at Triemli as far as I know (more common at the smaller clinics) but worth investigating.
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:05
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Oh, and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and the birth!
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:43
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

I have given birth twice at Triemli, and I really liked them. You will receive an information packet from them once you're closer to the birth (your doctor will ask you which hospital you've chosen, then send a letter to them). The packet will have all the necessary documents for registering the birth, but it will be in German, so you'll need someone to help you with the forms.

Unfortunately, the tour is not in English and when we went, my husband translated for me and another couple that didn't speak German. So, it's not ideal.

Also, though the doctors speak excellent English, the midwives I had were only okay with the language. Also, the first delivery was a bit complicated, and when they needed to work fast, they switched to all German without translating, so it was good for me to have someone who could concentrate on keeping me informed (my husband). So, having a doula might be a good idea.

I also recommend getting a half-private or private room. You must ask once you've been admitted, and they'll let you know if there are any available (and you can be kicked back into public if enough people with private or half-private cover come in).

Things I wish I'd asked for faster the first time:

ibuprofen (I had lots of stitches...ouch)
ice (see above)
laxatives (ahem)
more water

Other things:
Contrary to popular belief, you don't absolutely have to have the child's name chosen before you arrive. In any case, they will confirm the name with you.

The food at Triemli is pretty bad, but there's a great Thai restaurant at the Triemli stop (Thai Market). Can be spicy, but yum! Get your husband to smuggle in some food!

If you're American, keep in mind that you'll have to bring all your own clothing, not just a going home outfit...
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Old 10.01.2011, 19:33
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

Thanks for all of the incredibly helpful information. I feel better about my options already - I contacted the birthing house, the hospital in Horgen and will contact Triemli this week.

The doula Mara Jacobs was recommended to me by a member of the New Stork Times (http://www.geburtsbegleitung-mara.ch/uebermich_e.html), but she is quite busy the month that I am due and suggested that I contact Nicole Gotz. Please feel free to PM me if you want to hear how my meeting with Nicole goes.

Thanks again to everyone for the helpful information.
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Old 11.01.2011, 13:22
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Re: Experience with a birthing doula?

I don't have experience with doula. But I had good impression with Triemli. I planned to give birth in Triemli. But in the week 27th, I was bleeding and was hospitalized to Triemli. After 5 days, I was transfered to Unispital because of the posibility of preterm birth. Be noted that, before week 32nd, if there is a risk of preterm birth you will be transfered to Unispital anyway because the neonatal station there is the best.

At Unispital, it was terrible. I had to stay 6 weeks and delivered there. It is very crowded and the space is limited. Almost all the nurses are nice but some are very rude. They're supposed to speak English, but some refuse even though I know they understand very well. Food is not good either. Birth room is very narrow.

I love the atmosphere in Triemli, quiet and relaxing. The birth room is big with nice view. Staffs are more friendly and caring. They speak English and try to speak English with you if needed. But I had no chance to give birth there.

Wish you all the best.
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