I thought it would be fun to have a post about different parenting practices outside of the United States. If you live in (or have lived in) another country, please fill out this survey for your country. I will fill it out for the US for comparison.

Country-US

How long have you lived there?-all my 24 years!

Birth

Where do women in your country give birth? Hospitals, home, birth center?- I believe it is about 95-98% of American women give birth at hospitals. The other 3-5% (I don't think it is as high as 5% actually) give birth at home or birth center.

If few give birth at home, what is the societal view of home birth/UC?-Home birth is often viewed as dangerous and unassisted birth is viewed even more recklessly.

Are pregnant women cared for by OB's or midwives?- Most hospital births are attended by OB's. Some are attended by CNM's but their scope of care is very limited. Homebirths are generally attended by CPM's, very occasionally by CNM's.

Are there any laws against midwives, homebirths, UC?- Every state varies in their laws about midwives but there are no laws against homebirth or UC. The midwive can get in legal trouble if they are unlicensed, but a mother cannot get in trouble although there have been cases of women being harrassed by CPS for their birthing choices.

What is the level of intervention in most births? How many women are induced? Do you know the C/S rate? Are elective inductions/C-sections seen as acceptable choices?- Most births are HIGHLY interventive. I believe the induction/augmentation rate is around 80%. Our c/s is currently about 33%, with some hospitals having rates as high as 50-60%. Elective inductions are seen as very acceptable by most, almost expected. Elective C/S are less accepted, but still pretty common, especially for those with previous C/S.

Are breech births, twins and previous c/s considered an automatic C/S?- Generally, yes. Most hospitals will automatically section for breech's. Mothers of twins are "allowed" to attempt a vaginal birth sometimes, but are generally sectioned. VBAC's are becoming increasingly difficult to attain in hospitals, leaving women to choose between a repeat c/s or a homebirth. Most choose a repeat.

Is the cord around the neck or a bigger than average baby considered a risk?- Yes, these are often used as excuses for doing a c/s.

Anything else?

Infant Care

Do most women use formula or breastfeed?- Most initiate breastfeeding at birth (I believe around 70%?) but by 6 months, hardly anyone is still breastfeeding.

Is it uncommon to breastfeed into the toddler years? What is the societal view of this? It is very rare, although we are out there! I would say about 2-3% of children are nursed past 1 year, although that number may be high! Many look down on mothers nursing beyond a few months :(

Is circumcision common?- The US rate is about 50% circed right now, although this varies greatly according to region. In my rural area, the rate is about 80% circed.

Are children routinely vaccinated, and if so, how many shots do they get in their first few years? If not, do children routinely die or become ill from vaccine preventable illnesses?- Yes the majority of children are vaccinated in the US and they receive about 30 shots total, I believe.

Do infants/toddlers routinely sleep in their own beds or in cribs? Is co-sleeping looked down on? Do many allow a child to CIO? Is SIDS a common cause of death in your country?- Most infants sleep in cribs, although quite a few are in and out of their parents beds in the early months. It is considered dangerous and too dependent to co-sleep. Although many do it in those first months, it is not talked about for fear of criticism. The SIDS rate is 1.4 of every 1000 live births, according to this website- http://www.sidsfamilies.com/index.php?sec=sidsstats.

Is babywearing common?- Not very common. More common in more progressive areas of the US. Rare in rural areas.

When do infants receive solids? What are their first solid foods? The AAP recommends no solids for at least 6 months, but they are often started much sooner. The first food is generally rice cereal, followed by vegetables and fruits, then meats.

Please fill out this survey if you are from a country besides the US!

 

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Comments:

Cynthje
Feb. 23, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Voted popular! I filled the survey in the group post cause i was afraid that it would be too long for the comment box!

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Tanya...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 9:50 AM

uh-oh I didn't even think about that! Is there a limit to how long the comments can be?

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Tanya...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Country-Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

How long have you lived there?-16 years, the other 16 years i lived in Holland

Birth

Where do women in your country give birth? Hospitals, home, birth center?- 30 % home births, the rest is hospital births and birthing centres. We have difirent types of hospital births, in most cases the midwife or family dr rents a room in a hospital and the birth is like a birthing centre would be (usually done in cases where there is no birthing centre available) and medically indicated hospital births. Our c-section rate is about 8% for the island i live on and 15% for the netherlands.

