As I am slowly but surely approaching the end of my pregnancy I thought I’ll throw together a post about what I’ve been up to and what I’ve found out about being pregnant in Stuttgart so far. So don’t be astonished, this post will be kind of all over the place 🙂
Pregnant in Stuttgart – Appointments with the gynecologist and the midwife
At the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve had monthly appointments with my gynecologist. This has changed now and I have to see her every fortnight. The routine is still the same: First I have to leave an urine sample and they take my weight, than she will examine me – either with ultrasound or just manual – and then I have to leave a blood sample.
In the meantime I’ve had some special examinations as well: I was tested for pregnancy diabetes (negative, luckily :-)) and I’ve had an examination called “Feindiagnostik” with a specialist because I am over 35 and this qualifies my situation as risk pregnancy.
I was able to do the diabetes test at my gynecologists. They gave me something to drink which tasted like grape juice and tested how my body deals with the sugar. For the Feindiagnostik examination I had to go to a specialist (my gynecologist pointed out some addresses) where a doctor did a very detailed ultrasound scan. Everything was fine with the baby there as well 🙂
Moreover, we’ve had two prenatal meetings with our midwife. The first meeting was mainly about organizational stuff and paperwork. She explained to us what we can expect from her, what we have to do in order to make everything work out smoothly and then we had to sign contracts. This first meeting was actually quite exhausting as it was filled with so much information. The second meeting was much more relaxed. The midwife asked how I was feeling, gave me tipps for the issues I was dealing with at this point (eg. pain in the hips at night and low blood pressure) and examined me/my belly. And this second meeting was also the last official one before I will be giving birth. What I have to do from now on is call her every month and update her about my situation. However, she offered that we can make one more appointment before the baby arrives where she will have a look at all the baby stuff we’ve bought so far and point out to us if we’ve forgotten something. I think I will go for this option as you can never be to0 well prepared, can you?! 🙂
My personal tipp: When you find out that you’re pregnant, first thing you should do is find a midwife! OK, you can tell your partner first 😉 Midwives are very scarce in Stuttgart and all of Germany actually. That is because of a newish law that burdens midwives with super high costs for insurances… Politics, what can I say… So you really want to look for a midwife as soon as possible – even before the first three months are over! Here is a link to a database where you can enter your postal code and find a list of midwives that work in your district: www.hebammensuche.de It even points out what languages the midwives speak. Of course it will be even tougher to find one who speaks English or your mother tongue. So: BE QUICK!
Pregnant in Stuttgart – Hospitals
We have decided on a hospital by now. As we live close to the city boarders and it would be the same distance driving to a clinic in Stuttgart or to one outside of Stuttgart – and because we know from many friends who already have kids that the clinics in Stuttgart are quite crowded – we’ve decided to look for a clinic outside of Stuttgart.
After having favored Filderklinik for quite some time we have changed our minds and are pretty sure that it will be the medius Klinik in Ostfildern Ruit. Why, you might ask now. I had heard many good things about Filderklinik in the last years so that’s why it used to be my number one favorite. In the last months however I’ve heard more and more about Filderklinik being very crowded these days and stories of friends who had been turned away while the expecting mom was in labor because they were too full. Obviously that can happen everywhere. But as Filderklinik is famous for its anthroposophical approach to child birth, people from all over southern Germany make their way to give birth there. Remember, this is all very individual information I got in personal conversations so I do not want to say Filderklinik is not a good clinic (on the contrary, this proves the fact that so many people want to go there) but it just didn’t feel right for us anymore
Then I talked to a friend who has given birth last year and her story reminded me of our situation. Her favorite clinic used to be Filderklinik as well. But she had also heard a lot about it being very crowded. So just a few weeks before her due date she and her husband decided to have a look at another clinic, just to have an alternative in case Filderklinik will be too full. They went to Ostfildern Ruit – and loved it instantly. So they changed minds and she gave birth there. Afterwards she told me that she was very pleased with everything, the doctors, the midwives, the delivery room, the atmosphere, her room… That sounded very convincing to me so we went there when the clinic had a day of open doors. And what can I say, I loved it instantly, too. The doctors and midwives made a very good impression on me, moreover they follow a very supportive approach to breast feeding which is very important to me and when I entered the delivery room I instantely could imagine having our little one here. It was filled with such a warm, caring atmosphere I can’t describe in words. I was actually quite moved (hormones, I guess ;-)). And one more thing totally sold it to us in the end: One of the midwives has told us that up to this day they never had to turn down an expecting couple. Ever. So we’ve decided Ostfildern Ruit it will be.
