Being a Newbie, I was a bit nervous and scared when I discovered I was pregnant. Not because I wasn’t prepared to be pregnant but because I was far away from my family and I didn’t know what to expect. Even though I still have a few weeks left to meet my little one, I have discovered some many things about being pregnant in Sweden. This might be useful to any Newbie planning to get pregnant, already pregnant and nervous like me or just anyone wondering what being pregnant in Sweden is like.
There are a lot of beautiful things to know about your clinic when you get pregnant in Sweden. I have picked out the top 5 things that were the most fascinating to me.
1. Generally just one ultrasound
It was very strange and worrisome for me when my midwife told me at 10 weeks that I would only have one official ultrasound. I used the word ‘official’ because this ultrasound is funded by the government and you don’t have to pay for it. However, if you cannot wait till week 18 like me, you can opt for a private ultrasound (cost depends on how far you are in your pregnancy).
The official ultrasound is generally done around 18th week and called fetal morphology or anomaly scan. The scan takes a close look at your baby and your uterus (womb). The person carrying out the scan will check that:
- your baby is developing normally
- see where the placenta is lying in your uterus
- and tell you the gender of the baby (if you wish to know)
2. Your first appointment is around week 8-10
So, you take a pregnancy test, it turns out positive and out of excitement you call your health centre to inform them about the good news. Then you expect an appointment with a nurse the very next day? Sorry, but that is not the way it works in Sweden. Instead, you will be directed to a midwife who will ask you a few questions like “when was your last menstrual day?” and “how do you feel?”. Based on your answers you will get your appointment, probably around week 8 or thereabout. This doesn’t mean that you cannot call your midwife before the appointment if needed.
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 more or less everything
It was a bit puzzling to me when I discovered I might not be meeting a doctor throughout my pregnancy (in case I don’t have any complications).
This was puzzling to me because I am used to the system of seeing a doctor for most of my consultations and questions. I have been meeting my midwife all through the pregnancy journey and I can say that I have been nicely attended to by my midwife and it has truly been awesome for me.
4. Antenatals are free of charge
As a first time mom, I had a lot of worries and concerns. I also had to plan my budget so I wouldn’t get unnecessarily worked up before the baby’s arrival. So it was important to know about hospital costs, but I was amazed, happy and surprised when my midwife told me that I didn’t have to pay for any of my visits.
I knew you get the free health care system after you’ve reached a certain payment threshold during a year, but I thought it would not be the case for a pregnancy, but, 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, you are entitled to free antenatals throughout your pregnancy.
5. Listening to your Baby’s Heartbeat
This has been the best part of my pregnancy. I love to meet my midwife simply because from the beginning of my second trimester, we always listen to the baby’s heartbeat rate to be sure everything is going properly.
This has been an emotional experience for me every time I listen to the heartbeat and wished I could listen to the heartbeat every day, over and over again. A handheld Doppler will be used to do this and it is just very beautiful.
There are other things to know about being pregnant in Sweden such as:
- You will be assigned a health centre near your home, where you will do your check- ups.
- Your blood pressure, and salt level will amongst other be checked on every health check appointment.
However, I have only listed my own top 5 which I found either strange, amazing or fascinating. I hope this will help a pregnant Newbie or anyone curious to know about to what to expect from the clinic in Sweden when you get pregnant.