Having a baby in the Seychelles as an Expat
I wrote a post with a guide to expat pregnancy in the Seychelles so I thought I’d follow it up with a post about having a baby in the Seychelles
As I mentioned last time, I ended up having to have a Caesarian with Arthur due to him being breach.
Now, I can only speak from my experience and that of people I know who have had their babies here too…
But, there’s an opinion that expats are ‘encouraged’ towards having a Caesarian. I’m not 100% sure why this is the case. It could be to guarantee what doctor you will have!
Cynics will also tell you that it’s because you have to spend more money (cost of the operation plus a longer stay in hospital!)
Saying that, as long as there are no medical reasons for having a Caesarian you’re not going to be forced to have one! I have expat friends who have had natural births here.
As my experience is in Caesarian section that’s what I’ll discuss here!
As I mentioned in my post about being pregnant here in Seychelles, we had done a hospital visit. Had the shock that the hospital was pretty dated looking (to be nice) and could definitely do with at least a lick of paint!! I do want to say though that this was 2 years ago and they was a lot of construction going on so this may well no longer be the case….I’ll do an update to this post after we have our little boy bump next month!!
I had to ‘check in’ to the hospital the day before my Caesarian at midday. I met the anesthetist who discussed the different options with us. We settled on having an epidural as opposed to general anesetic. He made me feel very positive and relaxed about the whole thing. I had never actually considered general anesetic being an option to be honest. It was weirdly reassuring to know that different options were actually available.
I then went up to the ward where the baby was monitored and I was checked in. I was asked a bunch of questions including some about my religious beliefs.
I was taken to a bed in a big shared room but there were no other people in there.
By around 2pm I was left to my own devices. Not allowed to leave the hospital, no wifi, no AC…..boring to say the least!! On reflection I should have taken the time to enjoy those few final hours of being totally alone! After all, you don’t get much chance for that once the baby arrives!
DAY OF CAESARIAN
The day of the operation I got to have Mark and my parents with me before I went in. In the Seychelles no one is allowed in with you for the operation itself. So in I went all by myself!
I wrote more details of the operation and how it went in my birth story if you want to know more.
They used staples as opposed to stitches, I think this is uncommon in the UK. Not sure as to the benefits or drawbacks of either.
I was given morphine and paracetamol when I needed it afterwards.
AFTER CARE: IN HOSPITAL
I stayed in hospital for a total of 5 nights and In that time I had 3 different rooms. It was pretty annoying having to move but I understood why. The first night in the “waiting room” as it was, the 2 days following the Caesarian in a room right opposite the midwives station and then I was moved right down the end for the last two nights.
When I had Arthur in 2013 there was 1 private room in the ward but it was not available. They were in the process of a big renovation project and so I assume that there will be more. However, I am not sure if that work has been completed yet.
In the night times they would take Arthur so that I slept. At the time, this mortified me. I felt like they thought I wasn’t capable of looking after my son. I felt very vulnerable and upset. Looking back on it now, I think the reasons behind it was because I’d had a Caesarian they wanted me to get rest.
I had a little trouble getting the hang of breastfeeding and the midwives were very supportive of me and helped whenever I needed it. Although, taking Arthur at night would have done nothing to help my milk supply. In the end, I was given a little bit of tough love. I think that’s what I needed. Honestly, I was an emotional mess while I was in hospital and I think I needed them to snap me out of it.
So on my 6th day I knew I wanted to go home and had decided that I would be going home!!! I had to wait to be ‘released’ by a doctor. I was checked over and given the ok. I then had to wait for a paediatric nurse to ‘release’ Arthur. He had lost a little weight but they said it was okay.
I called Mark and told him to come and get me, I was desperate to leave!!
The midwife then asked me if I’d have someone with me, aside from Mark. When I said my mum would be there she told me
“Good, otherwise I wouldn’t let you leave”
Essentially saying Mark and I couldn’t be trusted on our own. Great for my self esteem!
Again, looking back on this it makes perfect sense. But at the time all I could think was that I was being judged as not good enough!!
We were given our bill that we had to pay, although we couldn’t pay it that day as it was a public holiday so the office was closed!
The bill is kind of hilarious, we couldn’t believe how literally EVERYTHING was individually itemised and charged for, right down to individual capsules of paracetamol!
So it ended up coming to around 15,000SCR-roughly around £750 for 5 nights stay, my operation and all aftercare including meds and food-the hospital is most certainly NOT high on my recommended places to eat, I must say!
AFTER LEAVING HOSPITAL
Before we could leave Mahe, we had to register Arthur’s birth. Mark dealt with this, I did not need to be there!
As we had booked our accomodation based around having a natural birth we had extra time left at our apartment on Mahe. I had my staples checked and then taken out a few days later at a little health centre near where we were staying. There were no checks on Arthur for the rest of the time we were on Mahe which I thought was strange!
We took a flight back to Praslin, it was one of the more turbulent inter island flights we had. I was told I had to hold on very tight to Arthur! He was awake an decided he wanted to be fed and so screamed the whole way (luckily it’s only a 15 min flight) until I could feed him once we had landed safely!
Arthur was more than 2 weeks old before he had his first check. The midwife came to us and did a really quick check, looked round the house. Measured him (by hanging him upside down by his feet….no, really!) and then left again!
That was the only home visit we had. There wasn’t a whole lot of support post hospital I have to say.
From then on we went to our health centre for weight checks and vaccinations, none of which we have had to pay for.