A Baby Abroad Part Deux: What it’s like to give birth in Switzerland

A while back I wrote a post about what it was like to have two babies born in Prague and now that our little lady has joined us I thought I’d follow up and compare the experience here in Switzerland. First of all spoiler alert…there’s no comparison! The experience here was absolutely incredible. Anyway, our little Ella Grace was born on February 20, 2019 at a hospital that can only be compared to a Club Med and she will forever and always be our best Swiss souvenir.

I wrote a bit before about our hospital and birth experience in Prague and I didn’t realize until giving birth here in Switzerland that I was still slightly traumatized by our Prague hospital stays. Just to summarize, the medical care was great, my doctor was great, but the aftercare was awful. Terrible food, horrible nurses who yelled at me for everything I did (you shouldn’t wear pants at all in the hospital apparently to let your lady bits breathe, shouldn’t give baby a pacifier rather let him scream bloody murder for days on end, weigh baby before and after every breastfeeding session to make you feel completely inadequate as a first time mother, etc, etc). So without even realizing it, I went into this experience with a bit of trepidation.

Trying to eat the fancy hospital dinner around 6 pm until I realized umm..guys, I’m in labor.

I’ll summarize my delivery experience just to say that I was induced, but once the process started my labor and delivery was fast and furious. The process got started at 5 pm and Ella arrived at 11 pm. This was the most intense of all 3 of my labors but also the fastest and the experience while of course painful was also beautiful. There was a bathtub in the delivery room that helped a lot with the contractions, I had chill music playing on my phone, and the doctor and midwives could not have been kinder or more supportive. It was a bit scary after the birth with some issues with the placenta, but thanks to a great medical team it all went smoothly in the end. Also side note, after having two boys I still did not believe she was a girl until they literally held her up for me to see that yep, definitely a girl. It’s still hard to believe!

Now to what I really want to tell you about which is my hospital stay. Oh my goodness…it was like another planet from the Prague hospital experience. First off it’s a huge, lovely room with hardwood floors and big windows. The bathroom looked like a brand new hotel bathroom complete with toiletries replenished daily. And the food! Three course meals chosen from a menu, an afternoon tea time, bircher muesli and croissant breakfasts…I didn’t want to go home!

The fancy menu!

What was really amazing to me though was just how kind all the nurses and hospital staff were. It was so nice to have people that were supportive and kind versus yelling at me and making me feel completely incompetent! They would take the baby to the nursery whenever I wanted and the days passed peacefully with meals delivered, a sleepy baby, and books read or shows watched on my phone. Aside from the whole pushing out a baby thing it was like a mini-vacation! Ha!

The most impressive part of the stay was that for all new parents they offer a tete-a-tete meal that you can take in your room or in the restaurant with your partner while the baby goes to the nursery. It was a three-course meal with a waiter that served us and it included a half-bottle of champagne. We got to connect and marvel at the fact that we had just welcomed a new life into the world while she was safely snoozing away in the nursery. Amazing, right?!

I stayed for four days, which is a normal stay here if everything goes smooth. Despite the great experience, I was definitely ready to get home to my boys and my own bed. But you better believe I stayed for one last lunch before coming home! 😉

I’m so happy that I got to have my last baby here in Switzerland and to experience the way it’s done here in the private healthcare world. This is certainly healthcare done right and really what all mamas deserve as they do the hard work of bringing life into this world. Switzerland, you get an A+ from this happy mama!

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