Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

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Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by Gigi » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:23 pm

Last edited by Gigi on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Being pregnant in Finland - experiences


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Post by oompah18 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:06 pm

Hei! I am english married to a Finn & have given birth here 3 times in the last 5 years. The care during pregnancy through neuvola & hospital has been excellent. The care in hospital for birth & after was also excellent. The payment for days in hospital for birth & after was very cheap. Also the cost of amniocentisis test was surprisingly low. Also xray scans etc were free if I remember. Every medical professional I have seen throughout my pregnancies has spoken English (except Xray operator). Even after the birth, a nurse went to the trouble of searching the internet for information for me in English on breastfeeding & jaundice, which my 2nd baby had, & gave me copies to read. Can´t fault Tampere Uni hospital for birth care etc
Sorry for rambling on but rushing through this now, as rather busy, please feel free to pm me!
Allie the Britmum, "äiti" to 3 boys, 10,9 and 7, & little princess, 4.

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Post by KatGrrl » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:14 am


I'm currently pregnant now -due in a couple of weeks :wink: My experiences so far have been rather positive.

Regarding neuvola visits, they won't entertain you until you're about 8-10 weeks pregnant. There were no check ups either while I was trying to conceive. However, I did make a visit to my company doc but there wasn't anything that they can do (no jabs etc) except to make sure your general health is good. For this, I'd advise you to take 400mg of folic acid which should be readily found in a multi-vit.

As for the hospital, sorry, I don't know what's the practice in Joensuu but I should think (and hope) that it won't be much different from Helsinki. In Helsinki's Katilöopisto, rooms are either family room or maximum 2 women to a room.

Hope this helps :)

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Post by Gigi » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:04 am


Anyone any practical advice?

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Post by EP » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:33 am

Well, no practical advice that you would not already know about. You are just – well – pregnant. Nothing much you can do about it, except stay active and keep your weight gain in moderation. And when the baby comes, remember that it is a lot tougher than it looks like.

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Post by fannette » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:29 pm

Hi! I'm living in Helsinki and due date for (first) baby is in december. I just want to add something about "acide follique" : i'm from Switzerland, and there as well the doc advises to take acide follique as soon as you are starting to get pregnant,which is not the case in Finland.

I've asked about that at the first appointment with the gynecolog here, but she said that finns dont have to take this, because there is already plenty of acide follique in the food they eat (eg. in the porridge, there is some acide follique!). So it acutally depends on the "diet" you are having here. Anyway, i'm taking acide follique everyday, buying it from Switzerland!

Something else that they dont really seem to care about here in Finland : toxoplasmose (no idea how to say that in english..) which is an infection you can get from uncooked meat (tartare, carpaccio, prociutto crudo, etc) and from salads, fruits or vegetalbles that are not washed correctly. They are quite stict with this in Switzerland, but here the midwife said the risk is so small, that they actually dont even mention this to the mothers to be.... well, the risk might be small, but if you get this infection this leads in most of the cases to a misscarrige... do what you feel is right... i eat no carpaccio :wink:

An other info that might be interesting to you, because i guess the system in Belgium must be quite the same as in Switzerland: you might be surprised that your gynecolog will not "follow" you during your pregnancy. Here once you get pregnant, you might go for a fist appointment to your gynecolog who will make a blood test, but then, you are not supposed to see her any more! The follow up is done by a midwife of the Neuvola of your neighborhood. You will see her every two months and she will check that everything is fine with you and with the baby (checking your blood pressure, your weight, the sugar rate, hearing to the heart beat of the baby, and mesuring your growing belly!), and give you some advice and get you ready for the birth.

During the pregnancy, you usually do only two ultrasound checks: one at 12 weeks and one at 22 weeks (these checks are done at the hospital). That's it , unless you have problems.

which was my case as i had serious bleeding begining of the pregnancy and now i'll have extra ultrasound checks for other problems. Meaning that if you have a problem, the system is very good and really does what it takes to make sure that everything is under control.

That was a very long text, sorry about that! If you feel like we might meet in the city to speak more about this! let me know.


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Post by jen » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:09 pm

I am not Finnish, or even living in Finland yet. I am Scottish but I was pregnant in Denmark. There we were also told not to take folic acid. I was told it was much more important to eat a balanced diet and supliments can do more harm than good. I was also told not to eat uncooked eggs inc mayonaise, shell fish, tuna, shark and marlin, soft cheese like brie. i am sure there was some others but i cant remember.

