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