October 22, 2011

Takin' Care of Babies...

Any of you out there interested in hearing some about having a baby in not-America?  Here are a few pics we took this past week...some are just funny and some bring the differences between America and not-America to mind.  Since I am currently holding my newborn in one arm, I'll keep this post less-wordy with my one free hand:)
Blood Pressure Cuff. While laboring with an epidural I had to wear this the whole time...exactly like America. I also got to watch my contractions on the TOCO machine.  Because of the epidural we were a bit bored in the downtime and noticed the picture on the cuff. I guess you know you're a giant if they strap the blood pressure cuff to your thigh!
In the states I think they have mirrors they can set up while you're delivering to be able to watch your baby's birth. I guess our hospital doesn't have one and my OB has her own that she's labeled and leaves in the labor ward. She said her last one disappeared so she labeled this one:)

Is this a British thing? Doctors wear wellington boots during delivery...they had them out and ready for my doctor.
This definitely has cultural ties... they never ask you the name of your baby in the hospital. Your baby is simply known as "Daughter of" or "Son of."  When we went for our 1 week check-up at the pediatrician I filled out all of Immanuelle's forms and they never once asked for her name...the assistant told me, "Oh, you can just put "Daughter of" and then write your name..." when I told her my daughter had a name and asked her if I could just write that she seemed super surprised (she is Indian and I'm fairly sure they don't give names until they're 1...but Chinese and Malay I think give names at birth!??) and even said "She has a name?!? Already!?!"
There are no child carseat laws here (they're getting there though) so no one checked or even asked if I had a proper seat to take her home in.
Here they must go into "pantang" or "confinement" for a month or so after delivery. Mom and baby stay inside while Grandmas, Aunts, Sisters, or other female helpers cook and care for them both. Each culture (Malay, Chinese, Indian) must follow a strict diet. Here's where I think they got things major wrong. I'm great with someone cooking and cleaning for me, but what good is burning off all those free calories because of breastfeeding if you can't eat what you want?
Here's something this country does well.  Baby care rooms at most local malls. This is one of the nicer ones, but the door Isaiah is opening can be closed and locked and the curtains in the background have comfy chairs for nursing in them...so a mom by herself can nurse her baby while older siblings play. This room has about 6 changing stations like where Anthony is standing, and comes complete with a hot water heater for formula and an Adult/Child bathroom with a tiny toilet for toddlers...all in one room. You even have to press a button on the wall to get the large door to slide open...so kids can't just run out. Brilliant!
This is our pediatrician's office. There's another play table area. I'm mostly posting this so folks can see what nice facilities there are here for medical care. It really is top notch! Also, my dad passed out is pretty funny too.
So that's some of how things go here when it comes to having babies! Wanna know anything else? Just ask!


Morgan said...

Very interesting post! Yeah, everyone here does the "zuo yuezi" thing (staying home for a month after the birth)--there are so many rules associated with it! Only eating certain things, only drinking certain things, no bathing or washing your hair, no television or reading or anything else too stimulating, no exercise...on and on. It's fascinating to me, and interesting that they do it in other cultures too. I didn't realize that.

Congrats again!

Cara said...

Yay blog posts!!

Emily said...

In India, they had women who came and gave post labor massages. You should totally ask around for that! :)
I love the blood pressure cuff picture!

roger and courtney said...

My doctor and her nurses changed into Crocs when Jack was born. The doctor that delivered Asher didn't even take off his Rolex...he just threw on an apron over his golf clothes.
And Jack just came home in the back of a taxi when he was a newborn...a few months later after a hospital stay we left on a motorcycle taxi.
I LOVE seeing your sweet girl with a bow in her hair! So precious!!!!!

Glen said...

So I am curious - do they have gowns or do you need to/get to wear your own clothes?

Anthony & Sharon said...

Yep, they provide hospital gowns, but I chose to wear my own. After she was born and I got cleaned up, I ended up in that lovely geometric print gown that seems the standard for moms holding their newborns:) You do have to bring your own towels though!