The Other Side of the World: Jun 28, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

oh, this is NZ

A woman who had recently lived in NJ for seven years sat down in Antenatal clinic this morning and began to discuss her birth plan. She went through a fairly extensive list of things she explicitly wanted in her birth plan such as: no routine epidural actual delivery of baby in water eating/drinking during labour baby not separated from mother baby roomed with mother and not in nursery baby not offered/fed formula no routine IV insertion In response to all of this, my very blunt midwife preceptor responded incredulously - "But these things are all normal! Why wouldn't you be able to eat/birth in water/be with baby/exclusively offer breast. . .!" She was truly confused as to why these requests were being made, since these things are so far out of her scope of experience (and this is a primip* hospital birth). The mama-to-be and I had a good laugh, in that smug sort of we're-on-the-right-side-of-the-world way. Also, circumcision here is virtually unheard of, there is only one Doctor (GP) in the whole region who will do it, parents have to pay $200 out-of-pocket (all other maternity care is free) and nurses refuse to hold babes during the procedure so parents must be in attendance. Pretty darn enlightened if you ask me! Not that it's perfect here, but today was a good dose of perspective.

P.S. Still waiting on that birth from last. Anyone want to bet she goes tonight? *primipara - first time giving birth