Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Pregnant in Sao Paulo

This year has gone so quickly that I've realised that I haven't posted about being pregnant here in Sao Paulo! I am already at 38 weeks... my first daughter arrived at 38 weeks + 2 days... but I'm hoping daughter no.2 will be arriving in 2-3 weeks more time. I have too much to do!

I will be giving birth in Sao Luiz hospital (Itaim) which has 2 natural birthing rooms, which I didn't get to see on tour* as it's in the restricted zone. I also visited Einstein (Morumbi) where the toilets I visited in the visitors area left much to be desired, particularly from what is commonly stated in SP as the best hospital in South America... and Promatre (Paulista), a maternity-only hospital where the guide asked what the little boy's name was (Sophie) and made me cry (it was just one of those hormonal, emotional, pregnant days...).

A few interesting things I learnt on my hospital tours:
- a c-section is generally the same price as a natural birth;
- there is a viewing window for family and friends to watch the entire birth (seriously!);
- you can have as many visitors in the first few days as you would like (common question on tour)
- you can leave your baby in the bercario all day or night (another common question on tour)
-  you can take your camera into surgery and allocate one of the nurses to take photos for you.

Another few things I've learnt about having a baby here:
- the majority of people here know what they are having from week 12 and have usually named the child as well.. we are still working on it, maybe even a Brazilian name since she will be Brazilian! But people are horrified when I tell them that she still doesn't have a name....;
- we also have to prepare an elaborate name sign for the hospital room door so everyone knows her name, usually these are 3-D castles with gold plated names... we have a blackboard and some chalk...;
- there are special colours that the baby (and mother) have to wear on the first 3 days of its life. I've yet to find out what day 1 and 2 are for a girl but it HAS to be red on the third day; the day she leaves the hospital, and i've even heard with a babygro made out of their father's favourite (read: most expensive) shirt;
- it's common to have as many visitors in the first 3 days (I've just realised that this is why c-sections are more common - you can make sure your hair, nails and make up are done so you look fabulous minutes after you've given birth), possibly even people you have never met!
- you have to give these visitors a gift - or a 'lembrancinha'. Everyone visiting us will be getting a cupcake!
- if you have other children it is customary for visitors to bring them a gift as well so they don't feel left out;
- Brazilians love pregnant women and children (unless you are crossing the road...) but generally you are ushered to the front of the queue in shops, supermarkets, post office, airport!

Einstein Hospital - To schedule the visit you need to call to 2151-1233 and contact the AGENDAMENTO department or email aline.bering@einstein.br who speaks English.
Sao Luiz Hospital - Solange Porcino is my contact there. She doesn't speak English but has been really helpful. Tel/Fax 11 3040-9100 - Unidade Itaim, comercialmaternidade@saoluiz.com.br
ProMatre - You can email hospitalidade@promatre.com.br


  1. Other than the bathrooms, what made you pick Sao Luiz over Einstein?

  2. They have 2 natural birthing rooms at Sao Luiz... if you want to give birth naturally in Einstein then you only have the option of the OR. I didn't get to see the natural birthing rooms at SL but have had friends use them and been very happy with them. Also, location - I live in Jardins at the moment so Itaim is much more convenient than Morumbi!

  3. Wow, crazy birth etiquette! I had no idea about any of that, except for the insane C-section rate and maybe that you should give out lembrancinhas (because any occasion in Brazil is a reason for a lembrancinha!) Have you read this post?
    Will be thinking of you - all the best!!!

  4. Thanks for the link Sarah!!! I was wavering a little - my doctor says she is all for a natural birth but I think she still thinks that natural still involves alot of drugs. As she said at my last checkup, it is much more beautiful when there is no pain! I will let you know how it goes XX