Expats Giving Birth in Peru

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a meeting of future moms who are going to give birth in Peru and moms who gave birth here. It was coordinated by a wonderful expat group that I am a part of made up of expat moms. I am a part of various expat groups and I am really happy to have been able to join this one. It has already proved itself to be a wonderful network of resources and connection. Not only is it nice to be able to connect with other expat moms, it will be great when my baby is old enough for play dates and has the opportunity to hang out with other English-speaking kids.

Anyway, the chat was held at one future mother’s apartment in San Isidro and in total there were 7 expecting moms and 2 moms who participated. We all shared how far along we were, what clinic we are planning on using, fears and expectations, and general information.

The majority of us are in our second or third trimester with one at 11 weeks and something I keep reminding myself is that every woman’s body is different so 27 weeks for one person may look like 20 on one person and 35 on another. I feel like I look like I am 8 months pregnant some days and other days I feel like I am at 6 but comparing really doesn’t do any good. The most important thing is that the woman feels healthy right?

In terms of clinics it was really interesting hearing where everyone was planning their birth and how their doctors have attended to them so far. The clinics that the women are using are San Felipe, Monte Sur, Americana and Good Hope. I am the only one planning on using Pakarii, or a birthing center that isn’t a clinic. One of the mom’s who gave birth here used Pakarii for her first birth but opted for a c-section the second time around because of complications from the first. Respect.

For some reason I thought that clinics didn’t take the baby away right away after being born but that is standard protocol here. I thought it was more like that in the States but from what the other women said it is not. I was also surprised to hear that episiotomies are pretty routine here as well. (C-sections are also at 80% in clinics here which is insane!) One expecting mom expressed her concern that her doctor would perform one unnecessarily on her against her wishes. I sure hope not. I hope her husband and her doula stand up for her and her wishes. Another woman said she heard that there is hair stylist and nail specialist for the mothers at Clinica Monte Sur. That cracked us up. Of course every woman has got to look fabulous when leaving the clinic with her newborn. 🙂

One of the best things that the moms who gave birth here said was how the husbands or partners should be on the same page as you and that when push comes to shove, stand up for the decisions that the mom made and wants to stick by. Sure, there are always exceptions but in general I totally agree. I think that the more informed the dad or partner is, the better. Who knows what kind of mental state I will be in when things start to hurt a lot. I am comforted by the fact that my husband will be there the entire time ready to do whatever necessary. We have had lots of discussions about possibly scenarios but in the end we have no idea what could possibly or possibly not happen and for that reason we are pretty relaxed. We will worry about things as they come.

Another thing that I didn’t think about was a pediatrician. In the clinics the doctor is only there to help with the birth of the child and then after that a pediatrician takes over and is in charge of the baby after it is born. One of the daughters of a mom was born 6 weeks early so she was taken to the neonatal intensive care at the clinic Monte Sur and she said was very happy with the care that her daughter received. I hope that all goes well and that I am able to give birth naturally and at the birthing center instead of having to deal with neonatal care and clinics but if it comes to it, I know that the EsSalud hospital Rebagliati has excellent services.

I have to admit that I have been pretty relaxed about my pregnancy and I haven’t stressed too much about all the possible problems that could arise. I believe the more one worries and thinks about that kind of stuff, the more one is attracting it. If I stress out about all the things that could go wrong I would definitely cause my body to stress out and that surely isn’t good for my baby. While listening to other’s birth stories or worries I just kept in mind that it is not something that I have to take on as a worry unless I want to and everyone is entitled to have their worries and fears about birth and raising kids. That is completely normal and makes us human. I am super grateful to have found this group of ladies and know that we are all in the same boat. It is so exciting!

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