Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Family life in Finland from kindergartens, child education, language schooling and everyday life. Share information and experiences. Network with other families.
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miti
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:16 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by miti » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:21 pm

We have such insurance at Tapiola and I am really glad we did it. The time it takes to get a doctor appointment at the terveysasema is often just too long - especially if it is not an urgent case, plus when it is private we get to choose the doctor. Even a generally healthy child often ends up going to the doctor a few times a year and I feel much more reassured to know that we are covered in case something worse/bigger happens.
Just make sure to apply for the baby insurance long enough before the due date (not sure if I remember correctly but I think they accept it only until 2 or 3 months before the due date, otherwise you have to wait until the baby is born and only then you can do the insurance).



Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

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Liam1
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Espoo

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by Liam1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:21 pm

miti wrote:We have such insurance at Tapiola and I am really glad we did it. The time it takes to get a doctor appointment at the terveysasema is often just too long
I'd second this.
Especially as while there is higher priority to babies, the "illness threshold" for even 4-5years olds getting a doctor's appointment is from our Espoo experince, high. I explained to the surgery "gatekeeper" that my daughter had a reoccurence of a problem that had led her to be hospitalised for two weeks the previous year and the attitude was to wait to see if her problem becomes chronic again. I was told to ring back in 2 weeks when they will assess again whether she deserves an appointment. We paid €300 for the tests and subsequent prescription.

Also remember that insurance companies will not insure existing conditions so even if a baby is diagnosed and treated for a problem that may recur (e.g. asthma), once the public care system tries to make it difficult to get appointments, you will be faced with waiting or paying for care .

I cannot see this changing as it is politically accepted (even applauded) to make those that can afford it into paying for healthcare.


B&H
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:11 am

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by B&H » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:22 pm

Thanks for both replies

and we saw the comparison list too. That was helpful its come down to tapiola vs phojola


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misu
Posts: 94
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Location: Turku

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by misu » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:28 pm

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Last edited by misu on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jahasjahas
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Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by jahasjahas » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:46 pm

Here's a recent suomi24 discussion that includes some places and their prices: http://keskustelu.suomi24.fi/node/11817307

Though they talk about early pregnancy ultrasound in particular. Not sure if it matters.


chickensexer
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:29 pm

Hello Dear All,

And thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread.

I'm now 31 week pregnant (delivery estimated in mid-April) and just like many other first timers here, I've been perplexed and even a bit disappointed by the system of pregnancy following/Neuvola. However, I've lived here long enough to understand that being created by Finns and for Finns, the system makes perfect sense to Finns. And on top of that they are mostly quite good in English, which is very nice of them indeed. Also, being able to plug via other venues most of what seems like a gap to me, I'm not all revved up or whiny about the whole thing.

However, there are still a couple of things I can't figure out and I hope experienced moms here would be able to help. I have 2 questions: about giving birth and about clothes for a newborn.

1. Giving Birth. In non-Finnish sources I've been going through as well as in this thread I keep coming across something like "birth plan", "communicating to them what do you expect your birth giving to be like" and "just ask them for whatever you need". And I've got not a tiniest clue what it's all about. I watched all the birth related info videos on the Finnish health care site (don't remember which one) and learnt something what it might be like. But I still have no idea about what is it that *I* might want or not want, and what kind of "plan" or "requests" I might or should have (apart from figuring out that I really would like a family room). What I expect? - I expect to end up with a healthily delivered baby, and I don't know anything else about the whole thing from the woman perspective.

Can you please share what those expectations, plan and requests might be?

2. Clothes for the newborn. Just as with the topic above, I'm clueless. I went to a couple of stores and saw a lot of tiny stuff of moderate cuteness. I even discovered that they have age/size markings going roughly in 3 months time ranges. Recently I applied for the KELA "baby dowry" and it came amazingly fast. The box contains impressive variety of the same baby stuff, probably less cute and it seemed to me of a larger size. All of those things are a totally unknown world to me: separate shirts and pants, one-pieces with or without legs and what nots....

So the question is: what clothes I really need to have for the baby for the first month or two (until I'll get a hang of it all), and how much of each thing? As I'm also clueless regarding baby clothes laundry routine...


Rip
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Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by Rip » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:19 pm

I don't remember too well all the details, but anyway:

The begin with the baby does not really move. I don't think it matter if the clothes are bit loose, and and if you have lot of small things, they can get too small quite fast. If things go well (fairly normally) the 4 and 5 kg mileposts go past pretty fast.

Babies do burp out and vomit and you'll have some diaper malfunctions so there should be enough (how many?) especially simple basic stuff to use indoors at home. Most of the time indoors with us some shirt (the head is big, so if there are buttons, remember to open them :)), pants and some easy to zip up and down(easiest if the zipper extends down one of the legs) overalls.

We used regular "sensitive" washing liquid. Usually cotton tolerates 60 C wash. If you want to save money and don't have friends/relatives that bring stuff in bag loads as gifts, then go and visit flea market / flea market events. The baby him/herself does not care what it looks as long at it is dry, warm enough, and reasonable soft. (You can take the photos for grandparents in the nicest looking clothes).


chickensexer
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:46 pm

Thank you very much Rip. Yes, "how many" is really the question. I did know they pee and poop a lot but didn't realize the burping and vomiting part. So that's where the laundry question came in - how often, and how many sets of clothes babies go through in how short periods of time.

