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Further adventures in babyworld

Photo by matt.ohara

If you can read Swedish, then vardguiden is a great source of information on pregnancy in Sweden; this page focuses on what goes on in your second trimester.

If not, don’t worry. Here is a quick guide to what visits you’ll make in your second trimester. Basically, you are due for one standard trip to the midwife and an ultrasound (your second if you chose to have the NUPP test at around 12 weeks).

The ultrasound is an amazing experience – seeing your little one on screen. And it can be a chance to learn a little more about them (such as their little quirks and habits)

The second-trimester trip to the midwife should be booked for shortly after your 18-week ultrasound (usually, you arrange this with the midwife at your booking-in appointment).

For us, this appointment went quite quickly. Our midwife checked that I was feeling okay with everything, that we were happy with how it went at the scan. And then we got to hear little gyermek’s heart beating – another amazing first to add to the list. She then booked me a place on BB’s Stockholm’s ward at Danderyd Hospital. I need to have a back-up hospital, but provided that everything is healthy with the rest of my pregnancy, I have a bed waiting for me at Danderyd.

My midwife also gave me a “moderskapsintyg” with some information about the expected birth date and a little information about me to send to Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency). On this contact page, you can find all the different addresses to send forms to – I just hope I’ve picked the right one!

My next visit is now booked for week 24 and I walked out of the BVC armed with a book (in Swedish) about birth alternatives. My homework before the next appointment is to read through that and come up with options for the birth plan. I am just hoping that the book does not scare me as much as reading this did…

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What to expect when you realise you’re expecting

Photo by -julianol-

So, you’ve taken the test and there is it: a positive result. My first instinct was to book an appointment with my GP. Well, no, apparently here in Sweden that is not the way that things work. Instead, your first port of call in Stockholm should be Vårdguiden‘s website to find out which midwife clinics (BVC – barnmorskemottagning or MVC – mödravårdscentralen) there are in your area (click on “Hitta vård och omsorg” at the top of the page and then search for barnmorskemottaging in your area).

Once you’ve decided on a midwife centre, give them a call and make a “booking in” appointment. Generally, this will be in your 8th-10th week of pregnancy.

Be prepared to spend about an hour and a half at this first appointment. You’ll run through a lot: your health, that of your immediate family, dietary requirements during pregnancy, your smoking and/or drinking habits before pregnancy. The midwife will also take urine amd blood samples and test your blood pressure. You’ll leave there with a sheaf of papers and leaflets to browse through as well.

Shortly after, you’ll be contacted with a date for a 12-week ultrasound if you have chosen to take the NUPP test (for Down’s Syndrome) and for an 18-week ultrasound.

Then, I’m afraid to say, prepare to feel slightly abandoned until your next midwife appointment – not until after the 18-week ultrasound.

Maybe I have been very lucky with my midwife, as I have been able to email her with the few additional questions that I have had, so I don’t feel too cut off. It is a strange feeling though to enter this whole new world and then be left feeling a little alone dealing with it. Babyworld – it is a big, scary place…

But perhaps this is just how mollycoddled we are these days, that we feel we need someone to hold our hand every step of the way?