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Is it feasible for me to live in London but give birth in Paris?

(27 Posts)
MrsFogi Thu 28-Jul-05 21:04:34

I'm getting increasingly paranoid about the cleanliness, lack of staff etc etc in hospitals and would love to be able to go back to Paris to give birth. But I have no idea about the faesibility of this given that it's no. 1. It's due on Jan 8th - has anyone got any idea how long before I'd need to be in Paris and then how long after the birth I'd end up being there before coming back (assuming everything goes ok).
Now this is where I really sound clueless on this whole childbirth business - I take it it won't be faesible to jump on the eurostar when I go into labour and I take it I can't at the end of the hospital stay leave hospital and take dd/ds straight back to London in the car? I'm trying to work out how long I'd end up having to stay with the in-laws (a filthy hospital may be more bearable) or renting somewhere to stay.
Any views/experience would be much appreciated.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 28-Jul-05 21:13:41

I think most women don't go into labour more than two weeks before they have their baby. Re: coming back, it depends how the birth goes. I don't know how long a good birth goes to recover from, I never had any. But I know that if you have a section, you will be out of sorts for at least 2-3 weeks, and realistically more like 6 weeks.

Are French hospitals really that much cleaner and better-staffed?

The two things I'd be worried you'd not have there, that you'd have here, would be a) good breastfeeding support - breastfeeding is even less popular there than here (not applicable if you plan to bottle-feed), and b) the support of your partner/husband and friends.

Caribbeanqueen Thu 28-Jul-05 21:17:05

I had dd somewhere different from where I was living, as I had no intentions of going to the the local hospital.

I flew over at 35 weeks (was taking no chances!) and rented an apartment, although I know a few other women who did it at around 37/38 weeks. It's good it you have people to stay with in Paris.I had nobody, although dp came over at weekends and at 38 weeks to stay.

After dd was born, we stayed 10 days. Could have left earlier but I wanted to go back to dr for a check first.

I know someone who took newborn back from UK after 5 days.

MaloryTowers Thu 28-Jul-05 21:18:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sorrel Thu 28-Jul-05 21:34:40

agree NQC and Mrs Fogi -do you speak French ?

MrsFogi Thu 28-Jul-05 23:08:44

I'm quite heartened that this may be a possibility. Sorrel, yes I speak French, I have moved to England from Paris in June. I think I'll need to rent a place short term though as the only people I couls stay with would be the in-laws and that would drive me insane within 2 hours of arrival.

jennifersofia Thu 28-Jul-05 23:17:52

You could always give birth at home - I had three attendents and house was as clean as I could make it and no in-laws...

Chandra Thu 28-Jul-05 23:21:46

I think it's a good idea MrsFogi, the only thing that stoped me from doing the same was that my country is far enough as for DH not being able to arrive in short notice. To rent a place for a month (2 weeks each side of your due date) may be a good idea as your DH will also have a place to stay when the baby is born.

I wouldn't pay to much attention about breastfeeding support at hospitals, I gave birth in a filthy hospital (sorry, it would be a huge lie to say it was in an acceptably clean condition) and there was nobody around to help me with anything let alone breastfeeding... But if you are concerned about that, probably seeing a BF counselor beforehand may help?

suedonim Fri 29-Jul-05 01:32:18

When I lived in Jakarta some mums went to Singapore to have their babies, about 1.5hrs flight away. They'd go to Singapore at about 35 wks and, if all was well, would fly back to Jakarta as soon as 48hrs later (though I wouldn't fancy Jakarta's airport at two days postnatal)!

geekgrrl Fri 29-Jul-05 06:13:07

bear in mind that you'll need a passport for baby to get back to UK so this might extend your post-birth stay somewhat?

NotQuiteCockney Fri 29-Jul-05 07:42:20

geekgirl - good point! Also jennifersofia - home birth does avoid a lot of these problems.

There are birth center options in London that are quite nice. Also, there's at least one good private hospital in London, attatched to an NHS hospital ... can't remember the name right now ...

Ameriscot2005 Fri 29-Jul-05 09:26:24

The Portland might be easier than setting up in Paris.

ggglimpopo Fri 29-Jul-05 09:40:52

Message withdrawn

ggglimpopo Fri 29-Jul-05 09:44:03

Message withdrawn

NotQuiteCockney Fri 29-Jul-05 09:45:44

The Portland isn't attached to an NHS hospital, though, and has no intensive care, SCBU, etc. So if anything goes wrong, you have to be put in an ambulance and taken to an NHS hospital. (The Portland also has a very high section rate.)

It is clean and nice, though, from what I hear.

franke Fri 29-Jul-05 10:00:19

NQC - are you thinking of St John and St Elizabeth?

hoxtonchick Fri 29-Jul-05 10:08:47

what about all your antenatal care?

starrynight Fri 29-Jul-05 10:27:49

Maybe you could research good hospitals outside of London? You could then travel an hour or two out of the capital and could go home soon after. Maybe people on mumsnet know of good, clean hospitals?

starrynight Fri 29-Jul-05 10:29:20

I also heard a horrible report of the portland where a woman died after having a CB and they were highly criticised in the enquiry afterwards for very poor PN care of women who have had a CB (they didn't take her blood pressure or something for ages after the op).

starrynight Fri 29-Jul-05 10:30:17

Also (sorry, should practise putting everything into one post ) I think finding a good birth centre would be an idea - the one i'm booked into is fantastic: 1:1 care, very clean, freshly cooked meals, all birth rooms ensuite etc.

expatinscotland Fri 29-Jul-05 10:36:21

Don't tempt me, Malory! Gawd, that sounds superb!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 29-Jul-05 10:45:49

There are private and NHS birth centres, all over the place these days.

franke, I think that's the one. It's where the Queen had her babies?

Nightynight Fri 29-Jul-05 11:25:02

MrsFogi,
you need to get a form from the health office in Newcastle, I think, because non-emergency health care is not covered by the E111.
apart from that, you can just go and register at any French hospital. It might be advisable to go a month or so in advance, so that you can visit all the hospitals in your area, and decide which one is your favourite. they can vary quite a lot in the general approach, eg midwife led or consultant led care.
the good thing is that you have freedom to choose which one you prefer. I gave my first choice the sack after I met the conceited (male) consultant who was supposed to be in charge of my care. Second choice was further away, but much more sympathetic.

milward Fri 29-Jul-05 23:30:54

Will need to be able to get a birth certificate in order to get a passport to travel to the uk. Kids need their own passports now. Check with the embassy. Plus for birth certificate you need all the paper work...do you need to be registered at the marie to get a residency document?

MrsFogi Mon 01-Aug-05 20:28:40

Thanks for all the replies - just got back from a w/e away. I don't really fancy the Portland after all the bad press + I would want an ICU wherever I give birth. The birthing centres sound good - are they in hospitals?

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