Going OutThe long winter can become very lonely time unless you make the effort to go out and socialize. Seek activities and events for children especially if they are under 3 years old.
Child BenefitIf you have a child, you may be eligible for child benefit. They will calculate the amount according to your income. Even a bit helps.
ImmunizationImmunization shots are almost mandatory and you have no choice. The governmet will make sure your children get all the shots required before entering pre-school.
Child ObesityObesity is almost an epidemic in the U.S. Pediatricians, nurses and teachers are all repeating, 'eat plenty of fruits and vegetables"
Drug StoresIn Mexico city, you may find drug stores almost at every block. Those who cannot afford to see a doctor, rely heavily on medicine.
High AltitudeBecause of the high altitude, your child may need sunglasses to protect their eyes when they go out.
Midwives pair in home birthHome birth is not that popular in Austria, but some people will opt for it. So when you wish to have homebirth, the midwives who work in the hospital will come as a pair and assist you. Some opt to invite midwives from the Netherlands. I believe that is possible because it's Europe.
Relax is the keyWhen you give birth at birth centers, all they tell you to do is to "relax". You can choose wherever you like at whatever position you may wish to take.
Specialists for your special babyThe new born will be examined by specialists, such as orthopedics to check how their legs spread, eye specialists to check the eyes.
PT during pregnancyYou will have access to the services provided by the phisiotherapist to get you through some difficult time during pregnancy. The good news is that the insurance covers the services.
No pressure over the abdomenDon't put pressure over your abdomen. In Belgium the midwives will advise you to strengthen your abdominal muscle, so that you have the strength during delivery.
You are back to singleIn Belgium they expect you to use your maiden name while you are pregnant. All the records will be in your maiden name. You might feel a bit like the time when you were a single.
Pelvic Exam at every visitSome doctors will perform pelvic exam every time you go for a check up. However, it has been discouraged among private doctors.
Attending birth can be costlyHusbands can attend birth, but some hospitals charge 1,000CK to attend birth. If he stays overnight, his stay can be more costly than the patient.
OVAWhen you register your baby's birth, it is the practice in Czech Republic to put OVA after your last name. So if your last name is Robertson, then you would be registered as RobertsonOVA
AbortionAbortion was not allowed in Denmark until early 70s. Now it is allowed, as it has given choices to women.
Midwife meansIt means Mother of the Huge Plains, how reliable one can expect from such name.
AcupunctureDuring the time when you are suffering from morning sickness, and even during labor, you can expect acupuncture to perform great wonders.
KELAWhen you register with KELA, you will be looked after well. They provide you with baby goods, so that you do not need to look around. But if you enjoy shopping and buying your own baby goods, then you can decline their offer and receive cash instead.
Check up by the health nurseYou may not need to see a obgyn if you are healthy. The health nurse will look after you with necessary check ups during pregnancy. Your visit will be to the health center and not to the hospital.
Natural is the bestYou might be expected to be tied to tubes, but as for your hospital stay in Finland, you will be rest assured that there will be natural methods tried first. Even when you can't urinate but have to, they will not use the catheter but make you listen to the sound of the sprinkling water from the shower.
Hiking and walkingSurrounded by mountains and trees, it is recommended that one takes a walk through the woods during pregnancy for some exercise.
Everyone welcomes the babyOne can choose quite freely who she wants to be with during her delivery. Mrs. W had decided to have her son attend her birth and it all worked out fine.
Flexible hospital rulesThe hospitals in Luxemburg is quite flexible in terms of visiting hours and who can visitt. Many hospitals do not allow small children to enter the maternity ward, however, in Luxemburg, they are quite generous, allowing children to visit their mothers while she is in the hospital.
Home birthWhat surprised me the most about birth in the Netherlands was the high percentage of home birth. As high as nearly 40%. This was possible since the midwives were very skilled and knowledgeable and highly qualified to assist normal birth.
Choice of birth placeMany Netherlanders opt for home birth. They have mentioned that home birth is most relaxing. At home birth, you progress at your own pace.
Home visit by the midwifeMidwives visit for nearly 10 days after birth. You also have the choice of having a well-trained postnatal nurse. She will take care of the woman, the baby, the older children, the house, and attends to the guests.
WaterbedIn some hospitals in Norway, you will be surprised to see waterbeds. Not twin size but queen size. You can have your husband with you while you stay at the hospital. A good way to start a family.
Paternal leaveIt has not been easy for fathers take their paternal leave after the child is born. Most men do not take the leave, so the government decided to make 4 weeks of leave that will only be for fathers and that mothers cannot take. Well, we'll see whether this may force men to be with the new borns.
Cutting of the umbilical cordIt is a custom in some countries for the fathers to cut the umbilical cord of the baby. It is no exception in Norway. Fathers get the chance to cut the cord and the baby lies in mother's breast.
