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Old 18.11.2006, 18:09
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Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi all parents!

:-)

My husband and I are expecting our first child in March and I will be giving birth here in Geneva. We are in the middle of deciding which hospital/clinic to go to for the birth and will be doing a bit of a tour to check them all out tomorrow.

I am planning for a natural birth as much as is possible - ie. natural pain relief, no invasive procedures etc... (barring any unforseen circumstances that would call for intervention of course).

I was wondering if there were any parents out there who have already given birth in Swiss hospitals/clinics who would like to share any advice/tips/stories of their birth experiences (good or bad) and any recommendations you might have for a first timer?

Anything specific I should know about the Swiss hospitals/clinics and their way of doing things that you might think is important to know in hindsight??? Or any other things you might want to share...

Appreciate your input!
Rachael
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Old 18.11.2006, 18:41
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hello Rachael

Congratulations!

I've had two babies in Switzerland (German speaking part) and you'll be pleased to hear that they are very much into doing things naturally over here.
You should ask whether there are any birthing houses in your area (no idea what the French term is). They are run by midwives and it's a very relaxed and natural atmosphere. No medical intervention (wherever possible).

They are very much into homeopathic pain relief over here as well, as I found out whilst begging for something stronger!!!

Good luck with the pregnancy and birth!
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Old 29.11.2006, 14:29
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi, I am in exactly the same situation, so did not want to start a new thread. I am hoping that someone will provide more information on this subject.

My husband and I are aslo expecting our first baby in March. We are moving to Geneva in late February/early March provided we find a clinic in Geneva. Otherwise, we stay here till May. It's a dicision we have to make. We are moving from Japan (we are not Japanese), and I urgently need to know, if there is a midwifery clinic in Geneva that will let me have a natural nonmedicated birth, in WATER.

I called Geneva Family Planning Centre (Tel: +41 (0)22 372 55 00) and they said it is not very popular in Switzerland. I guess natural birth in a hospital is ok, but not a water birth. Does anyone have any information on the subject or a name of a specific clinic? It will be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Oliya.
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Old 29.11.2006, 14:54
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi Oliya,

I can't help with Geneva specifics since I live near Zurich but I can tell you that water births in Switzerland are possible. I know of at least 2 hospitals in Zurich that have the facilities for this so I would presume that the same would be the case in Geneva. Your best bet would probably be to check with the hospitals directly.

Also I don't want to burst your bubble being a first time mother but it is not always possible to have the kind of birth you want. Things like water baths for the birth are usually on a first come first served basis and not bookable in advance for obvious reasons.

Good luck with the birth and don't be afraid to ask for painkillers during labour if you feel you need them even if it is the last thing you think you are going to want now
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Old 29.11.2006, 15:04
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi Oliya

My son was born in Klinik Im Park in Zürich (www.klinik-impark.ch) which definitely had the facilities for a drug free birth in water and they took great delight in showing it off. I notice on their web site that they have many other clinics around Switzerland. I didn't see one specifically for Geneva but maybe if you contact them they could recommend something.

All the best.
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Old 29.11.2006, 17:04
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

I gave birth at Klink Im Park the first time, wonderful hospital! Problem is it is a private hospital as are all hospitals in the Hirslanden group. Anyone coming into Switzerland already pregnant can not get private coverage with their health insurance. The birth will be covered only under the basic terms, any extras would have to be coevered out of the patients own pocket.
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Old 29.11.2006, 17:30
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

I've done a wee bit of digging around and found this:

Dr. med. Fasnacht OB/GYN
Hôpital du Chablais
chemin de Grand Chêne
1860 Aigle
Tel: (024) 468-8650
Fax: (024) 468-8651

"Dr. Fasnscht is an advocate of water birthing, and in fact played a leading role in establishing it in mainstream Switzerland. He has takes a natural, woman-centered approach to pregnancy and childbirth."

There is also Midwives in Geneva:

http://www.arcade-sages-femmes.ch/
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Old 28.01.2007, 00:06
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Quote:
I gave birth at Klink Im Park the first time, wonderful hospital! Problem is it is a private hospital as are all hospitals in the Hirslanden group. Anyone coming into Switzerland already pregnant can not get private coverage with their health insurance. The birth will be covered only under the basic terms, any extras would have to be coevered out of the patients own pocket.
This is a great thread, thanks to everyone for the detailed info, we are looking at moving to Geneva and are 3 months prenant. I was wondering what to expect relative to the health insurance issue, does anyone have any more details on what to expect moving to Switzerland already pregnant? What would be basic versus extra?
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Old 15.08.2007, 13:35
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?


