|My DH is Kazakh, and one of their traditions is that for the first 40 days after giving birth, the baby doesn't leave the house, and is only touched by the parents. ... After DH goes back to work, it will be just me and the kid. And I imagine I'll get cabin fever! Besides, who would do the grocery shopping?
They have something similar in Germany, too, although less drastic. It's called the Wochenbett (week bed) because it lasts 6-8 weeks. In Germany it is illegal to require a woman to work during this time (Mutterschutz) -- 6 weeks before and 6-8 weeks after delivery, 12 weeks for multiples. Your health insurance supplements your income. And women (including me!) use this time to relax, bond with the child, figure out breastfeeding and babywearing, etc. In Germany you aren't completely alone because the midwife comes once a week for a visit and female relatives will often take vacation to help out and babysit the older children.
If your DH can't shop, perhaps one of your neighbors could help you? You could call in your order to the grocery store and they could just pick it up when they do their own shopping.
I didn't do any work for the first 2 weeks after my deliveries and stayed home except to go for walks around the neighborhood. However, I did have help and company or I would have gone stir-crazy.
|To be honest, beyond that, I can't think of a single thing different they do over there than we do here.
Really? I'm from Bavaria. Maybe other parts of Germany aren't like this but...
I don't know if this is a tradition but the birthing culture in Germany is more like the AP-style. I was talking to an American friend recently about her birthing experience and it sounded like something out of a nightmare: she gave birth in an emergency room, with an epidural, and was sent home that evening even though she could hardly walk.
Even though I didn't have the home-birth I wanted, it was actually very nice both times. Both times my DH and I napped in the bedroom (on a real king-sized bed) next to the birthing area until the contractions became more intense, then I got an herbal bath and a back rub. A friend of mine had a water birth. Then the midwife conducted the birth in a warm, cozy environment with soft music. I was on a special birthing bed (big enough for my DH, too) that folds up into a couch, if you want to sit up or recline. At one point the midwife had me crouching and holding onto a soft cloth rope that hung over the bed. And they had birthing chairs and gymnastic balls, the whole kit-and-kaboodle. The doctor didn't even arrive until afterward to see if I needed stitches and to give me and the baby a quick check-up. Then the midwife weighed the baby, swaddled it, and helped me breastfeed. We were allowed to stay there for a nap and then we were moved to the women's ward to make room for the others (it was a busy night). It was wonderful. And the same midwife came to our house every week for 6 weeks to help, give the baby a massage, and give me advice. She also helped me figure out my Didymos wrap.
The whole birth-experience is considered to be very important in Germany and they put their money where their mouth is, IYKWIM.