5 Hospital Tips for Pregnant Moms in Sweden

I wrote this article for Newbie sometime in May 2017 when I was pregnant with Teni๐Ÿ˜. One random afternoon, I was looking for what to expect from your clinic as a FTM (First Time Mom) in Sweden but I didn't get a lot of articles in English so I decided to write my own experience down. These are some of the things to expect from your clinic either as a first time, second or just a pregnant newbie in Sweden. I feel that this piece will be very useful for first time/newbie mums or just anybody interested in knowing more about the Swedish systems in relation to maternity.  As usual, I will be sharing my own top 5 tips which I either found strange, amazing or fascinating. Of course, it is not limited to only 5 but I just personally love that number๐Ÿ˜. So let's dive right into it ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

1. Only one official Ultrasound: This was very strange and worrisome for me when my midwife told me at 10 weeks that I will only have one official ultrasound. I used the word ‘official’ because the government funds this ultrasound and you don’t have to pay for it. However, if you cannot wait till week 18 and above like me, you can opt for a private ultrasound which will cost you some money depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. The official ultrasound at around 18 weeks is often called a fetal morphology or anomaly scan. The scan takes a close look at your baby and your uterus (womb). The person carrying out the scan (Sonographer) will check that your baby is developing normally, she'll look at where the placenta is lying in your uterus and probably tell you the gender of the baby as well.

2. Your first appointment is around week 8-10: So you take a pregnancy test at 4 weeks and it turns out positive and out of excitement, you pull a call through to your health centre to inform them about the good news and of course, you are expecting to meet a nurse the next day. Sorry to burst your bubble๐Ÿ˜†, it doesn’t work that way in Sweden. When you inform your health centre about your pregnancy, you will be directed to a midwife, who will ask you few questions like “your last menstrual day?”, “how you feel?” amongst others. This will determine your first appointment date which will likely be scheduled immediately to around week 8 or thereabout. This doesn’t mean that you cannot call your midwife before the appointment if need be. For me, I had my first appointment at week 10 which was fine since I didn’t have any complications or major sickness to worry about.

3. Your Midwife does almost all: This was very surprising, strange and shocking to me when I discovered that if I don’t have any complications during my pregnancy then I might not be meeting a doctor throughout my antenatal meetings. Well, let me just say I was shocked because I am used to the system of seeing a doctor for most of my consultations and questions in Nigeria. So I was already expecting I would be meeting a doctor from time to time but that did not happen. Even though I met with my midwife all through the pregnancy journey until the tail end (story coming soon๐Ÿ˜ช). However, if you did not develop any sickness or emergency during your pregnancy journey, you will be attended to by your midwife till you pop your baby out.

4. Antenatals are totally free: As a first time mom, I had a lot of worries and concerns. I also had to plan my budget on time so I don’t get unnecessarily worked up before the baby’s arrival so it was important I know about what the hospital bills will look like and what to expect but I was amazed, happy and surprised when my midwife told me that I didn’t have to pay for any of my visits. Not as if I wasn’t used to the free health care system when you reach a certain threshold in a year, but I was already thinking I might be paying a certain amount at first and maybe the subsequent ones will be free or something but alas, it’s totally free and you don’t have to worry about any bills. So for any pregnant newbie it’s good to let you know that, as long as you are a resident and have a personnummer (personal number similar to SSN in the USA) then you are entitled to free antenatals throughout your pregnancy.

5. Listening to your Baby’s Heartbeat: This was the best part of my pregnancy. I really enjoyed and always looked forward to meeting my midwife simply because from the beginning of my second trimester, we always have to listen to my baby’s heartbeat rate to be sure everything is going on properly. This was a very emotional experience for me๐Ÿ˜. I always wish I could meet my midwife everyday just so that we can listen to the heartbeat over and over again. A handheld Doppler will be used to do this and it is just very beautiful.

Other things to note is that:
  • You will be assigned to the health centre that is near your home.
  • Your blood pressure, and salt level will be checked on every appointment to be sure your pregnancy is going on well, amongst others.

I hope you enjoyed reading this informative piece as I enjoyed writing it down. Hey before you go, if you like this article, consider buying me a coffee by clicking here. Until next time...๐Ÿ’‹