Of course there are more clinics you can give birth at in Stuttgart like Olgahospital/Frauenklinik, Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus, Marienhospital and St.-Anna-Klinik. If you’re interested in a birth that is just supported by midwives and does not take place in a clinic: Geburtshaus Mitte. As we have not really looked into these clinics I can’t say much about them. So if you have given birth in one of these and want to share your experiences, please feel free to use the comment section below this post!
Pregnant in Stuttgart- Getting prepared for the big day
I’ve enrolled in some courses in order to be prepared for the big day. You might have read my post about the aqua fit course for expecting moms at Marienhospital already (if not, you can find it here).
Apart from that, I also visit the fitness course for expecting moms at Puls Fitnesstudio at Killesberg. It is run by midwife and trainer Bianca Weigel-Gränzel. If you’re interested in joining you have to be quick to get in as her courses are beloved by expecting moms all over Stuttgart. It is actually quite a strenuous course that really prepares you for the physical work you have to deal with during labor. I really love this course. It even helped me with the pain I had in my back before I started it.
Then we will visit the prenatal class of Bianca Weigel-Gränzel this month. We’ve decided to go for the weekend-partner course instead of the 6 weeks course because we wanted it as short and intense as possible.
Last but not least I will visit the breath workshop offered by Hebammenpraxis Stuttgart this June, too. A friend of mine did such a breath workshop before she gave birth and highly recommended it to me. According to her, that was the one and only course that has really helped her during labor. As I’ve read similar reports of other moms I thought I will give it a go, too. Better be safe than sorry, right?! 🙂
Please note that all these courses will be held in German. I plan to do some research soon on prenatal courses for English-speakers. But if you’re interested in enrolling in one of these courses as well but you don’t speak much German you can contact the trainers and ask if they will translate the instructions for you or if you could bring a German-speaking friend who will support you during the class.
Oh, and one more thing: Even if it seems like ages before you will need it make sure to book your post-natal fitness course as soon as possible as well! I will do my Rückbildungskurs with – you might guess it by now 😉 – Bianca Weigel-Gränzel and when I tried to enroll in my fourth month it was already booked out! Luckily one other expecting mother dropped out and I made it in after all. But I would have never expected that you have to be quick for this course, too. So don’t make the same mistake I did and look for one as soon as possible.
In the seventh month we went on a babymoon to enjoy the calm before the storm 🙂 We wanted to get away a bit to get the feeling of a real vacation but I didn’t want to fly anywhere (I know that flying should be all right while pregnant but I’m suffering from a fear of flying and I just didn’t want to put me and the little one in a stressful situation). We decided to drive to the Netherlands and stay at Scheveningen, a lovely beach town next to Den Haag.
It took us about 8 hours to get there, with several stops where I could stretch my legs. Long distance drives don’t bother me even though I’m pregnant. I don’t have much back pain or such. And to fight the rist of thrombosis I’m wearing granny-style stockings my gynecologist has prescribed to me a few weeks ago.
In Scheveningen we stayed in a lovely small hotel next to the beach named Boulevard Hotel Scheveningen. It offers the most amazing view of the ocean from the breakfast room.
We didn’t do much in our babymoon, we just went on strolls along the beach, visited the one or other beach restaurant, enjoyed the sun and the view of the ocean (it was too cold to go for a swim 🙂 and went sightseeing in Den Haag and the lovely historical town of Delft. In order to do so we only had to catch the tram. It runs from Scheveningen via Den Haag to Delft and back. Very convenient!
Even though we only stayed in Scheveningen for three full days we had the most wonderful, relaxing time. I can’t believe that this was our last vacation of just the two of us. 🙂
If you have any further questions, or if you would like to share your own experiences of being pregnant in Stuttgart, please do so in the comment section. I am also working on an article about all the baby related stuff we’ve bought recently that I can recommend and where to get good deals. So stay tuned for this post in the near future.