Hi , well am new on this, my husband and I , we are waiting our first child, we supposed to have our child in the middle of february, we still i dont know were, the reasons... well i dont speak german, i just speak spanish and like you can see a little of english so search information on internet dont help to much.
We live in Zürich kanton (in a little town Thalwil) and i already have a doctor, she in the last check of the baby, she ask me were we wanna gave birth our baby, and i really dont know...
How work all here?, since march i have my ensurance with the company avanex and i have the product Top krankenplefe zusatzvers , and hospital Eco.
Well i still dont know how much cover and were we can go, also i dont know if I just go to any clinic or my doctor have so search one i can go.
please if someone know how this work,
thanks a lot
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Old 04.08.2009, 13:04
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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Anyone coming into Switzerland already pregnant can not get private coverage with their health insurance. The birth will be covered only under the basic terms, any extras would have to be coevered out of the patients own pocket.
Does anyone know why this is? If you are coming over as an Ex-Pat there is no way to get better coverage with health insurance?
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Old 19.02.2007, 18:21
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

not that we've given birth yet but have just started to look into it. although i don't see anything for geneva, there are 2 in Lausanne not far away...Clinique Cecil and Bois Cerf. Being Hirslanden clinics apparently these allow water births etc if you can afford it ; )
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Old 20.02.2007, 13:58
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

I just wanted to reply and give an update...

We have insurance with Groupe Mutuel and they are really great- we haven't had any problems with them and they have paid for everything we have sent them concerning the pregnancy and upcoming birth. I think our policy is based in Schaffhausen though, as that is where my husband is registered, even though we are living here in Geneva as a second residency...so that might make a difference in terms of what they are willing to do? Although the insurance policy he has is through his workplace here in Geneva, so not sure exactly how that affects things....but anyway, its all working out great!

Wannabe mentioned that the french speaking part of switzerland is not very receptive to natural birthing methods or home births or water births and she is generally right - at least from the perspective of doctors and hospitals/cliniques....

However, we have been very blessed to make contact with the midwives at the Arcade Sages Femmes in Geneva and there are about 6 midwives there who specialise in home births and they are all fabulous and very supportive. Our midwife is quite happy for us to have a water birth at home, as long as there are no major complications, in which case we can easily transfer to the cantonal hospital which is only about 5-10 minutes away. So that is great.

Groupe Mutuel (The insurance company) have even agreed to pay for the rental of a birthing pool that we will be using at our home birth because we have private/complimentary insurance and if we opted to go to a clinique it would cost them a LOT more than us doing it at home. So they have obligingly agreed to carrying all the home birth costs, and they will also cover any additional visits by the midwife after the birth to monitor on recovery etc...over and above the standard amount. (which from what we found out from Groupe Mutuel was only 3 visits...so they have increased it to 10 for us).

So if you are looking for a good insurance company I would totally recommend Groupe Mutuel cause they really have been very good to us...just call and talk to them and you never know what they might do!

Good luck with everything!!

I am due anytime in the next 2-4 weeks and am looking forward to it all now that we have everything sorted :-)
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Old 15.09.2007, 22:34
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

we are planning to emigrate to Zurich and my wife is pregnant - lots of talk here about water birth with no pain relief... we are worried that this is the norm... she had wanted to have the option of a "mobile epidural" which basically is a localised anaesthetic injection, if necessary... but would not want this to be frowned upon... any advice? also, can anyone recommend a good private hospital in Zurich?
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Old 15.09.2007, 22:42
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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we are planning to emigrate to Zurich and my wife is pregnant - lots of talk here about water birth with no pain relief... we are worried that this is the norm... she had wanted to have the option of a "mobile epidural" which basically is a localised anaesthetic injection, if necessary... but would not want this to be frowned upon... any advice? also, can anyone recommend a good private hospital in Zurich?
Hospitals in Zurich tend to be more open about women's birth choices, normally you get what you want. If your wife wants an epidural she may have to state clearly that is her wish but I have never known anyone refused one unless they were too far into labour which would be the case in any hospital. Does your wife already have private medical insurance that would cover a private hospital? If not she will not be able to get cover as she is already pregnant. Have a look around some of the other pregnancy threads and you will see that this is not a bad thing.
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Old 16.09.2007, 00:34
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

thanks Lou - thats good news - we will arrange the epidural in advance then...

