Baby Journal:  5 Things About Being Pregnant in Sweden

Baby Journal: 5 Things About Being Pregnant in Sweden

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Week 31

1. The first meeting at 9 weeks

In Sweden, everything is much more relaxed. When we found out we’re going to have a baby, the first thing we did was to call the midwife's clinic (who is managing the entire pregnancy) being full of excitement and fears of the unknown, and hoping they will give us an instant appointment for the following days. Well, to our surprise, the midwife on the phone told us very calmly that the first time we would meet with one of them will be after week 9, following the national procedure. Also, she asked us if we prefer a younger midwife or an older one. At that moment, all the thoughts were running around in our heads so we could not give her a real answer, so she assigned us to the younger one (who by the way is an amazing midwife with a very calm energy, and I’m very happy with this choice).

2. Midwife, the pregnant’s coach

Continuing with the midwife chapter, as a pregnant woman you don’t meet any doctor throughout the pregnancy unless there is something too special. Otherwise, all the meetings are with a midwife who is usually the same person during the whole nine months. In our case we preferred to meet her once a month (there is also the possibility to meet less or more than that), but I understood that in the following weeks we will see her more often to measure the belly and listen to the baby’s heart. For us, the midwife was practically the only person we constantly talked with and the only one who saw our entire evolution. She hasn’t done too many medical procedures, but for one hour (per meeting) we talked about each stage we were in. I felt like I was going to a coach that helped me think positively and clarified most of my concerns on the list (normally, I always prepared a list of thoughts gathered throughout the month for each time I meet her).

3. One ultrasound

I know it looks a little odd compared to the Romanian system where ultrasounds are much more common, but in Sweden, during the whole pregnancy, there is only one ultrasound made at 18 weeks that is checking and measuring the baby's organs to see if everything is developing accordingly, and for those who want, the only opportunity to find if the baby is a boy or a girl beforehand.

In our case, we have already heard from other people that there is a possibility to do the KUB test, which consists of an ultrasound and a blood test that are checking for chromosomal abnormalities. The KUB test is done in Sweden somewhat earlier, between 11 and 14 weeks, only to women over 35 years old. So we had to specially request this test, firstly because we already knew about it and secondly because we were excited to see what was growing inside my belly. Also, in addition to the two ultrasounds we’ve done so far, there will even be another one at week 33, which is part of the routine for pregnant women who have the BMI (body mass index - number of kilograms versus height) smaller than normal when starting the pregnancy.

4. Courses for parents

Sweden is a country which greatly supports everything that is related to families and children. For future parents there are special courses that one can do for free in order to learn things about all stages, from pregnancy and childbirth to what happens when the baby comes into the parents lives. We went to two such courses, one for breastfeeding and one for parenting education.

The first course consisted of two meetings, each having two hours, in which a midwife presented information about the breastfeeding process, and things we should know in order to have a nice future experience. At the second course we were a smaller group of future parents from our neighbourhood (in our case, 7 people) whom we met three times for two hours, and together with a midwife we discussed about how we feel by being in the position of future parents, what are the expectations and concerns about giving birth, and what we will do after the baby appears. It was very nice to receive all this information and meet people who are in the same existentially stage as we are! And for the record, the time spent during the courses, is paid by the National Health Insurance Company, if the future parents are employed.

5. Focus on the natural process

Here in Sweden, the general mentality of a child birth relies heavily on the body's natural process and how it can manage this situation - basically, we are well built to grow a baby and push it out. However, do not imagine that everything is pink and it only flies through clouds and rainbows, but people here are trying to discuss all the topics from a realistic and positive perspective, in which yes, not so good things can happen, but let's focus on what's best for us, and what's in our human gene. Even if at the beginning I worried about not having enough support, I realised that everything was really about me and from which perspective I see this process, and the fact that if I will manage to relax, sleep enough, eat well and regularly go for a walk (these are the remedies recommended here for everything ^ _ ^) my body and the baby will do their own thing in the best way.
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