Practical Advice: try to have afternoon naps, after lunch or when you come home from work, your body is working much harder than normal, dont push it too hard

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Post by Gigi » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:54 pm

Last edited by Gigi on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by EP » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:03 pm

Sorry, gigi. i am such a sloppy reader.
During the pregnancy, you usually do only two ultrasound checks
Well, that is a lot compared to 20 years ago. Only women over 40 got an ultrasound, and only one.

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Post by sarael » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:10 pm

I live in Eno and gave birth in Joensuu in this January!
and unfortunately the birthing experience itself wasn't very good for me because of the midwife i got and because she didn't care to explain me anything and didn't bother to ask me first before trying to get me a spinal and a few other things, but i don't think all of the midwifes there are like that and possibly she just had something against me. the hospital stay after giving birth was better and there were a few nurses i liked a lot. i did however have to share a room with 3 other mothers and their babies the first day and night, but then i got my own room for the rest of the stay. and they do have a few family rooms in Joensuu that you can request, but they were all taken when i was there.

my experiences with the prenatal care were pretty good and i loved my neuvola nurse. i wasn't adviced to eat any vitamines except vitamine D in the winter time. for what i know in Joensuu and the nearby areas you normally get 3 ultrasound scans( 12weeks, 20weeks and 37weeks), i didn't get the 12week scan because i only moved here after i was past 15weeks pregnant, but i got an extra scan when i went overdue. when i had my first ultrasound at the hospital in Joensuu the doctors didn't explain me anything and didn't really talk to me, after the scan they just said that everything seemed to be fine( which is of course the most important thing), so that experience wasn't very pleasant, but the other two scans were done by midwifes and the midwifes were much friendlier and showed me the baby and all that.

i don't know what else to write about, but if you have any questions and would like to know more feel free to ask me.

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Post by Gigi » Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:22 pm

thanks sara!

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Post by RA » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:30 pm

Good luck with trying to get pregnant Gigi. Here's a thread you may be interested in following up
saving chimpanzees is a big hairy deal

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Post by Ema » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:08 pm

I would say that the neuvola couldn't give you very professional advices sometimes, during my pregnancy, the neuvola checking was pretty much just a routine, weight, urine test, tummy size....

I would suggest you get a doctor appointment from a private clinik. Tell them that you are trying to get a baby and would like to make sure everything is ok. I did it, the doctor was very professional, made couple different tests, and give me all necessary instructions that I should be consider of or pay attention.

About the acide follique, I have read so many articles about it, most of them says that one needs to measure the dose amount carefully, otherwise, it might do harm. And in Finland, it is not a must thing.

After you get pregnant, you will have to inform or visit neuvola before week 11 or so, don't remember the exactly date, otherwise you will loose some benefit or something like that. And I have to say that the health system in Finland is quite good, you will in good hands, neuvola will guide through.

Yes, the hospital provide clothes, socks, diapers, bras..... They are more practicle because of the blood loosing and everything, you will have to change clothes often, there is a room full of clean clothes and everything else that you can take whatever you need. The clothes is easy to put on and take off.

What else, well, that's pretty much it. The nurses and doctors are all very kind and nice. Good luck on getting pregnant and enjoy the pregnancy when you are.

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Post by penster » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:09 pm

Not going to add much 'extra' as everything seems to have been covered already.

I moved here from the UK in September last year and had started taking Folic Acid supplements from the June when I had stopped taking the pill. While it's true that in Finland, they don't suggest you take the FA as a supplement, i continued to take it purely because in the UK they advise you to take it till you're past the 12-week pregnant mark.

My neuvola did ask me whether I had any pets and I think she would have mentioned the toxoplasmosis issue if I had said I had some, especially cats. She too advised me to take the Vitamin D tablets during Winter time.

I've really enjoyed my pregnancy here so far, although it wasn't all easy as I had to have an amniocentisis test to eliminate the slightly high risk I had of carrying a baby with Downs (thankfully all clear), but I cannot fault the medical/health system here as everyone has been great.

Anyone know when the Kela package usually arrives by the way? Sorry to slip that question in! :wink:

Anyway, good luck Gigi - may you fall pregnant very soon! Keep us informed!

Also, good luck KatGrrl - as you approach your estimated delivery date! Please let us know how everything goes! :D

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Post by Gigi » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:56 pm

Did a home-test this morning... 2 pinky stripes... :D
I suppose I'll call the nurse tomorrow!

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