Contract with the hospitalIn order to use the medical service, you sign a contract with the hospital and pay a membership fee. The service you receive will depend on what kind of plan you have chosen with the hospital. This system distinguishes private hospitals from public hospitals.
Epidural, a choice?You may want to think twice if you opt for epidural, because many Polish women do not opt for epidural and as a result, the doctors may not be too experienced in providing one, which may put you at risk.
MidwivesMidwives in Sweden perform almost like an obstetrician. They can write prescriptions, give shots, draw blood, and also do ultrasound scanning. And of course, they deliver the baby and look after the mothers after birth.
Raising the birth rateSince birth rate was declining in Sweden, they have decided that all cost involved in delivering the baby will be at the expense of the government. They also receive various child support until the child reaches the age of 12.
Babies don't get bathBabies are not dipped in the water to be cleaned soon after they are born, they just wipe the baby.
Birth means having a boyChinese people expect to have boys so much that it even sounds like when you give birth it means you have to have a boy. Therefore, the Chinese would eat sunflower seeds and watermelon seeds so that they will have a boy.
No PrivacyDoctors in China has to see many patients, therefore, you may expect other ladies in the doctor's office while you are having your pelvic examination.
Ob-gyns are all women doctors, no men allowedIn China, almost all the obgyns are female. Men are not allowed in the delivery room. Therefore, you may have to engage in video-phone conversation.
Entire familySome facilities allow numerous birthing partners to be present in the labor room. They all want to participate in welcoming the new member.
Nursing HomeIn the U.S., nursing home means more like home for the elerly, but in India, it means a small medical unit, where you can also give birth.
Sash around your bellyOn the dog's day, which dogs are believed to have easy delivery, women in Japan choose the day to wrap a sash around their belly. It also function as to lift the heavy belly as well as to warm the belly.
Natural birth is the thingJapanese women cannot think of anything other than natural birth. They even say that the labor pain is the ritual in becoming a good mother.
Luxury of long hospital stayYou can stay on average of 5 to 7 days in the hospital. During the stay, you will learn how to nurse your baby and bathe your baby.
Home bound for 1 monthWomen usually stay home bound for about a month after the baby is born. They believe it is not good to expose newborns out in the public.
Birthday predeterminedIt is said that in Korea, one's birth date will determine one's destiny. So they decide on when the child will be born. Therefore, it is common for some to choose elective Cesarean section, raising the C-sec rate.
Floor heatingThe Koreans opt to lie down on the heated floor called "Ondol" after given birth. It is believed that she would have a faster recovery by warming the body. But it was summer when I visited and it was so steamy hot inside the Ondol.
Husbands do not attend deliveryIt is not at all common in Korea for husbands to attend delivery. I interviewed some women and asked how she feels about it, they almost all mentioned that they do wish husband to be present and hold their hands and to give support.
What time was the baby born?The Mongolians cannot be bothered by what time the baby was born. You may see a clock in the delivery room, but it may not be accurate. So it is advised that you take your watch with you.
Wrap your babyNewborns are wrapped tightly in a large cloth. Their legs are stretched straight. The nurses say that when they are wrapped in such manner, it would be easy to handle.
No birth certificateIt was such a surprise that the hospital did not provide foreigners with a birth certificate. They certainly had one for Mongolians but no such form for foreigners.
Boys are welcomedFamilies expect boys to be born. So they would usually keep on trying until they can have a boy. When they can't have a boy, they consult doctors and in some worse cases, she can be divorced.
Home birth is not a choiceThe government pays for the cost of delivery, but up to the second child. Therefore, the consequent birth is usually at home for the poor.
Do not put anything around your neckThere are many restrictions during pregnancy: do not step over a rope the baby will be born bleech, do not put anything around your neck, the baby may be born with his/her umbilical cord wrapped around its neck,
Herbs used after episiotomyThe Philippinas will burn incense to soothe the atmosphere after birth. They also put char coal and herb indirectly on the perineum for quick recovery.
Bargaining on delivery feesOne must bargain for hospital charges. Sounds a bit like the U.S. where the health insurance companies negotiate with hospitals on our behalf.
Big body, small babyThe natives called Chamorro are large, but often times they have small babies or even premature babies.
Rubbing oilIn the old days, during labor, those who assist the birth would rub oil over the abdomen and place thick blanket and there were smoke from the burning bark.
Only 1 month stay for non-visasBecause some plan to give birth in Saipan, to attain US citizenship for the baby, Saipan is discouraging mothers to enter the country with non-visa status by allowing them only one month stay.
Being fat, being goodIn Sri Lanka where fatness is considered an indication of wealth, the doctors do not particularly restrict your diet during pregnancy. Fat is considered a beauty of its own.