If few give birth at home, what is the societal view of home birth/UC?-Home birth is viewed as a normal choice for low risk mothers.

Are pregnant women cared for by OB's or midwives?- Most pregnant women are seen by midwives and family dr's..here you dont go to an OB unless there is a complication..nobody goes to an OB for standard prenatal care.

Are there any laws against midwives, homebirths, UC?- NO

What is the level of intervention in most births? How many women are induced? Do you know the C/S rate? Are elective inductions/C-sections seen as acceptable choices?- Very low. I'm not sure on the exact numbers but i do know that there is no such thing as an elective induction or section on the islands..I think that in Holland there are some private clinics that do elective inductions but elective sections are almost unheard off.

Epidurals are not offered at all (or any other type of pain medication) but you can get them if you want  them and are lucky that there is an anestisiologist available..birth is not seen as an emegerncy so you wont get one to come in the middle of the night for an epidural.

Are breech births, twins and previous c/s considered an automatic C/S?- NO, VBAC is standard, most twins are born naturally (i myself am part of mo-mo twins that were born naturally) and breech birth is not seen as a big deal.

Is the cord around the neck or a bigger than average baby considered a risk?- NO

Anything else?

Infant Care

Do most women use formula or breastfeed?- On the islands breastfeeding is the norm, it is assumed that moms do it. In Holland unfortunately breastfeeding is not so popular :(

Is it uncommon to breastfeed into the toddler years? What is the societal view of this? Its not uncommon on the islands at all

Is circumcision common?- Circumision is seen as a barbaric practice both on the islands and Holland. 

Are children routinely vaccinated, and if so, how many shots do they get in their first few years? If not, do children routinely die or become ill from vaccine preventable illnesses?- The majority of our children are vaccinated but our schedule is very different from the american one... no chicken pox, rotavirus, flu shots etc. Also its unheard off here to give children multiple vaccines at one time.

Do infants/toddlers routinely sleep in their own beds or in cribs? Is co-sleeping looked down on? Do many allow a child to CIO? Is SIDS a common cause of death in your country?- SIDS is rare here, co-sleeping is normal on the islands and those that use cribs usually have their kids share the parents room for at least a year or so.

Is babywearing common?- Baby wearing is not common but most parents cary their babies in their arms for long periods of time..probably because of the climate.

When do infants receive solids? What are their first solid foods? Usually around 6 months, rice cereal is not given here (i had never heard of it untill i saw it on american sites). Fruits and vegetables is usually what we start with.

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Tanya...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Cynthje-I hope you don't mind, I reposted your response. I wanted to make sure long responses would fit. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

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veg4a...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Awesome idea for a survey. I'll be making this a shortcut so I can read the rest of the responses. :)

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kyrie...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 11:49 AM GREAT JOURNAL! voted popular. i hope many women read this and seriously think about it. i wasn't aware of some of the stats for the us, thanks for making me more aware. i guess i fall into the minority for my parenting practices (breastfeeding and child-led weaning, delayed solids, bed-sharing, selective/delayed vax, baby-wearing) except for the fact that i had a medically necessary c/s. (i had spine surgery, they did a modified spinal fusion. the hardware supporting my spine has been recalled due to the cables snapping under pressure, causing a life-threatening emergency. i am having another surgery to fix it, and whenever we have another baby, i will be doing a water HBAC.) i'm looking forward to reading the responses from other mommas. again, AWESOME POST! thanks!

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bless...
Feb. 23, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Country- Honduras, Central America

How long have you lived there? 31 years

Birth

Where do women in your country give birth? Hospitals, home, birth center?- most of the population gives birth at a hospital, birth homes are common only in rural areas

If few give birth at home, what is the societal view of home birth/UC?-Home birth is seen as dangerous for both baby and mother

Are pregnant women cared for by OB's or midwives?- All pregnant women are seen and cared for by OBs

Are there any laws against midwives, homebirths, UC?- NO

What is the level of intervention in most births? How many women are induced? Do you know the C/S rate? Are elective inductions/C-sections seen as acceptable choices?- High intervention and elective C/S are very common and are not seen bad.

