My First Visit to a Hospital in Italy
A friend of mine, Sharon, recently gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl here in Torino. I went to the hospital several times to see both proud parents and the little one. The visits were eye opening experiences for me as this was my first experience in an Italian maternity ward. The hospital was small, old but nicely equipped. Sharon and her husband had done many hospital tours and this one won out among them all, because it was small, more personal and best of all had a birthing pool.
In America, an expectant mother can get a private room in a birthing center. Here in Italy these are rare and in most public hospitals there are 4 beds in a room. (Some private hospitals and clinics give you 2 beds in a room or ever your own suite but I have yet to see this.) At first I thought the idea of having more than one person in the room with you was a bit crowded but Sharon liked the camaraderie. I say that all the moms chatted with each other, gushed over one another’s’ babies and this made passing the time much more pleasant as visiting hours were only 1:00-2:30 and 6:00-7:00 daily. The beds were hand cranked vintage ones; one of the other dad’s or guests was always willing to lend a hand if you needed one.
I walked around the small maternity wing and made my way to the small neo-natal room. Outside there were photos of tiny babies, that were born at that hospital. The tiniest one was born at 670 grams, that’s about 1.5 pounds. There were others born at 700, 800 and 1 kilo. There was a dining room for moms, showers in the bathrooms, a kitchen, and little amenities here and there. Most moms kept their babies with them in their rooms but if they wanted to sleep, to eat or to just take a break, they could wheel the babies to the nursery where a nurse kept and eye on them. All in all, Sharon is happy with her experience and I hope I have a great one too if we decided to have a child in Italy.
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