Monday, June 13, 2005

Midwife visited us at home following the delivery

After the delivery of our baby, the first visit with the midwife took place in our own home. A few days after we came home, I called my midwife at the Neuvola and set up a time/date about two weeks after Peanut's birth. It was very nice that we didn't have to go anywhere because at the point, its still a large production to get everyone out the door and mom is still in her early recovery period. Though it created some anxiety as we tidied up a bit and wanted to make sure we had all the baby equipment in order.

On that day, she came to our home with a small bag of supplies to give both me and Peanut a check-up. My medical information is basically all in the 'Maternity Card' I've carried with me since my first visit. I also had a printed out report from the maternity hospital describing the birth, my recovery and Peanut's first doctor's visit at the hospital. The information is not shared electronically among the health centers and hospitals even though they are both public services.

The midwife asked us some questions about general well being, nursing, sleeping and my mental health (occasionally weepy!,but to be expected, she said). She then undressed Peanut and checked her skin condition, eyes, mouth and reflexes. The midwife then produced fish weighing scales from her bag and wrapped Peanut in a diaper cloth before lifting her up by the scales to weigh her. She then took a look at my breasts to see how the nipples were and if the breasts were still engorged. Then, I undressed the lower half and she did a quick visual exam to see how everything was healing.

I had a long list of questions to review with her before she left. Our next appointment will be a childcare nurse at the Neuvola.


Battle Maiden said...

Hello, I am an American planning on moving to Finland by this September. I had a homebirth here in California with my first child, and Son, Barnabas. Just searching the net for midwives who do homebirths and/or hospitals who support natural labor/water births in Finland. My husband is Finnish and we may or may not be pregnant at the moment. Give me your thoughts or words of wisdom.

Peanut's Mom said...

Hi there,

Natural labor and water birth are definately options in Finland. I did not hear of many home births there.

I know at the Katiloopisto in Helsinki they have a special clinic just for natural births - the Harakanpesa ( Stork's Nest). You have to let them know of your intentions in advance to reserve a spot. They also offer special preparation classes. But, in any case, you do not have to take any pain medications if you do not want to. They are totally optional. What else do you consider for your natural birth - monitoring? other procedures?

In our case, my labor was very long - we were there for two days with contractions. At no point did they even suggest a C-section since I was relatively OK and the baby was not under stress. I actually brought it up to the midwife at some point around hour 40, but she said they prefer to let the delivery progress on its own unless the baby is at risk.

At the Katiloopisto they had 1 or 2 delivery rooms with bath tubs. I'm not sure if you were able to reserve them, or were they available on a first come-first serve basis when you check in during labor. An american friend of mine had one of these rooms because she was interested in water birth.

The other option for births in Helsinki is the Naistenklinikka (Women's Clinic) and I'm not sure about their options.

Overall I found the experience very agreeable as I did not want unnecessary medical procedures and the midwives a huge comfort and partner in the process. I did opt for an epidural.

Will you be moving to Helsinki?

best of luck for you big move!
Peanut's mom

Battle Maiden said...

Thank you for your input. My mother-in-law is also looking into finding a homebirth midwife for myself. By the way, I am pregnant! I also labored long and knew my chances of having hospital birth would leave me with a C-section in Northern California.
I will save your suggestions and keep one looking till I find the right fix! Thanks!

Peanut's Mom said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Hope everything goes well --- and how exciting, you'll be getting 'the box' (from KELA)!

Another resource for you is the:

Check the 'Families' Bulletin Board or post a note on there to see if anyone else can advise you.

Would love to hear what you find out about homebirth options in Finland.

On a side note: Peanut's dad is from the Netherlands where nearly 80% of women give birth at home. Naturally with no drugs. I always support giving everyone a choice -- there it seems you are pushed in the opposite direction from the US!