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The obgyn in Brasil

Isn’t this a face of an angel?

Being here for practically a year now, I can actually hold a fairly elementary level conversation with someone.  That being said, there is no way I want to go to a doctor who doesn’t speak English for a birth. The last thing I want to be doing in labor is conjugating a verb properly, or trying to get my husband to translate.  So I began the doctor hunt, as finding your obgyn is a pretty important process, this person is going to be pretty intimate with you, and they’ll be delivering your baby, so you want the best.

I asked around on the INC facebook group for moms and got a few recommendations, some spoke English, some Portuguese, and most were ok with “natural births,” which here really just means non C-Section not really natural.

I also discovered, just a few blocks from me was Casa Moara/Prima Luz, a \doula, midwife, “let’s help you have a natural birth” kind of place.. and really natural.  I do have to admit picked my last obgyn based on her proximity to my work (2 blocks down), so I decided to check out Prima Luz.  They said their midwife spoke English.  I went in, but I felt like English wasn’t as strong, and we did most of the appointment in Portuguese.  No tests, no pee in a cup, though she did feel up my chest and tell me to go to a clinic to get the tests done.  R$260 later I left. The place WAS nice, and I didn’t have to wait or drive in traffic, and yes, I am losing the Brasilian experience, and a very pro NATURAL birth.  But, I don’t want to go to some clinic for tests via taxi, and then have to see my doctor with those tests in hand. Also, my husband’s a butt, and thinks C-sections are great, so I needed a doctor he would “respect,” and a midwife/naturally clinic wouldn’t work with him.

So I found Celula Mater, they did everything in house, and the obgyn used to run the maternity ward at Einstein… which put my “we should have a C-section, it’s safer” husband at ease. I swear he’s Brasilian.

Here are the take aways.

  1. They love to draw blood. First visit was like 8 viles.  This weeks was another 4.  And I’m sure they’ll think of a reason to take more somewhere along the line.
  2. If you’re not comfortable laying buck naked on a table with the robe limp beside you, the doctor is not for you.  They don’t seem to have issues with your nudity.  Whereas in the US I never undressed, just always pulled down my pants a little, and shirt up to expose the belly.
  3. There was also like a doctor’s assistant. I use like, as I felt more like she was the doctor’s maid, it was a different feeling than the US nurse, who comes in asks questions and leaves, then the doctor comes in.  This lady assisted me with everything, and then stood around and assisted the doctor. No nurse doing 93% of the doctor visit here.
  4. I got 4 pages of all of the ultrasound photos, and 2 pages of Portuguese telling me about my kid.
  5. Be prepared to wait, Brazil is not on time, and nor are your doctors.  So the waiting room is posh..cookies, hot cafe and chocolate, and they always treat my son like he’s the real star of the show.

I was going to top this post off with my gestational diabetes test experience, because I was SUPER curious how they did that here.  But I ended up having to fly to the US, so just went to my old doctor’s office, which was nice.


About scrubgrub

I'm just another soul on the internet, posting random thoughts into the ether, because well I love stumbling on other peoples random thoughts, so I figured why not add mine to the mix too. I'm also the mom to two very funny little boys, and how can you not share that with everyone?

11 responses »

  1. Every ex-pat blog I read talks about the multitude of tests while pregnant. I’m just curious- do you think you could say ‘no’ to the doctor regarding tests?

    I know in the US, where I feel quite egalitarian with doctors, I got A LOT of pushback about 15 years ago when I started declining dental x-rays. My mouth is very uneventful and I thought it wasn’t necessary. But I still had to insist.

    I was just wondering if they are more authoritative here or if there is a ‘partner in health’ kind of feeling.

    • It’s different. I have a whole post in the making right now about how I don’t want them to take the baby for 4 hours. In the US the baby rooms with you, or at least the husband can stand with the baby the whole time. Here they won’t let it happen. The doctor kind of looked at me strange when I asked how I could get around it. I also informed her there would be no silver nitrate in the eyes but I would like to use antibiotics like the US does. Again she said it was not possible. Pushing it turns out if I can get a pediatrician to sign off on what I want and show up at the hospital, then yes I can get what I want. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, you know that infamous non-confrontational way about Brasilians, yeah that’s what you’ll get with your doctor. So no you can’t say no, and if you do they’ll get their way anyway, it’s the jeito. If you really don’t want tests, I recommend Casa Moara and Prima Luz. The doctor supposedly speaks English, I only met with a midwife, and I think they are a lot less invasive.

