I love midwifery and have done since I first started in 2001. Part of my work is the privilege to introduce parents to the amazing “dance” that happens between the baby and mother during pregnancy and labour during a birth preparation course.
If I could personally give five tips to every expectant parent here in Switzerland, this is what I would say:
- You have a choice where and how you birth your baby. The birth is not just a medical procedure but involves many other factors such as your personal preferences, your cultural expectations, your previous experiences of childbirth and what both you and your partner believe birth is all about.
- The best form of “natural” pain relief is a supportive birth partner and a compassionate midwife in whom you have confidence. You may have heard of epidurals – and they definitely have their place – but there are many compatible and harmonising pain relief options to learn about.
- The labour process is a blend of you and your baby working together. Both of you have roles and will be communicating together. Knowing this may calm you and help you feel part of a loving team.
- Yes, your life will change when your baby is born. However, everyone reacts and adjusts differently and you won’t know until the challenge is there. So welcome to the journey – and enjoy it!
- You may be away from your normal family support network in your home country but you are not alone. Create or join a new group of like-minded parents and parents-to-be here in your country of residence – in person and online. Having this support within your own community is proven to reduce your risk of post-natal depression.
By Polly Pupulin (RN BSc Midwifery (Hons), Dip TN Midwife)
Polly is a highly experienced British-trained midwife and mother of four. She leads birth preparation courses in Geneva which provide the opportunity not only to meet other expectant parents but also to have pregnancy and birth questions answered in a relaxed and friendly setting. Click here for more details.
Photos by Cloudia Chen
Cloudia Chen is a portrait photographer specializing in family and children’s portraits, as well as Swiss CV, business headshot and event photography. Before settling in Zurich, she lived in Mainland China, Hong Kong, London and the South of France. Her photos and articles have been published in various social media and popular travel magazines in China. To contact her please visit her website www.cloudiachen.com.