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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

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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At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Sharon and her family!


At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and just when i thought nothing exciting ever happens in italy:

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Jamie said...

Hi Gia,
This will seem random, but I found your profile when looking at someone else's because you mentioned that you'd been drinking the 1997 Fornacina Brunello di Montalcino. I bought a bottle while I was in Italy a few years ago and am hoping to open it soon (college graduation), but I have no idea when I'm "supposed" to drink it. I know nothing about wine, other than whether I like the taste or not, so I want to make sure that I'm opening my bottle at a good time- it's peak, I guess they say. Any ideas? Please email me at marblejm@plu.edu, my name's Jamie. Thanks a lot!

At 2:01 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Congrats to your friend! I have had a crash course in hospitals these past five weeks, I have to stay I have been a little worried about having a baby here. Things ARE a bit different, but YOUR post has made me feel better. Of course we will not be crossing THAT bridge for a while, but I already feel better for when we do.

How are you feeling these days Gina?



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