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  #101  
Old 10.01.2008, 08:42
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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Hello!
Can anyone tell me if epidurals are covered by the basic insurance policy? ..
We just moved to Switzerland (Zurich area) and I am 6 months pregnant. I understand that we won't be able to get private coverage, but what about complementary insurance, which would allow me to have my doctor attend the birth, not some random midwife? Is that possible?
I'm still very confused with the insurance concept here. Feeling under the weather in the new country without knowing the language makes it even worse...
Please, help!
You sound a little apprehensive about giving birth in Switzerland, which I can understand given the language barrier. However, even a "random" midwife would be qualified here. May I suggest you visit a few hospitals that come in question for you? Most have open days/evenings for parents to be. Or you can make an appointment for a separate tour. They will usually show you their facilities, introduce some of their staff and let you know their views on medication, epidurals etc. etc. - afaik an epidural would be covered by basic insurance - but do you really want one?
I can personally recommend Spital Zollikerberg (have had 3 there) and would definitely consider the birthing house Delphys - if I were going to have a number 4
I also recommend you look around for a pre-natal course, which your doctor should be able to help you with. It's covered partly by basic insurance.
And - you are entitled (for a "normal" birth, basic insurance coverage) to 10 visits by a midwife after giving birth. If you stay in hospital for, e.g. 3 days, then you can have a midwife visit you on 7 occasions (within a certain time) when you're at home with baby. There is a list of midwives (this is for canton Zurich) and it's best to get to know one while you're expecting, to talk about what to expect etc. Just give one a call and ask if they speak English or can recommend someone in the are who does...
Good luck and enjoy
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  #102  
Old 10.01.2008, 09:30
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi

I too arrived 6m pregnant - we only had basic cover and I got an epidural. I found the hospitals to be very good - much better than the UK

Good luck
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  #103  
Old 10.01.2008, 11:09
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi All,

Does anyone had birth experience at Frauenklinik in Zimmerbergspital ?
If any then pls share it with me since one of my friend who is pregnant is unable to decide whether Frauenklinik is better or a private gyny.

Thanks
T
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  #104  
Old 10.01.2008, 12:11
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hello, everyone!
Thank you so much for the prompt response!
Dear Crumbs, are you saying that I should be looking for a midwife, and not a doctor? If so, should I pick the hospital first and then search for midwives affiliated with it? It's still not clear to me, whether doctors make an appearance during childbirth when the patient only has a basic coverage. Who will authorize anaestesia (like epidural) then?
Can anyone recommend a hospital in Birmensdorf area? My husband says that a smaller hospital may have better service, than a big one (like Trimli)...
Thanks in advance,
T
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  #105  
Old 10.01.2008, 13:25
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Tango,
I assume you have a gynaecologist you are seeing for check-ups during pregnancy.
Firstly, I would think about where you want to give birth - maybe you'd like to think of a birthing house or even a home birth instead of a hospital.
Once you've made an initial decision, go and have a look at the places to get a first-hand feel for them. You can probably quickly tell if the hospital or birthing house is the place you want to be.
I've heard good things about Triemli hospital so I couldn't comment on whether "service" is better at a small one or not.
Re. midwives: The midwives on the list are usually freelance, not necessarily affiliated with the hospital but I assume they would know/work with hospital in their areas of practice.
There are midwives who specialise in home births (there are always two midwives present at a home birth) and others who specialise in postpartum care (German word for this is: das Wochenbett). If you want to take advantage of this postpartum care, you have to "book" the midwife in advance, tell her when you meet for a first talk when your due date is, what expectations you have and, very importantly, what your concerns are. At this first meeting, again, you will find out if the chemistry is right.
Above all, keep an open mind. If you do really want a home birth, water birth, epidural or whatever, maybe circumstances will be different when the time comes. Then it's best to be able to adjust to what's best for you and baby.
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  #106  
Old 10.01.2008, 13:32
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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It's still not clear to me, whether doctors make an appearance during childbirth when the patient only has a basic coverage. Who will authorize anaestesia (like epidural) then?
There are doctors, paediatricians on duty at the hospital. The doctors give you a check-up upon arrival, ultrasound to see what baby's getting up to. The midwife who works at the hospital will call doctors/paediatricians as deemed necessary. (This is not the same midwife as the one you may have for postpartum care at home)
Personally, I would rather have a doctor on duty tend to my needs in the middle of the night, than a doctor, whom I may know better, but is yawning and sleepy-eyed.
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  #107  
Old 10.01.2008, 14:19
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi all,
I wish I had found this site before having my son 4 months ago.

I went to a public hospital that was recommended to me via our GP. I did not meet the "qualifying period" for my private cover as mother nature decided that we would fall pregnant within 3 weeks of coming off contraception - yes it does happen!

