Hospital Tours Part 1
***This is a duplicate post from our other blog but has a lot of relevance to my life in Italy. There is an interesting thread being discussed on the Expats Site about this very thing, Pregnancy and Childbirth. Come of the stories are hair raising and some are wonderful.
Today we toured two private hospitals. Our private gynecologist, Dr. R, works at both these hospitals and like Bill Cosby, we call him when my water breaks and I start feeling contractions. He then tells me when to head to the hospital for the birth. I like Dr. R so much I want him to deliver my baby but what I want is not always guaranteed.
The two private hospitals we saw today were wonderful. Clean, not crowded, with many amenities that a public hospital might not have. (Note: I have only been to one public hospital in Torino, when Sharon had her baby.) There were bathrooms in your private room, a sofa bed for the father, a TV monitor that allowed you to see your baby in the nursery, modern hospital beds and plenty of supplies/toiletries. Everything was very private, with the cost being 3500 Euros for 3-4 days for a natural birth and 5500 Euros for 4-5 days for a Cesarean birth. These prices do not include the individual costs of the pediatrician, anesthesiologist, gynecologist and obstetric nurse. (She is quite an important person as she was the one who gave us the tours today, answered all our questions and will visit the baby and me 2 times a day after the birth. She is also a lactation consultant and one of the people I call then the time comes.) The total bill for a birth in Torino at the two top private hospitals is around 7000-10,000 Euros. The only downsides to the whole private hospital picture are these: 1. The baby must sleep in the nursery at night and not in your room. 2. If you go into labor before 36 weeks the private hospitals will not even take you, you have to go to a public hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit.
We plan to make one more hospital visit, to the famed Santa Ana hospital. It is a teaching hospital and when you have a problem; it is the place to go. They have the best equipment in the city. I am wary about public hospitals because the quality of care really varies from place to place. I have heard some horror stories from other Expats on this thread. Dr. R, will not be able to delivery my baby in a public hospital and that scares me a lot. A total stranger will end up delivering my baby. Still if I go into labor before 36 weeks, I will have no choice and that lack of choice is quite frustrating. The scariest thing of all is that some public hospitals do not offer epidurals although Santa Ana does; even the thought of not having adequate pain management frightens the living daylights out of me. We have two more months to go and much more research needs to be done.
Note: **I should also say many Expats and my SIL, Valeria have had good experiences in public hospitals. It is all case-by-case I guess.
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