Shape of the tummy determines the sexSri Lankans believe that you can determine the sex of the baby by looking at the shape of the tummy. For example, if the belly sticks out and pointy, then it is said to be a boy.
Medical equipments out of orderAlthough the hospital may be equipped with advanced medical equipments, they can be out of order. The reason be that they lack the technicians to fix the equipments.Advanced industrialized countries cannot just send these equipments, but also to send maintenance technicians.
Medicine for good deliveryCan you imagine that there is a medicine for good delivery? Well, there is. It's Eastern Medicine. You boil the herbs that the Eastern doctors prescribes you and boil it and drink it.
No movingYou cannot move your place during pregnancy. The God of babies may get angry and do something nasty to your child. You can't even move furniture while you are pregnant. So you might have to postpone that nursery for your baby until after she/he is born.
Hospital does not serve mealsIf you expect to enjoy hospital meals, well, don't in Taiwan. After delivery, women are on strict recovery diet and it is the duty of the mothers-in-law to bring in the food.
Innovative deliveryBangkok private hospitals can be quite open minded. You can have water birth, active birth or whatever method you wish.
BCG shotsAlthough many developing countries do not give BCG shots, in Thailand, you would expect your baby to get his/her first shot of BCG (to prevent tuberculosis) while he/she is still at the hospital.
Know the sex of your babyIt is essential that you know the sex of the baby before she/he is born because you need to name her straight away.
Carry your recordsYou are responsible for your records, so you need to carry it every time you have your check up, tests, as well as on the day of your delivery. It's quite a responsibility.
Shaving the headAs early as the next day after birth, babies' heads are shaved, so that thick hair will grow out. But imagine, putting razor over the baby's head, it seems scary.
Depends on your insuranceOne can find a tremendous difference in treatment, depending on the insurance you have. If you have private insurance, chances are that you will have your own private room, whereas if you do not have it, you might be in the basement with 10 other patients.
Take in saltIn order to avoid pre-eclampsia, most women are told to have less salt than usual, but in Sao Paulo, because the land is dry, the doctors will tell you to take a lot of fluid as well as salt, so that you won't be affected by the low blood pressure. Salt to be taken from Olives, now that sounds very Brazilian.
C-sec in demandCesarean section is very popular in Brazil. In some hospitals it can be as high as 95%
Salt worksWhen they are waiting for the placenta to be delivered, they would put a bit of a salt on the mother's tongue. It is believed that will ease the delivery of placenta.
Citizenship of PeruIf you are born in Peru, no matter what your parents' nationality may be, the baby will be granted Peruan Citizenship.
Keep your maternity wearIt is believed that if you keep your maternity dress, you will most likely to conceive your second child.
Birth in a political unrest environmentIt is an insecure environment in Venezuela when you know there is political unrest. Water supply can stop or electricity cut off at any time. Imagine no water with a new born baby.
A cold showerOne must be prepared for a cold shower even in a private room equipped with shower and toilet. The locals don't mind cold shower.
Waiting period before the initial visitIn Australia, they make your initial appointment with the doctor after 12 weeks of your pregnancy, since it is common that you may have miscarriage in the first part of your pregnancy.
Birth CentersThere is no doctors but just midwives at the birth center. They will not do pelvic examination during pregnancy, they will not give you epidural, they will not over medicate you, they will not perform episiotomy.
Discharged within 24 hoursIf you give birth at the birth center, they will allow you to return home after 24 hours, but midwives will visit your home every day for a week. If you have birth in the hospital, you will be in the hospital for about 3 days.
Weight GainWomen do not have to worry much about gaining weight during pregnancy, as being a bit overweight shows that the husband is taking good care of her financially and feeding her well.
No bumpsMany women in Egypt wear a robe where it covers the entire body, so people hardly notice you that you are pregnant. You may be close to your due date, still it's not showing.
Nausa - girl?Some doctors may tell you that the nausea likely indicates that you might be carrying a girl.
Don't ask questionsQuestioning doctors or hospital procedures is simply not done in Kenya. If you ask basic questions like , 'Can I have a tour of the hospital?' may give the impression that you don't trust the doctors and you may respond with uncomfortable laughter.
Tea TimeBecause of the strong British influence, the South Africans enjoy tea time. The hospitals may have 5 tea time a day.
In desperationAlthough the government tries to help as much for the disadvantaged girls, some of these moms become so desperate after birth, they abandon their babies at ths hospital they gave birth to.
ToxoplasmosisAs in France, even in Senegal, the doctors are quite obsessed about testing toxoplasmosis. This disease is caused by a parasitic protozoan, transmitted chiefly through undercooked meat, soil, or in cat faeces.
Malaria preventionMalaria medicine has to be taken every day and how nuisance would that be while you are pregnant. But there is a medicine for pregnant women.
Upside down showerBabies can be put upside down and given water from the tap in some villages.What a shock for a new born baby.