But mostly I’m crazy in the eyes of most doctors in Brazil. Since my husband is ever so sympathetic (sarcasm), I thought a Doula would be wonderful. She could help inform me about what positions I should move into so I can help the birth move along, massage in the right spots, and generally keep things happy and moving a long. BIG Doula fan here <<——
So I went through the list of Doula’s in Sao Paulo, and emailed them in Portuguese in English searching for an English speaking Doula, and found two. Raquel Olivia and Cris Toledano. I also found GAMA and Ana Cristina a midwife (who from readings seems to be the other English speaking popular expat midwife in Sao Paulo other than Marcia from Prima Luz). They told me that I needed my doctor’s approval… um okay that’s kind of weird… this is my birth, I can have whomever I want right?! ha, this is Brazil everything is mandated by some obscure law. In fact in 2006 they passed a law saying hospitals had to allow a woman the right to have someone with her. Random right? Albert Einstein in fact allows Doulas up until the birth part, and then they cannot participate.
So I had a list for my doctor on what she would let me do about natural (when I say natural she hears vaginal I’m sure). I generally got the impression from the answers that my doctor has one idea in the back of her mind, and is totally happy telling me everything she thinks I want to hear… my husband says I’m a crazy hormonal, paranoid pregnant woman…. maybe, we will see.
Here are my questions:
- Can I have a Doula? I only work with Midwives (that’s the Brazilian way of making it hard on me, and the short answer is no). Marcia Koifmann was out of town, and Ana Cristina only delivers at Sao Luiz… So meeting my doctor’s midwives at my next appt. Good thing I have super expat insurance.
- How many days over can I go? 10 days over, and I have to meet with her ever 2 days
- If my water breaks how many hours before I have to be induced? 12 hours
- Do I have to stay in bed during labor? Only if i get an epidural (I think she missed the natural part)
- Mandatory fetal monitoring? Only after epidural, otherwise every 15
- Can I eat once admitted? Yes eating and drinking until you get the epidural.. again with the epidural.
- Enema? Nope
- Can I keep the baby with me after birth? 30 minutes of bonding time, and then 4 hours where neither you or the father can be with them other than looking through a glass window!
- What tests and procedures are done? Vitamin K, Hep B and TB, hearing, and genetic blood test
- What do you put in the baby’s eyes? Silver Nitrate, and regular antibiotics are not an option… for the record the US switched to antibiotics like 10 years ago…tho Sao Luiz said something about lasers???
- When will you show up? When you are 7cm. Midwife when you get to the hospital.
- How will you bill us? We will quote you up front, then send you the bill after birth and you have 1 week to pay it all, then submit to your insurance for reimbursement
- What about the baby pediatrician? If you can get the neonatalagist to sign off on it and take responsibility should something happens, sure (again Brasilian no there).
- How long is the hospital stay? 2-3 days (google translated link here from Einstein showing a 3 day package)
- Does that increase with C-section? Nope- 3 days.
- Will you wait to clamp the cord if I want? Yes
- Do I have to use stirrups and lay on a surgical bed? Umm yes it’s the only way. In fact, she looked at me like I was speaking Chinese…. yes people you can deliver a baby in other positions. Like maybe I want to stand on my head or something, heck if I know what I’ll feel like, but I don’t want to be told I can’t… I’m a bit stubborn.
The reality is my husband is not into natural births. He thinks I’m a granola eating nut job. I’m actually doing hypnobabies home study right now, so we’ll see how effective that is… and yes maybe I’m a nut job. But my mom had 5 kids naturally and said it was no big deal…. so I’ve got to be able to do this.
I have to say after the above conversation I am even more invested in making sure I have this birth 100% natural. There’s now a level of stubborn pride attached to this whole birthing in Brasil adventure. Either way, I’m not meeting all of her Midwives (4 of em, 2 speak English, and one REALLY speaks English), so hopefully my paranoia will dissipate. The first Midwife pointed out that all of the women in the public hospitals have babies naturally. . .
*UPDATE* I get a lot of questions from individuals on this, so I assume like me it is a hotly Googled topic.
Deleting cleaning up some of my old files of baby prep in Brazil I found the following links on natural childbirth that I found useful … and hope you do it. I left in Google Translate to English for everyone’s convenience.
- Humanized “natural” practitioners
- Legal opinions on mothers’ refusing certain procedures (Vit. K)
- Article about birth’s and decisions to be made from a practioner