All the appointments/scans/blood test with the ob/gyn are covered under swiss law regardless of your level of coverage. This part I found to be excellent. My ob/gyn spoke very good english but I found out by speaking with other women that you need to ask lots of questions to get any info from them.

The actual birth...horrible but it wasnt the due to hospital/midwife/doctor care. Maybe they could have offered drugs earlier when they saw that I was struggling but then again by the time the real pain kicked in it was too late for an epidural anyway. I think the only thing I would have liked was a more proactive approach by the midwife in the later stages. I was so exhausted but I still had to think about all the options I had learnt about in pre-ntal course.

I think I have a high pain threshold...but next time I am going to ask for drugs early. Because when it is too late for the drugs....you regret it!!! I went into it also thinking....natural..but now I think - I want to enjoy the experience rather than scream through the pain.

But mothernature is amazing..once the baby is out the pain magically disappears (until the next day!).

They had all the same birthing options (bath for water birth, adjustable bed etc) as the private hospital (Bethanian in Zurich) I had a tour of.

The regional hospital I went to had excellent care I can not fault it but hardly any of them spoke english. So I got by with my bad german or had to wait for my husband (who is swiss). This I found to be very difficult and I dont want to go through this again. I had lots of questions I didnt know how to ask and therefore went unanswered - not good when you are a nervous first time mother.


Our hospital had an "upgrade" option. So even though we went in as "public" we paid 850CHF to be considered private...so we got a private family room with two beds, table and chairs for meals, tv, 3 meals a day for dad, newspapers everyday and some other stuff. Well worth it. If we had known about this we wouldnt have upgraded my health insurance cover to private.

I found an english speaking midwife for my home visits via www.hebamme.ch. The government covers you for 10 midwife visits. Five are automatically used if you stay in the hospital for 5 days. The hospital can organise a midwife for your home visits or you can do it privately yourself. The homevisits can be scheduled whenever you want. I contacted mine a month before giving birth and called her up when I got home. She was terrific but very much "alternative" which ended up not suiting us at all. I had terrible problems with breastfeeding (my baby didnt suck properly and would constantly fall asleep, therefore needed 2-3hrs at a time to get enough milk!) but she was adamant that I should perservere and that bottlefeeding (regardless of pump/express milk or formula) was REALLY BAD. In the end I was on the verge of post-natal depression but luckily I saw the midwife from our local mutters und Vaters Beratung (mother-father-child-center). Once I told her our feeding issues she straight away said it was crazy no one can continue like this and gave me some terrific advice. Needless to say things improved remarkably since that time. So you need to make sure you and your midwife have the same philosophies.

Good Luck everyone who is expecting. It is a huge rollercoaster ride but when they smile at you your heart melts... And when they sleep throug the night...your heart sings!!! :-)
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  #108  
Old 11.01.2008, 09:34
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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Hi

I too arrived 6m pregnant - we only had basic cover and I got an epidural. I found the hospitals to be very good - much better than the UK

Good luck
I don't think that was ever in dispute...
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  #109  
Old 11.01.2008, 09:56
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Ouch

I was mainly saying about the epidural being available

I didn't really think anyone would think the UK NHS hospitals were better - MRSA anyone??? (though I do think that the nurses over there do a very good job - its not their fault all the spending cuts). Mainly trying to make the original poster feel a bit less worried about giving birth in a new country - I know that worried me when I moved here
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  #110  
Old 11.01.2008, 11:54
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hello All,

I'm currently pregnant with my second child. My first was born at La Clinque de la Source in Lausanne and I loved the staff there. Of course I ended up with an emergency C-section which I hadn't planned at all but the support afterwards was great. I'll be going there again in March for my next delivery. Hopefully this one will be less stressful. :-)

Amy
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  #111  
Old 11.01.2008, 23:25
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Dear Crumbs,
Thanks a lot! I now have more clarity in my head about the way the system works here. We are going to visit a couple of hospitals first, while looking for an ob/gyn at the same time.
T.
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  #112  
Old 12.01.2008, 00:17
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hope this is an appropriate question for this thread. Although not pregnant at the mo, no harm in being prepared ;-)...a number of u have mentioned that the basic health insurance covers xyz costs of pregnancy - I have no idea of the costs of the scans or whatever is covered by the basic insurance, but is this cost covered completely or is it taken from your franchise, so if you have a 2500 franchise will you pay the first 2500 + 10% costs? What happens if your pregnancy runs over two years (I mean one part of the pregnancy in one year, the other in another year).
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  #113  
Old 12.01.2008, 01:02
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

All costs from the point your doctor verifies that you are pregnant on are covered under basic insurance even if it goes over to the next year. Some doctors dont bill directly to the insurance, so you may have to pay out of pocket and submit the paperwork to your insurance to receive a refund. The only thing not covered is prenatel vitamins/ folic acid tabs or iron tabs.

