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Birthing in Turkey update...

Didim, Family, Pregnancyemily kisa11 Comments

Thanks to all who have commented and validated my birthing fears from the previous post. It means a lot to read the comments of encouragement and advice.

My fears have lessened though. We toured the local hospital. Although it is not glamorous at all. It is clean. One of the midwives gave us a tour. Although she doesn't speak English she seemed nice enough. I saw the room where you start laboring in. I am going to take the advice to labor at home as long as possible! It is small with two beds but there is a bath tub in the bathroom which I was excited about and a non-Turkish toilet!!! There may be another laboring women in there with me or may not depending on timing of course. I made sure to ask if I was allowed to move around if I wanted. Midwife said that was fine.

When you fully go into labor you are moved to another big open room. It has a big yellow chair with stirrups(reminded me slightly of a torture chair but trying not to think like that). I am a little nervous because she said there is no pain medicine available until after the birth. But my mom said she didn't have any and if she can do it so can I-hopefully(errr)!

When the baby comes she will be kept with me which is really important to me. After the baby is born together you are moved to a third room with several beds and watched for 6 hours. Your husband is allowed in for this.

Then as long as everything has gone well and you and baby dear are healthy you are moved to a private room where you, your husband and new baby can sleep the night and again as long as everything looks good you go home the next day.

We asked the midwife if my husband could be there for the birth and she said it was the doctors decision. So we went back down to see my doctor. She approved that my husband could come in for the delivery and possibly my mother-in-law also!!! Thank goodness!!!!!!!! I am not sure if it was the previous balling that did it or what? She really has been a good doc though. She has a very modern private practice it is just the State Hospital that leaves something to be desired!

For me this equaled relief. I was ready to go searching long and hard but I think it will be ok? Even if the hospital isn't very glamorous as I said at least I will have some support through the ordeal.

This whole experience so far has brought up so many questions?

Why wouldn't men be allowed in? Actually anyone else at all?

I ASSUMED it was considering this is a predominantly Muslim country and since it is a shared birthing room that men wouldn't be able to see someone that wasn't their wife or something?

But my husband said it is because recently in Turkey there have been a few outbreaks in hospitals that lead to infant deaths. Here is one article from Daily outbreak in Bursa.

Neither reasons are very comforting...

Also for the record this rule isn't at every hospital across Turkey but my husband reminds me that we live in a village, more like a resort town, but anyways it is small. In Istanbul or another big city there are more options.

I think it also has to do with expectations. Maybe Turkish women don't expect their husbands to be there. They just assume the doctor knows what is going on? I have been reading that Turkey has a bad reputation for a very mechanical births and quick to give cesareans. But as America did for years but then women started wanting more from their birthing experience.

Maybe the doctors don't necessarily want frantic husbands in the room who are worried about their wives being in so much pain especially since there are soooo few birthing classes so people haven't been educated on how to deal with the pain, the breathing, the process, how to help and not just be in the way?

I have thought about going to Bodrum for the birth to Özel Bodrum Hastanesi. I have an English friend here who chose that hospital and feels good about it. They have an English nurse thereö Sarah Aslanç My husband is worried that he wouldn't be able to drive me there in time and then we would have the baby in the car and would have to name her Bodrum...he's funny:)

But we have been trying to self educate and now he realizes that laboring takes a long time.

I have been directed to a few resources for natural birth/classes/doula type things in Turkey...

For one there is a yahoo health forum group...naturalbirthturkey

There is one American Doula who sounds wonderful named Julia Steils who I wish I could meet with but we are too far from Istanbul. Her site is

The other is a Turkish Doctor named Dr. Hakan Çoker who practices out of Maramaris,teaching lamaze which is also a bit far for us but i am waiting to hear back from him if he has some weekend classes. His site is

If that doesn't work I am going to try to get a lamaze video from Amazon or something...but the mail always takes so long??? What to do?

For now I am feeling better and again thanks for the advice and support...

More to come...she will be here so soon!