as for insurance, I will sort something out with the new company but if its not possible to get this covered "after the event" as it were, then we will just pay privately as we would have done in UK anyway...
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Old 16.09.2007, 11:41
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi. I am just about to deliver and although I am in Geneva I think the situation in Zurich should be similar. On my last visit to the hospital I spoke to the mid wife and Dr. about Epidural and they said u can have it whenever u want during the labour,when u start feeling that it is unbearable. There was a brochure there as well telling all about the procedure and yes it is ambulatory so that you can go to the toilet and all with the catheter taped into place, infact the brochure said the epidural catheter is linked to a button so that whenever u feel the pain becoming too much u just press that button and it will deliver a fresh load of medicine to combat the pain. I think u should just mention to the Dr. that u would like an epidural id required during the labour and they can make a note of it in your case sheet.


quote covermoles;104647]we are planning to emigrate to Zurich and my wife is pregnant - lots of talk here about water birth with no pain relief... we are worried that this is the norm... she had wanted to have the option of a "mobile epidural" which basically is a localised anaesthetic injection, if necessary... but would not want this to be frowned upon... any advice? also, can anyone recommend a good private hospital in Zurich?[/quote]
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Old 16.09.2007, 18:06
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

Hi,

Thought I would post this here, my wife is now pregnant and being complete newbies in relation to medical insurance issues in CH can someone advise on what we do in relation to paying/getting the bills paid.

We have just paid the first raft of bills!! We are with Swica btw.

Do we send the bills to Swica, do we pay them first and then claim it etc.....

Sorry it's such a numpty question but looking through the bits and pieces we got when we took out the insurance I can only find very general info. We did receive one bill from Swica with an invoice stating 'Nil' contribution from Swica.
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Old 16.09.2007, 19:32
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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Hi,

Thought I would post this here, my wife is now pregnant and being complete newbies in relation to medical insurance issues in CH can someone advise on what we do in relation to paying/getting the bills paid.

We have just paid the first raft of bills!! We are with Swica btw.

Do we send the bills to Swica, do we pay them first and then claim it etc.....

Sorry it's such a numpty question but looking through the bits and pieces we got when we took out the insurance I can only find very general info. We did receive one bill from Swica with an invoice stating 'Nil' contribution from Swica.
You should pay the bills and claim the money from your insurer. Normally you have 30 days to pay them and if you send them to your insurer without delay you may get the money before payment is due. Normally the bill comes with a special copy for your insurer.
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Old 17.09.2007, 20:39
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

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Hi,

Thought I would post this here, my wife is now pregnant and being complete newbies in relation to medical insurance issues in CH can someone advise on what we do in relation to paying/getting the bills paid.

We have just paid the first raft of bills!! We are with Swica btw.

Do we send the bills to Swica, do we pay them first and then claim it etc.....

Sorry it's such a numpty question but looking through the bits and pieces we got when we took out the insurance I can only find very general info. We did receive one bill from Swica with an invoice stating 'Nil' contribution from Swica.
Congratulations!!!

For the big bills like the hospital stay when giving birth the insurance company is billed directly by the hospital. You get the bill only for the extras that are not covered such as telephone.
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Old 05.10.2007, 10:05
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Re: Birth experience in Swiss hospitals/clinics -advice/tips/stories?

May I ask at which hospital you are giving birth? We are planning to go to La Tour, and were told that they do not do the walking epidural (ambulatory). They only have one anesthesiologist who is trained in the procedure, so maybe if he is on duty when you are there he could do it, but if he goes off duty you're out of luck...

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On my last visit to the hospital I spoke to the mid wife and Dr. about Epidural and they said u can have it whenever u want during the labour,when u start feeling that it is unbearable. There was a brochure there as well telling all about the procedure and yes it is ambulatory so that you can go to the toilet and all with the catheter taped into place.
Also, if anyone else is considering La Tour in the next year and a half, the hospital is undergoing construction and they have been relocated to a temporary area. Their delivery rooms seem quite nice except that they have no water baths (after construction all rooms will have them), and the area does have a temporary look. The rooms have exercise balls, reclining chairs for the coach, desk, CD player, etc. They have one Maya stool for giving birth, but I was told that few doctors actually use it (and apparently no doctors practice birth in water, even when available).

But also due to construction they essentially have no private rooms for after delivery, so partners are not allowed to stay overnight with the mom and baby. You are allowed to keep the baby with you at all times if you wish. All rooms are max 2 beds, though (but small, add 2 baby beds and there's no more room).

The hospital allows you to eat and drink during labor (until you have an epidural or other anaesthesia) if your doctor's okay with it. Epidural rate for first-time moms is 80%, C-section rate around 30% (but with some inflation due to moms who specifically request one).
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