And be sure to check "leistungsabrechnung" from the insurance company that everything including pap smears in the prenatel check up is paid for. I had to call my insurance today to have it refunded.
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  #114  
Old 12.01.2008, 13:39
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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All costs from the point your doctor verifies that you are pregnant on are covered under basic insurance even if it goes over to the next year. Some doctors dont bill directly to the insurance, so you may have to pay out of pocket and submit the paperwork to your insurance to receive a refund. The only thing not covered is prenatel vitamins/ folic acid tabs or iron tabs.

And be sure to check "leistungsabrechnung" from the insurance company that everything including pap smears in the prenatel check up is paid for. I had to call my insurance today to have it refunded.
I would really check that out with your insurance. AFAIK if the pregnancy or any other illness goes from year to year you will have to pay the franchise each time! My husband was "caught out by this", becoming ill in November and having to pay his franchise of CHF 1500.- twice (2 x ouch!! and not any of his fault...) as his "illness" went on past into the next year... CHF 2500.- is a high franchise, so I assume your general premiums will be quite low (?). My franchise is CHF 350.- on basic insurance, so it doesn't "hurt" quite as much.

Any vitamins, including iron / folic acid tablets, and magnesium, PRESCRIBED by the doctor were covered by my insurance and I would expect it to be covered by other health insurances as they are a basic necessity if your blood count is low (iron) or you get leg cramps (magnesium). If, however, you go to the chemist and get your own vitamines WITHOUT a prescription, then I expect they wouldn't be covered. Your doctor should know this and tell you - so, do ask!
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  #115  
Old 12.01.2008, 13:49
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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I have no idea of the costs of the scans or whatever is covered by the basic insurance, .
The cost for a certain number of scans is included in basic insurance. 3-4 times, if I remember correctly, during a "normal" pregnancy (10-11 weeks, 20 weeks and 30 weeks, maybe even 40 weeks). If you WANT more scans, because you like looking at the pics, then you will have to pay yourselves. If you NEED more scans, because you are a "higher risk" (i.e. age over 35, previous problematic pregnancies, or have other indications), then the basic insurance will cover these if your doctor says they are necessary. If in doubt, ask your doctor beforehand - he/she really should know and tell you.

Please note that I am talking about basic insurance, from the experience I have with my health insurance company and the info I am giving is in good faith. I don't know about semi-private or private coverage or other variations of other companies. So, if you don't want any surprises, you will have to ask your own health insurance company to be absolutely sure.
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  #116  
Old 27.04.2008, 17:41
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi,

We are planing to have a baby next year. I just wonder some issues:
- Where should I have a pre-pregnancy check-up in Zurich? I have heard some vaccines (Rubella and the chicken pox) and vitamin (Folic acid ...) as well as some others (Pap smear, clinical breast exam, cholesterol, triglycerides, liver function, and glucose levels ...) should be better before getting pregnant.

- We have basic insurance (Swiss care, and my husband is Ph.D student) so is this insurance will cover for this check up?

If any of you have experience with the check up, please share with me. This will be our first child and for me everything here is quite different with experiences from my friends in Asia.

Thanks.
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  #117  
Old 10.07.2008, 08:27
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Giving birth in zurich

Hi All,

Does anyone had birth experience in ZH?
If any then pls share it with me since I'm 3months pregnant and unable to decide where to have the baby.
I cannot have a baby in one of the hirslanden clinic as I only have my private insurance since the beginning of the year!
I'm hesitating between zollikerberg , the University hospital and Sanitas in kichlberg.I only heard bad experiences from those 3 so any good one is welcomed!
cheers
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  #118  
Old 10.07.2008, 10:04
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Re: Giving birth in zurich

Congrats! You should use the search function - there have been loads of posts on this subject - I know because I used them myself! Exactly the same situation as you - was private but not covered for the birth because I hadn't been covered long enough. My advice is to go look at each place - I ended up at Zollikerberg and it was truly brilliant - couldn't have been better, but I did check out the University as well which looked equally good, just a lot bigger. If you go beforehand and actually see for yourself, you'll feel a lot calmer and more prepared for the whole thing - you can just give them a phone for details of when is good for them. Best of luck!!
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  #119  
Old 10.07.2008, 12:39
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Thanx for the tip!i gave them a call and I have a visit in the beginning of august!
cheers
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  #120  
Old 11.07.2008, 01:15
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Oh boy, reading through this thread has helped ease many of my concerns. My husband and I are moving to Zurich in October, and by that time I will be about 5 months pregnant. This is just a "thanks" and "appreciation" note to everyone who has shared their experiences and advice here... so helpful!
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