Choosing where to give birth
In Switzerland birth can happen in many settings.
- Private Clinic
- University hospital
- Local hospital
- Birth center
- Independent birth center or birth house
- Home birth
The choice of a birth team depends very much on the place of birth you choose.
Birth centers Linked to hospitals are birth centers with a small team of Midwives who have affinity with natural unmediated birth. They, off course, have everything needed for minor “bumps” in birth (oxygen, IV etc.) but it is not used systematically. You will be attended by the midwife on call that you might have met in your prenatal visits. The setting is usually warm and welcoming, there are birth tubs and confortable beds. Midwives usually follow your lead and will adapt to most positions you choose in labor and birth. There are a couple of private rooms but couples usually prefer to go home quite quickly.
Independent birth centers are run by independent midwives who also hire them out to other independent midwives. Here you are attended by YOUR midwife who has done most of your prenatal care. You get to know each other. These are homelike settings. They have big beds, mats on the floor, Birth tubs and all the equipment needed for minor interventions that are only used if needed. Midwives here follow your lead and are usually OK with you birthing in most positions.
In a Home birth your are attended by YOUR midwife. She takes care of most of your prenatal care, including blood and urine tests. Prenatal visits are usually at your home or at here cabinet/office. She believes in getting to know you and understanding your concerns and wishes. She will do er best to answer all your questions. This means the visits usually are a bit longer than those at your OB. You are in your confort zone and in your time And again, the Midwife brings all the equipment necessary should minor complications arise and, if necessary, is quick to transfer your care to the hospital if needed.
Independent midwives are in contact with the hospital throughout your birth and transfert if necessary
In Clinics, your own doctor will attend your birth. The midwives will take care of all of labor keeping your OB/GYN informed and calling him/her when birth is imminent so he can take charge. Some doctor’s may prefer to be more present if they are able to. For your stay, many clinics have private rooms and double rooms. (Check with the clinic and your insurance for the possibility of private rooms)
In University hospitals, you will attended by the midwives in shifts. Doctor are only supervising and intervene when and if needed. (C-sections, vacuum, forceps, or stitches) Up seeking natural birth. In theses rooms midwives go the extra mile towards natural birth
Keep in mind that theses are learning and research hospitals so interns attend, and data is gathered for research unless your refuse.
These are the best quipped hospitals if you have important health concerns. You usually stay between 3 to 5 days in rooms shared by 2 or 4 new moms (and their visitors).