Yesterday, we just reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and it’s constantly crossing my mind how close we are til her due date. Time has seriously flown by and we’re rather eager to have our little girl in our lives. If you’ve been following along my journey, you know how interested and fascinated I’ve been with my prenatal care while in Europe. For the most part, it’s definitely different than what I would receive in the U.S. And as we get closer, things keep popping up in my head to talk about on the blog, so that’s where we are today.
prenatal care in europe
1. I didn’t test for gestational diabetes.
I’m not sure if it’s a huge concern in Europe as it is in the U.S. Does it bother me that I haven’t taken it? It doesn’t. From the beginning, everything in my pregnancy has been going rather well (*knock on wood*). So not getting one done hasn’t been a huge concern. Call me naive or whatever, but I was totally okay with not testing for it. The only thing they’ve done that came even remotely to was checking my blood sugar levels.
2. I don’t have appointments every week.
Since my 32 week appointment, the next scheduled appointment was my most recent (36 weeks) and my last one will be a week before her due date. This is definitely a big one because that’s not how it goes in the U.S. My most recent appointment was pretty routine, went in for GBS testing and fetal heart rate check (126 bpm). Everything checked out normal.
3. I have to bring my “baby book” to every doctor’s appointment.
This little book is probably the most important thing I can have with me at all times during my pregnancy. It’s kind of nice since I’m not confined to one doctor during my pregnancy while we’re in-country. It gives me a bit more freedom to see who I want and not have to re-do labs and all of that; essentially starting fresh. Inside of this book is all my stats and baby’s during each of my appointment, come delivery time the doctor on-call will have all my previous appointments to look back onto.
4. When I’m ready to deliver, we go to any hospital of our choosing.
And there’s no need to inquire beforehand, I just show up and bam, it’s time to get the show on the road. We’ve had our hospital picked out from the beginning, mainly because it was recommended to us by several people.
5. They are very ultrasound friendly here.
Pretty much every appointment I’ve had, there has been an ultrasound. My doctor uses the ultrasound machine to check the baby’s heart rate as well, so technically I guess that counts?
6. to get an epidural or not to get one.
EVERYONE I’ve talked to keeps telling to not get one. To be honest, I’m not leaning to either side, I’m right on the fence. All I want to know if I decide not to have one and change my mind during labor if they’ll give me one. I’m not quite sure how they do things in Europe. Of course, there are so many things that could happen and an epidural doesn’t work for me. My doctor highly recommends getting one, but as of right now, I’m not sure what I want to do. Feel free to share your experience.
We’re hoping for a smooth few weeks until baby decides to arrive since you know we’re on her time and hopefully nothing alarming pops up from now til she arrives. If anyone has questions even out of curiosity, don’t hesitate to ask. Not only will I be a first time mom, I’m swimming around in the world of not having our baby at a military base, and it has been QUITE the experience so far.