We just found out I am pregnant with our 3rd child. We are currently living in France which unfortunately has a very old-fashioned and patriarchal health system when it comes to birth. They are not supportive of HB at all.
I am considering a UC, but feel I can't consider it properly until I know whether we can get into trouble for it. I have read a couple of horror stories of UCers having their babies taken away while their suitability as parents was assessed and I find that terrifying to say the least.
In France you have to register the baby's birth within 3 (I think) days and I assume that would be difficult if there were no official witnesses to the birth?
Also I imagine I would have to go into hospital to have the cord cut and such - I think it would look a bit fishy if we just 'happened' to have the equipment and know-how to do it ourselves
So then, could they make me stay in hospital once we arrived? There is normally a mandatory 3 day stay. Ugh.
I'm sorry this is all rather waffley... I have a lot of research to do and am not sure where to start! Any advice or website suggestions would be great :)
wow, I looked up birth in France quickly and it seems horrible :-( Is there a chance you could go visit supportive relatives or friends in another country to give birth? Are you American? Do you want the baby to have American or French citizenship? If you don't want any of the French gov benefits, you may be able to stay out of the system and only get american citizenship? Perhaps the US consulate could help you with this?
You might try asking your question at http://www.bornfreeforum.com/
There are some international women on that forum that may be able to help you.
Good luck and I hope you get the birth you want!
I don't see why you would need to go to the hospital to cut the cord. :o) All the tools you really need are towels, floss, a boiled pair of scissors, really mostly household items that anyone would have on hand. As far as registering the birth, I don't know what France requires, but if you have anyone see you in a professional manner, a doctor or midwife, that will attest that you were pregnant, how far along and when, that has been enough for a birth certificate here in the States. I'm sure there are precipitous home deliveries of babies in France, and they don't all get in trouble for it, so I would be looking that up on the computer and see what other moms do there.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I wonder how I would find out what the protocol normally is in that situation. I know someone who almost had her baby in the car, but ended up just making it to the birth centre. They made her stay for 5 days. Eek.
MissMia - I am British. I have considered going back to to UK for the birth, because it would be relatively easy to have a home birth there. It is all such a big upheaval though, what with the kids, dogs, staying with family.
I am off to look up bornfree and ICAN right now - thank you ladies!
I think what she means is that if someone is really intending to go to the hospital or birthing center for a birth, and the baby just comes so fast they can't make it, they generally always still seek medical attention right away. Every time I have heard of someone giving birth in a car or at home, they always called emergency assistance and still went to the hospital or birthing center to be checked out afterwards. It would be very unusual for someone who was not intending to give birth unassisted but did have a precipitous birth to just stay home once the baby is born and cut the cord themselves. I think in order for a birth to really look like an "oops" one would have to act like it really was accidental and do what most people would do in that circumstance which would be to call emergency assistance and head to the hospital or birthing center.
Yes, that is exactly what I thought. Unfortunately, as I am pretty sure they would make you stay :(
Maybe UK? Or if you live close to the Netherlands or Germany, homebirth is perfectly acceptable there.
nia82 - I have considered going back to UK to have the baby, but it just seems so ludicrous, you know? I just want to birth my baby, then be left alone to care for my baby in my home. Going to UK would be such a huge PITA, it is a last resort. Damn you French healthcare!