- I didn’t actually give birth in Germany. My wife did. Twice.
- So this should be called 30 thoughts about watching someone give birth in Germany. Twice.
- 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.
- Birth is covered by health insurance in Germany and most people have health insurance.
- However, only the midwife is covered if it’s a home birth or in a birth house.
- Nabelschnur – umbilical cord – is fun to say. Try it! We’ll wait.
- If you’re married when the baby emerges, it belongs to both parents.
- 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.
- The German word for ‘placenta’ is Mutterkuchen (mother cake). Would you like some tea with your mother cake?
- 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.
- 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.
- Say Nabelschnur again.
- Changing diapers isn’t as bad as it sounds.
- A delivery room is called a Kreisssaal which, despite the name, isn’t round.
- 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.
- Midwives are great. I’m a fan. Protip: German word for ‘midwife’ is Hebamme. Probably Latin. Or Greek.
- The German word for ‘cervix’ is Muttermund. Mother mouth. Weird.
- Our Hebammes offered us food and drinks after both births. Even Champagne.
- Champagne, or Sekt, supposedly helps get the milk flowing in moms, our Hebammes said.
- I ate most of the food our Hebammes offered after both births. And drank most of the champagne. Never produced any milk.
- 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”.
- No, you can’t bring a book. Or a Playstation.
- Men get to cut the umbilical cord: The first thing your baby sees is you destroying their relationship with their mother.
- 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.”
- Geburtsvorbereitung is mostly hanging out with terrified couples in very awkward positions. Kind of like a swinger club.
- I’ve never been to a swinger club, actually.
- Check out the German word for amniotic sack: Fruchtblase. Fruit bubble.
- Don’t believe the wives’ tale that nursing acts as a contraceptive.
- Did I mention we have two kids?
- The German word for ‘contraceptive’ is anti-baby pille. Anti-baby pill. You know right away who the enemy is.
I know it’s an older post, but just for completeness (or German smart-assness, as you like 😉 The “Kreiß” in “Kreißsaal” has nothing to do with “Kreis” (circle) but it is actually related to the English “cry”. It’s the place where the first screams can be heard. I don’t know if it refers to the baby’s or the mother’s screams, though… 😉
Thanks for this blog. Enjoying every single post here 🙂
Thanks! I love context.
Haha .. you are funny !! NABELSCHNUR