  2. HI I just had a baby in the US and loved the experience I felt very safe that my voice was heard and my wishes would be met. I had a private hospital room for 5 days I found out at 39 weeks I had to have c section my baby was breech and I was devastated. I did not want a C section but it put my babies life in danger to have her come out feet first. My doctor told me I can conceive naturally after a c section–but in BRAZIL? I also received a free $350.00 dollar Medula breast pump during my stay through my insurance. As well as free very expensive baby formula. BTW The pump is fantastic. Now I am moving to Brazil and are nervous I don’t like what I hear about pregnancies in Brazil. C sections are for emergencies only or high risk. I don’t’ understand why they give c sections like they are handing out candy. I have been curious do they offer the 2nd trimester screen for down syndrome and other problems? Its less evasive than amniocentesis, just a very detailed ultrasound combined with a blood test? Therefore no chance for miscarriage. I had one here and didn’t have to take the amnio. Would love to hear from you, as pregnancy is a big concern for me in Brazil would like to talk to someone.

    • I did the nuchal fold test and blood test, and got the results back on that, so that’s like 12 weeks when they do that one. I know in the US they do an indepth ultrasound where they checked heart valves and measured femurs etc… my doctor could be doing that but she never said, so I just assume that this weeks ultrasound was that as she checked out the heart and stuff. I would think you can ask for as many tests as you want; they love to do them. I just was in the states for my 2nd trimester. My first birth was very similar to yours. The rooms at the hospital here are supposedly even better than the US, I had a pretty nice private room last time too, and was in the hospital for 5 days as well– and I was going crazy and hated it 🙂

  3. Hello,
    Few questions pls
    1. i read from someone in facebook that giving birth in Brazil is free and your baby gives residency to 5 family membera. how true is that?
    2.Also seems you have to pick a doctor who will register you in a hospital of your choice. how does that work out? im used to just going with any good available doctor in the hospital wherw im from
    3. how strict are they about foreigners giving birth in brazil? will i be allowed in if im abt 8months pregnant?

    • 1. Brazil offers free healthcare- depending on where you live that could mean that you can see the doctor anytime, or that you could be waiting for months. Same thing with birth- you could arrive and be re-directed to a less crowded hospital across town. Your baby also does give you residency, same way if you had married a Brazilian. But it’s not unilateral. You have to live in Brazil for a year, speak Portuguese, and if you leave and don’t return often enough you lose it and I think have to reapply.

      2.Also seems you have to pick a doctor who will register you in a hospital of your choice. how does that work out? im used to just going with any good available doctor in the hospital where im from
      The hospital will have a list of doctors at the hospitals they’re affiliated with. Doctors are always affiliated with hospitals, even here in the US. My pediatrician wasn’t affiliated with my baby’s hospital because he didn’t want to drive the 13 miles to that one as there were 4 closer ones. In Brazil, it’s a lot less about location/distance, and about prestige. So Albert Einstein is the hospital, which means not every doctor will be approved there, and those that are will view it as saying something about how good they are.

      3. how strict are they about foreigners giving birth in brazil? will i be allowed in if im abt 8months pregnant?
      I don’t think they have an issue with it- don’t know for certain.

      • tnks for your reply. however im stil unclear about the price cos in the original post she wrote some amount of money she paid. so is there a criteria for getting the free service?

        also, is there a way to find out if its ok to go when im 8months without any embarasments? i know someone who was deported from heathrow airport for being 7months, and another who was almost denied entrance also into the UK at 6 months. so im jus a bit worried. dnt want to b embarrased.


      • I would think that she paid for private healthcare. everyone in Brazil legally gets free healthcare. Of course, you get what you pay for…

        I’ve heard about the UK, and of course in the US. But Brazil’s not so stringent on turning people back. I wouldn’t wear a tight shirt, and yell hey I’m super preggers over here. But you should be fine.

      • lol @ ‘I wouldn’t wear a tight shirt, and yell hey I’m super preggers over here.’
        Thanks a lot. uv bn very helpful

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