A lot of people have been asking, and I will not be delivering at a military base hospital,
as the closest one is over an hour away. This idea scared the crap out of me at first, but after our tour of the German hospital I chose to deliver at, I couldn't be happier. Not only is it literally 3 minutes away, but they are all about babies here. All about making sure the mom is as comfortable as possible and that her baby doesn't leave her side unless absolutely necessary.
The differences that stick out most in my mind are:
-Doctors don't deliver the babies. Midwives do. And they are there every step of the way for you. I was terrified of this idea at first, until I was told their midwives are so well trained, that they can do a C-section at a patients home if needed. Mind blown.
-You are not confined to only laying on your back after all the monitors are hooked up to you. Any position that will make you comfortable is perfectly fine. They even had these tied sheets hanging from the ceiling that helped with moving around and you can even give birth while being propped up in one. I wish I could have taken pictures to explain better.
-After delivery, the baby isn't given a bath until the next day, they are just wiped down at first. This way, that protective layer the baby is born with will not be lost right away and the baby has time to develop immunity on their own. The more natural way.
-There is no nursery like back in the states. The baby stays in your room with you from delivery until you leave the hospital. If you need to take a shower or to take a break, your midwife will come in and help you. Everything that's needed for after baby is born is stored right there in the room with you.
-As long as you are not high risk, you are allowed to eat while in labor. You need any extra strength you can get during delivery so they bring you all-organic meals, and believe in making you as comfortable as possible.
-They HOPE you will stay for at least two days overnight. This way you can get all you need from the lactation consultants, ask as many questions as needed, and you aren't thrown out wondering whats next?
As first time parents we are excited about this.
-Despite all the horror stories I have been told, you CAN get epidurals here. They personally believe in the more natural way but if you want pain meds, you can have as much as you'd like. They also do 'walking epidurals' here, which mean you are able to take a few steps if needed and have complete control of your bowels. Score.
-The one thing I TOTALLY forgot about is how Germany has no AC. So when I'm delivering in late June/early July, I will be in a hospital room with no AC. Sounds horrible. But we are allowed to bring fans from home. Germany also doesn't do ice, so that we will need to bring from home as well.
The tour put my mind at ease so much about delivery and what comes next. We can't wait to meet our Bubby who will be here in less than 10 weeks!