Here I am, in my 7th month (almost 8th) of pregnancy, getting very big, feeling very akward, sweaty, and nervous about my impending first baby and birth, and I can not stop thinking about how much I do not care for my OB here. No intention of running around bashing caregivers or cultural practices, but I have been very unpleased with my care here in Italy. My doctor, who is supposed to be one of the very best, has been nothing if not condescending, manipulative, and less than eager to give me information that I ask for.
So after 7 months of very expensive private care, a very unnecessary surgical procedure that I am sure was purely financially motivated (and about which i am very upset), and general lack of respect (I have on occasion received compliments on my breasts while naked and in stirrups– i don’t care about cultural differences, I don’t need this), I have decided to ditch this guy and look for the natural, unmedicalized birth that I wanted from the beginning but was told was basically non-existant here in Italy.
I have no desire to be tied up in stirrups on my back, while the midwives push on my abdomen to “speed up labor”. I do not want to receive the automatic episiotomy, or be forced into a c-section should my body/baby take longer than the doctors would care to hang out with me. I am taking control of my situation and finding the birth that I want. I realize that one will never know how the delivery will actually transpire, but I can atleast make a concerted effort to avoid too much medical intervention, which has been my experience up until now.
After much digging around I have found two options for natural, unmedicalized birth here in Italy and I am happy to share them here on my blog. The first is in Tuscany (not necessarily convenient for anyone in Milan, but keep reading) and is unique in its combination of natural birth and agrotourism. It is called Nascita Dolce, or Sweet Birth in English and they also assist in home births and accompanied hospital births. From week 38, you can come and stay on one of their 3 properties nestled in the Tuscan hills and enjoy delicious bio/organic meals, fresh air, and beautiful countryside as you await labor. They speak English, have a labor room, pools for water birth, outdoor pools for swimming and exercise, and even a bio/organic nursery school on the premises. Sounds utopian, and looks lovely as well (will update the blog when I receive more info):
The second, and more likely option for me is right here in Milan, and is the only birthing center of its kind here in Italy. Casa di Maternità is a group of 4 female obstetricians (one of whom is English speaking) combined with several educators who have a beautiful birth and health facility that promotes an demedicalized approach to childbirth in a nurturing, warm environment full of choices and options. They encourage the mother to return home as soon as possible with her new baby to bond in the safe comfort of home, and provide daily home visits and checkups. I will update after my appointment with them…eager to learn more. But for now, here are some photos of their labor and relaxing rooms from their new blog http://viamorgantini.blogspot.com. Looks so much more friendly than the sterile clinical hospital environment I have witnessed thus far.