In a previous post I talked about choosing the right hospital for giving birth, and now I will go more into detail about the facilities of Döbling Private Hospital Vienna, speaking from my own experience. This might be useful for you if you live in Austria and do your initial hospital research, or if you would like to give birth in Döbling.
You can choose between a double room (where you would share the room with another mommy), a single room or a family room (if also the father wants to stay overnight). To sum up all the facilities, in all rooms you get all basic toiletry products (shower gel&shampoo, soap, body lotion, toothbrush and tooth paste), disposable maternity underpants, maternity pads and breast pads, plus everything you need for the baby: clothes (sleeping bags, onesies and pants), diapers (Pampers New Baby – Size 1) and baby wipes (Hipp brand).
All rooms have a green view to the interior garden of the hospital, and our room also had a balcony, where we could eat our meals if the weather was fine.
Food and drinks:
The food there was really good (maybe one reason why I only lost 5 kg during my 6-day stay).
For breakfast you have a big list of items to choose from, with no limit on quantities. For lunch and dinner you have 4 options each, different every day, specifying the number of calories per serving and highlighting the foods that are best during breast-feeding. There is also a snack after lunch (called “Jause”) that includes a juice of choice and a cake. In my opinion, the 3 meals are more than enough, and you don’t need the extra calories from the snack, especially when lunch already includes dessert.
Breakfast is delivered to your room at around 8am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 2pm and dinner at 6-7pm.
You have Vöslauer mineral water at your disposal and you can have as many teas as you want for you and your guests from the recreational room on the hallway (if you are planning to breastfeed, you should drink the special breastfeeding tea called “Stilltee”).
An interesting point is that for lunch and dinner you can opt for eating in the room or at the hospital restaurant (which we wanted but never actually did).
So these are the conditions, but let’s talk about the actual delivery process – what happens before and after birth.
Around 2:30am my husband and I entered the Maternity Ward without any prior notification. A Midwife came to us and we first went to a room where we made a CTG (Cardiotocography) scan, which monitored my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat for one hour.
As the contractions proved to be the real ones, the Midwife showed us to my room, where I could stay and rest until the pain got stronger and the contractions closer apart. After that we went into the delivery room, where the Midwife left us have our privacy and intervened only from time to time for check-ups and when we needed her. I was free to choose to stay in the positions I felt more comfortable in (e.g. medicinal ball, chairs, bed); in my case, when the pain got worse, I tried the bath tub which was quickly prepared and I was able to sit there comfortably for as long as I wanted. In my case, it really helped with the pain, but also slowed down the whole process, so finally I decided to get out.
If you need an epidural, there is always an Anesthesiologist in house. In case he is in another operation, there is another Anesthesiologist on call that can quickly come to the hospital for you.
As the actual delivery is very different from one person to the other, I will not go into details on this point, but I would like to emphasize that each patient is free to choose the way she wants to give birth and she will get full support from all the medical staff. My personal feeling was that the midwifes encourage you to have a natural, medication-free delivery, but in case you have other wishes, they support you.
After the delivery, the Midwife helped me go to my room. As I was feeling weak, they carried me with the bed there. From this point, I was able to rest, while the baby remained with the Nurses overnight.
Interesting aspect: the baby can stay with the nurses all nights until the mother feels recovered, no judgement. However, I would recommend starting to stay with the baby overnight as soon as possible and, in case you need help, call the nurses. At home you will not have this option. Whenever I needed something, I could ring the bell and somebody would come to help me, whether it was for breastfeeding, pain medication or soothing the baby.
After birth care in Döbling Privatklinik Vienna:
Each morning, the babies are taken into the nursery room, weighted and given the basic hygiene. In the fourth day, one of the Nurses will help the mother (or father) give the baby a bath, with very clear explanations that we could take home and implement right away. We also made a video to make sure we don’t forget anything, but we did not need it.
Regarding baby products, they use Weleda oil for cleaning the ears and for the baby massage and Octenisept for disinfecting the umbilical cord. They do not recommend using too many products (e.g. diaper cream) and use them only in case you need them (e.g. irritation, dry skin). The good thing is that, at the end, you also get a list with all products you need (for the baby care and for breastfeeding support), so you really don’t need to remember any product names.
While in the hospital, a Pediatrician will do the baby’s initial check-up and a follow up before going home (this is required by the Mother-Baby Pass, an Austrian document that includes all key information throughout the pregnancy and then follows the baby’s check-ups in the first years of life – including vaccines). Also, you can make a hearing test and the hip ultrasound (also mandatory in Austria).
Besides regular check-ups made by Midwifes and nurses to monitor the recovery from the delivery (e.g. size of uterus), the doctor can order other check-ups/procedures. In my case, I did a hip X-ray, daily blood tests to see the iron levels and had to wear compression stockings for a few days. I was also visited each working-day by a Physiotherapist that worked with me some exercises which would help the body to recover faster.
That basically sums up my delivery experience at Döbling Private Hospital.
If you have any questions/comments, please post them below.
Later edit: In the meantime I had another baby which was born in the same hospital. You can find my updated delivery experience here.