Giving birth in a new city with a healthcare system you're unfamiliar with can be quite stressful. Here we summarize what you need to organize and think about and we have summarized the advice of several friends with very helpful personal experiences.
1. Check de PMC website to get answers on many questions mamadeti.ru
2. Make sure you are happy and confident with your doctor! There's gynecologists and birth doctors, watch out for that!
3. Make sure you get a good midwife if you give natural birth. At some places you can choose the widwife yourself
4. Talk about ANYTHING that you want to have/not have before being admitted to the hospital with your doctor.
>> There's cultural differences that can be tough cookies if you are a first timer and/or maybe sensitive. (e.g., in some hospitals they will shave you no matter what you want, they will give you a medical enema unless you clarified that before hand and they will also give your babies standard Russian vaccinations. Some do usually not allow bonding time right after birth, so better to tell them your preferences on forehand...
>>talk about how many days you like to stay in hospital after birth, common are five days here for normal delivery so if you don't want this you should talk about this beforehand as well.
>> there is no specific midwife system here in Russia, at least we don't know about it. There will be midwifes at the birth but there's no follow up consultation at home etc.
5. Always take a second opinion in case you are doubting weather your Dr. is right stating things (They have state of the art medical devices but Dr's don't always know how to read the results,so it can be very misleading. 6. Sign up for playgroups on Facebook or whats app and/or try to find other moms, pregnant ladies, mouth to mouth propaganda is ESSENTIAL here to get more information (IWC playgroup, Deutsche Gruppe, any group from your own nationality etc.) 7. Talk to your company if you are here on an expat contract. They should have someone to help you with all the registration processes regarding the baby. Talk to them way in advance! You need at least two months after giving birth to get all paperwork done and be able to leave the country and only if all goes smooth and if you had someone prepare the documents before you gave birth (there's a lot of notarization, you need marriage, proof of work, etc., etc.) 8. Your company should provide a checklist of all necessary documents you need: >> giving birth, being allowed to give birth in Russia >> getting your baby out of the hospital >> registering your baby 9. Do not forget that your baby needs an HIV Test, best done right after birth at the hospital to apply for a Russian Visa 10. Inform yourself about vaccinations that are done beforehand, talk to your doctor about the check ups your baby will receive at the hospital in order to make sure that you are ok with that 11. Documentation about the pregnancy as well as the birth can be poor and all in Russian, depending on the hospital you will be giving birth. So make sure to get everything translated from someone who speaks Russian, your family doctor here or your birth Dr. 12. Always consider if it also might be an option to give birth in your own country (if this is your first child for example) and if not, make sure, that you have help (family or a nanny), especially if you are due in winter as you might simply not be able to leave your house with the baby as it is too cold 13. Do not throw away ANY of the shady looking documents you get at birth, throughout the registration process. There's some documents you'll only receive once and if you loose it, you're in trouble
Here are some personal recommendations on Doctors which may be helpful in finding the right doctor for you.
Bjork (Faroer Islands)
I gave birth in PMC (2016) and EMC (2017) both. I would gladly recommend EMC. I had a terrible experience with a terrible doctor at PMC. Most administrative and medical employes at PMC were unkind, unhelpful and unable to communicate. At EMC I had a contract with an english speaking doctor but when contractions finally started I went to the hospital and met the duty doctor which I ended up sticking to throughout the birth even though she didn't speak english very well but she was extremely pleasant, understanding and helpful. EMC took my first experience very seriously throughout the pregnancy and the administrative work was easy. The hospital is nice, food is alright and professional level is very high. My birth doctor was Marina Sharova and my gynecologist for check ups was Olga Loginova (very good in english) and I still use her. Both have my warmest, warmest recommendations
"I had an amazing and very professional experience at PMC, my Dr.s name was Anna Belaousova, she's the head of the department, very knowledgeable and speaks English. Of course I went through a lot of hassles with cultural differences, language barriers etc. but this I knew from giving birth before in a country where I do not speak the language. I was at EMC before and they diagnosed everything wrong you possibly could, put me under a lot of pressure as they said my baby is too small, told me to take very outdated medication so I had to "flee" to PMC where I finally gave birth to a very healthy baby. Overall, I think here ALL!!! really, really depends on the Dr., so if Bjork had a good experience at EMC, I would definitely see the exact same Dr. to avoid what I've been through at EMC."