I have changed this post after some response and it will be interesting to see what the feedback is. And I do not think there is a wrong or right to it. This is written in my opinion, and opinions do change. So here is my second version.
Finding a midwife
A midwife can be your advocate, the guidance you might need/ want as soon as you think you are pregnant. You might hear that you have time to search for one, but no, you do not have this time anymore. It is a rare breed these days and I meet pregnant ladies every day who did not find one.
A midwife in Germany is trained to look after you during pregnancy, birth and she will come and visit you at home after you gave birth. This is what the Germans call Wochenbett. And she is payed by your German public insurance (check and make sure your private or non German insurance covers the costs).
Midwives work independently,are employed at a hospital, team up in a midwifery praxis or at a birthing house.
Some examples for you, to make you understand the system better:
- You want to give birth at home or in a birthing house, you will search for a midwife or a team that sees you during pregnancy, is there during birth and comes home to you afterwards.
In a hospital setting you have 2 options:
1.The most common option is to go to hospital, give birth there and stay a few days afterwards.
- There you will search for a midwife that you can meet beforehand , antenatal care as we call it (Vorsorge) and then visits you once the baby is at home with you.(Wochenbettsbesuche)
2.Your second option might be finding a Beleghebamme.
A Beleghebamme is a midwife that has a contract with one special hospital, is not employed there but is intitled to use the facilities and accompany you to your birth.
Figuring out where you want to have your baby, might sound so silly to you, who just found out that you are expecting. But because you are looking to find an English speaking midwife as well as somebody that measures your needs, it’s highly advised to search early.
Once you have figured out the birthing situation it might make it a lot easier.
Most women in Germany do have a gynaecologist and most women think they need one when they are pregnant. Now here is the deal: by law the midwife is entitled and trained to look after the expecting mother in a way that – some might say – a gynaecologist is not necessarely required. If you do want ultrasounds ( 3 are covered by g German public insurance) then you at least need a gynaecologist for this purpose.
Taking bloods and swabs is something the midwife can do, ultrasounds not so much.
Examples and possibilities:
– you only see your gynaecologist during your pregnancy and only meet the midwife for the after care.
– you see both gynaecologist and midwife in alternation. and get the best out of both worlds.
– you only see the midwife and go to a doctor for the ultrasounds or decide to have no ultrasounds at all.
How to find a gynecologist if you haven’t got one yet:
Some women go after recommendations of friends and colleagues, keep in mind you will see the gynaecologist more frequently than you know, so a convenient location and of course the friendliness and efficiency might be more important to you now.
I wish you good luck on your journey during pregnancy.
Mise le meas,