30 thoughts on giving birth in Germany

  1. I didn’t actually give birth in Germany. My wife did. Twice.
  2. So this should be called 30 thoughts about watching someone give birth in Germany. Twice.
  3. The German word for ‘giving birth’ is entbinden, which literally means “to disconnect”. People do not welcome a new life in Germany. They disconnect from it.
  4. Birth is covered by health insurance in Germany and most people have health insurance.

    giving birth in Germany
    Photo thanks Ralf Appelt via Creative Commons.
  5. However, only the midwife is covered if it’s a home birth or in a birth house.
  6. Nabelschnur – umbilical cord – is fun to say. Try it! We’ll wait.
  7. If you’re married when the baby emerges, it belongs to both parents.
  8. Unmarried? Just mom. Dad has to fill out a form and get a stamp before it’s his. Not even biology is mightier than German bureaucracy.
  9. The German word for ‘placenta’ is Mutterkuchen (mother cake). Would you like some tea with your mother cake?
  10. Some German moms keep a little to use as a Kuchenboost in case the baby gets sick, so babies born in Germany can have their cake and eat it too.
  11. Whether it’s a hospital, a birth house or your bathtub, midwives do most of the birthing work as long as it’s an unproblematic birth (most of them are). That was my experience at least.
  12. Say Nabelschnur again.
  13. Changing diapers isn’t as bad as it sounds.
  14. A delivery room is called a Kreisssaal which, despite the name, isn’t round.
  15. Health insurance probably pays for several post-birth midwife visits at home too. We were grateful at first but contemplated not opening the door by the end.
  16. Midwives are great. I’m a fan. Protip: German word for ‘midwife’ is Hebamme. Probably Latin. Or Greek.
  17. The German word for ‘cervix’ is Muttermund. Mother mouth. Weird.
  18. Our Hebammes offered us food and drinks after both births. Even Champagne.
  19. Champagne, or Sekt, supposedly helps get the milk flowing in moms, our Hebammes said.
  20. I ate most of the food our Hebammes offered after both births. And drank most of the champagne. Never produced any milk.
  21. Men have very little work during a birth. I tried to massage my wife’s shoulders during my son’s birth and she would have killed me were it not for the contractions. So by “very little work” I mean “none”.
  22. No, you can’t bring a book. Or a Playstation.
  23. Men get to cut the umbilical cord: The first thing your baby sees is you destroying their relationship with their mother.
  24. Geburtsvorbereitung sounds dangerous but is actually birthing classes. At ours the midwife said we didn’t need a class: “That baby’s coming whether you want it to or not.”
  25. Geburtsvorbereitung is mostly hanging out with terrified couples in very awkward positions. Kind of like a swinger club.
  26. I’ve never been to a swinger club, actually.
  27. Check out the German word for amniotic sack: Fruchtblase. Fruit bubble.
  28. Don’t believe the wives’ tale that nursing acts as a contraceptive.
  29. Did I mention we have two kids?
  30. The German word for ‘contraceptive’ is anti-baby pille. Anti-baby pill. You know right away who the enemy is.
  31. NABELSCHNUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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