Julia: Hi Sarah! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your experience being pregnant as an expat?
Sarah: Sure, my name is Sarah and I’m originally from the United States. I’ve been living in Munich, Germany for the past three years with my husband, who is German. We recently found out that we’re expecting our first child, which has been an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience.
Julia: That’s great news! How has your experience been with the German healthcare system during your pregnancy so far?
Sarah: I have to say, I’ve been really impressed with the healthcare system here. My doctor speaks English, which has been a huge help, and the prenatal care has been excellent. I’ve had more frequent appointments and ultrasounds than I would have had in the US, which has been reassuring. I feel like I’m in good hands.
Julia: That’s great to hear. Have you had any challenges or differences in the cultural approach to pregnancy and childbirth in Germany compared to the US?
Sarah: Definitely. One thing that stood out to me was the emphasis on natural childbirth and avoiding medical intervention unless absolutely necessary. In the US, there’s often a lot of pressure to have a medicalized birth and interventions like epidurals are very common. I’ve had to adjust to the idea that giving birth without an epidural is the norm here.
Julia: That’s interesting. Have you found any differences in the resources or support available to pregnant women in Germany compared to the US?
Sarah: One thing that’s been really helpful is the prenatal classes offered by the hospital. They cover a wide range of topics, from nutrition to breastfeeding to pain management during labor. The classes are taught in both German and English, which has been great for me. I’ve also connected with other expat moms-to-be through online communities, which has been really helpful in terms of getting advice and support.
Julia: That sounds like a great resource. Do you have any advice for other expats who may be expecting a child in Germany?
Sarah: My advice would be to embrace the differences and be open to learning about the German approach to pregnancy and childbirth. It can be easy to get caught up in comparing your experience to what you’re used to in your home country, but it’s important to remember that every culture has its own unique approach. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and advocate for yourself if you’re not sure about something. The healthcare providers here are generally very open to discussing options and answering questions, so take advantage of that.
Julia: Thank you so much for your time, Sarah! I am so happy to assist you as your personal maternity concierge!