I guess money is not an issue in our case - althogh we are not the "all the stars and diamonds for our little darling" type - but thanks for reminding about the "danger" of well meaning parents bringing truckloads f stuff! :) (gosh, i should get used to the fact that they will actualky be "grandparents" now because we'll be the PARENTS :shock: ) And i do realize the baby herself doesn't care much about what things look like. But i jsy hope to find out how much and of what exactly to have ready fir the 1st month. Abd since it's our first - i guess i wouldn't mind having a pupu or nalle patterned thingy. Or two. Or five. :)


chickensexer
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:35 pm

And i also hust found out that there is no doctor during delivery either ("unless something goes wrong").

Sorry, i can't help but feeling that's just weird to me.. :|


leisl
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by leisl » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:17 pm

Doctor not present: totally normal. It's not necessary. And actually they are not the experts on giving birth. Midwifes are. Doctors are about intervention as that is their role, to evaluate when it is needed.

I am going to PM you about the clothes and birth plan.


chickensexer
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:24 pm

How an obstetrician can be a "no expert". :o And no, it is not normal to not have a doctor. At least for us, foreigners from many different countries it's very far from normal.

I'm not suggestng to change Finnish system of "normal" to cater to sense of "normal" of foreigners. But this forum is mostly for foreigners, and the topic is about experiences. So this is my experience and my feelings about it.

Also, what about the antenatal classes? The 2 sessions class provided by Neuvola are way too superficial. Unless i'm seriously missing something, there isn't any part teaching a couple relaxation/breathing/specific massage for the 2nd stage of delivery, nor coverage of anesthesia thorough enough for a woman to be able to make an educated decision.

Overall, my experience throughout the whole period of 7 months so far is that i'm not treated as a pregnant woman but rather as a biological container producing a new life. The system only measures some numeric values of the developing human inside me. The only interaction with me as a person is mostly useless chit-chat along the lines of "whatever feelings you have -it's all normal, no reasons to worry". :ohno:

In the very beginning i had a very positive and trusting attitude to this journey, giving benefit of the doubt at every point that caused me scratch my head in confusion and some disbelief. But as my disappointments grew, fueled by cases when Things were being ignored by Neuvola and I was getting needed information and help elsewhere, i realized that i need to read, research, seek help elsewhere and do a lot of things on my own. The only thing i continue trudting Neuvola with is routine measurements...

Interestingly, my Finnish partner started questioning things, being disappointed and feeling shorthanded even before me. :)

Overall, Experience Producing a Healthy Baby in Finland - i hope in 2 month i'll be able to confirm that it works and supports Finnish statistics. But Experience Being a Pregnant Woman in Finland - sorry, I can't help but being disappointed. :|


leisl
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by leisl » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:12 pm

I can't speak for all places, but Australia and the UK there's not usually an obstetrician at the birth, they're only called in if there's an issue. The presence of the obstetrician will increase the likelihood of intervention / caesarian. I don't know where you're from, but you can look up the caesar rates for your home country. Finland's is about 16% (2008 figures) and the lower the better. Midwives are actually extremely well trained and pay a lot of attention to many facets of what's going on. They're also armed with a lot of practical knowledge and actually have the time to spend with the mother. Don't underestimate how good they can be :) Their aim is to get you through a natural birth (where safe) - it is their specialty. While an obstetrician is, by necessity, also thinking of all the procedures they can do, which in a perfect world, most women would rather not have.

(A woman once said to me that she arrived at hospital in no pain at all and asked when "the" epidural would be arranged. The midwives looked at her blankly and asked how much pain she was in. But she was under the impression that nobody WOULDN'T want one in 2009 because everyone she knew had had one as a normal thing. In most countries they aren't automatic and handed out like chocolate bars as a preventative measure - it's not a hotel where you check in and then ignore your lower half until it's all over, it's a birth and you have to actually experience/feel something, at least a little, lol.)

I suspect that Neuvola assume a support network exists for all mothers, including new friends made at the classes :( Which is really not fair when the mother doesn't have a lot of friends who've recently had children here. I don't blame you for being disappointed. New friends never really worked for us either despite it not being Finland. Those groups tend to keep contact until their children start school, but it never interested us to be that outgoing, so we weren't a part of it.


chickensexer
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:21 pm

Epidural, as it turns out from some of my reading, comes in various forms, with very different effects and thus very different impacts on the process. It's exactly because i don't want to do it the "i check in and you guys let me know when the baby is out" way - that's why i need the information on their epidural options and duscussion with an anesthesiologist, BEFORE I'm all sweaty and distressed rolling my butt on the exercise ball in the ward.

Support groups... Isn't it that medical staff rather NOT have people drawing their "knowledge" from just "a friend of my grandmother's cat's second cousin told me...". I checked some of expectant mothers forums in various languages and as a rational person came to a conclusion that those are better to be avoided if in need of real medical knowledge. One would think Neuvola system would try to PREVENT their population bein "educated" in such way. :?


leisl
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:26 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by leisl » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:31 pm

Yeah :(
But then, even with all the new and magic things available in the 21st century, some parts of the process are the same as they were 1000 years ago and things many other parents can remember and share.


chickensexer
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Being pregnant in Finland - experiences

Post by chickensexer » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:04 pm

Received a letter frm HUS: "An appointment Hans been booked for you for Discussion of Fear of Labor", and a questtionaire: "What thoughts do you haave regarding the upcoming labor? Do you have support group you could talk to? Do you realize importance of fear management prior to labor?..."

What the... :shock:


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