Epidurals are not offered at all on private hospitals and in some government hospitals they are administer to first time moms ocassionally, depends on how sensible the anesthesiologist in turn is. If you pay for it on a private hospital you would not have it administered until you are about 6-7 cms dilated

Are breech births, twins and previous c/s considered an automatic C/S?-Yes

Is the cord around the neck or a bigger than average baby considered a risk?- Yes

Anything else?

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Liyoness
Feb. 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Country- Canada

How long have you lived there?-all my life

Birth

Where do women in your country give birth? Hospitals, home, birth center?- Hospital for first, home for second

If few give birth at home, what is the societal view of home birth/UC?- "I'd like to do that but........." Overall people are shocked, or encouraging, rarely negative..

Are pregnant women cared for by OB's or midwives?- Neither, just general practitioners.. Although midwives are covered by our health care system here.. Eventually I would like to get ahold of the BC midwives association and ask them how I can help spread awareness that they ARE covered and they ARE a safe option

Are there any laws against midwives, homebirths, UC?- Nope. Although in Alberta you do have to pay out of pocket for your midwife.

What is the level of intervention in most births? How many women are induced? Do you know the C/S rate? Are elective inductions/C-sections seen as acceptable choices?-  I don't know the numbers, although I think they're very similar to the US.. Interventions are "general" interventions- u/s, bloodwork, GD testing, GBS testing, EFM, VEs, AROM, episiotomy are all "standard" hospital practices..

Are breech births, twins and previous c/s considered an automatic C/S?- Probably..

Is the cord around the neck or a bigger than average baby considered a risk?- I don't know. I don't hear women talk about it.

Anything else?

Infant Care

Do most women use formula or breastfeed?- Formula.. Even the ones who breastfeed often switch by 6 months, and are flat out done at a year. I have only spoken to one other woman in my town who BFed her 4 boys EACH to 3 years old. But I'm currently in a small town, I know closer to Vancouver and Victoria the numbers are better..

Is it uncommon to breastfeed into the toddler years? What is the societal view of this? It is very rare. But overall, I think our society is a bit more accepting. I'm one of those women who has NEVER felt so much as a dirty look in public..

Is circumcision common?- Yes.

Are children routinely vaccinated, and if so, how many shots do they get in their first few years? If not, do children routinely die or become ill from vaccine preventable illnesses?-  Yes they are. I meet so many who do it because they'd "rather be safe than sorry".. I don't know how many vaccines are given, as I stopped keeping up, but I think we have the same schedule as the US. But for the ones who are not vaxed, we do not have the same "epidemic" on our hands that the US does. Hahahahaha... I think I heard of a handful of cases of measles last year.. And ONE case of mumps this year- and that is in a 60 year old mother of an anti-vax mom I talk to online. Needless to say, she's got her mother hanging around her unvaxed kids as much as possible.

Do infants/toddlers routinely sleep in their own beds or in cribs? Is co-sleeping looked down on? Do many allow a child to CIO? Is SIDS a common cause of death in your country?- More people co-sleep than like to admit. But once they ask me what I'm doing, and I happily admit my almost-3 year old AND my 4 month old are in bed with me I hear the sigh of relief as they admit their baby(ies) are in bed with them, too, or that they used to co-sleep.  SIDS, I haven't heard about a SIDS death in YEARS!

Is babywearing common?- Not very.. But everyone here LOVES babywearing.. I get random strangers who come up to me and tell me their daughter does it, and talk up how great it is for breastfeeding..

When do infants receive solids? What are their first solid foods? Well, solids are not recommended for the first 6 months, but many women here still start cereal in the bottle, etc.. Because their mothers told them to..

We are very much like the USA, but I think we're a bit more progressive in some ways that we do less frowining and feuding.. But overall, I think we're always going to follow your trends, simply because we get your cable networks, hahaha!

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Liyoness
Feb. 23, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Shit, I answered this one wrong:

Where do women in your country give birth? Hospitals, home, birth center?- OTHER women give birth in the hospital, birth centres, and some at home.. Some even in their cars, because hospitals for birthing tend to be far away from the town the woman is from (maternity wards keep getting shut down here)

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fluud7
Feb. 23, 2009 at 1:34 PM

this is such an interesing post!

my only question is: how would you know if the cord was around baby's neck during labor?? my daughter was born w/ the cord around her neck 3x. we had no way of knowing.

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