What is a maternity hospital?
These are special medical facilities that offer expectant mothers and their babies medical care in pregnancy, childbirth and during the postnatal period. If a mother-to-be is in danger giving birth prematurely, the maternity hospital may insist she become a residential patient for “sokhranenie”, precautionary measures and close monitoring by medical staff until the crisis passes. Maternity hospitals also provide care for newborn babies. They sometimes offer prenatal training to future parents as well as professional training for midwives and obstetricians. Before maternity hospitals were established, childbirth invariably took place in the home.
What types of maternity hospital are there in Russia?
In Russia there are two types of maternity hospital :
There are also prenatal clinics, where women register their pregnancy, undergo tests and scans and have a gynaecologist assigned to them, a specialist doctor to guide them through their pregnancy. Pre-natal clinics also provide the papers women need to be admitted to a maternity hospital when her time comes. There are many prenatal clinics within maternity hospitals , while some are separate.
By law, every pregnant woman in Russia is entitled to free prenatal care and to give birth in a municipal maternity hospital. Some optional procedures though have to be paid for, an epidural for example. Delivery rooms tend to be designed to accommodate up to two or three woman at a time, though some more modern facilities may offer more privacy. Several new mothers at a time stay in maternity wards after their babies are born. Visiting tends not to be allowed, birth partnerships are encouraged in some state maternity hospitals but not others. It is standard medical practice in Russia for one doctor to guide an expecting mother through her pregnancy. Another will take over when she goes into labour.
Another option open to Russian mothers is a private maternity hospital where they are likely to receive a more tailored approach to their pregnancy and childbirth. Women enjoy their own room and are often given more choices in how they give birth. Women are able to choose who is with them for the birth, be it husbands, partners, friends or relatives, and visitors are permitted as well. Here a woman can also make sure that her baby is delivered by the same doctor who has guided her throughout pregnancy. As the difference might suggest, private maternity hospitals can be pricy.
Whatever kind of maternity hospital a woman decides upon, she is advised and helped to prepare a birthing plan. Both state and private facilities can provide training for future parents where they learn what to expect during labour and how to take care of the coming addition to their family.