Camila moved to Switzerland from Brazil in 2014. The cultures are completely different. In Brazil, you are never alone and most of your life takes place outside, but in Switzerland, people spend much more time at home or outdoors. So, it was hard for her to get settled here, especially since she lived in Bern initially, which is not very cosmopolitan. She learned German very quickly, but only ever heard people speaking Swiss German around her, which was frustrating. When Camila became pregnant for the first time, she sought out a suitable hospital for the birth.
Both of your children were born at Klinik Im Park in Zurich. How did you find the hospital?
A friend recommended it to me. I looked at everything before the birth of my oldest son and also attended the prenatal courses there. I felt so comfortable and the midwives were extremely pleasant. Most of them also spoke English, which really helped me during the birth of my oldest son. My German wasn’t very good back then.
What did you appreciate most in the maternity unit and after the delivery?
The midwives. They were just great; there’s no other way to say it. The midwives from my first birth took care of me during my second as well. I asked for that and it gave me an added sense of security and trust in the people and the environment. They always listened to me during the birth and motivated me. Without them, it would have been impossible. The delivery room is just beautiful. I also liked my room. And the food was fantastic. You really shouldn’t underestimate things like that after you give birth.
You gave birth in January, right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Was that a problem?
No, not at all. We didn’t feel like coronavirus existed at all; it was as though there was no pandemic. Everything was completely normal. This sense of security was very important to me. I had a lot of respect for my second birth, too. If I had had to deal with the worries around Covid-19 as well, that wouldn’t have helped matters.
Was your husband able to accompany you to the maternity unit or visit you after the birth?
Yes, my husband was there during the birth. He was also allowed to visit me with my oldest son afterwards for a maximum of one hour. But that’s enough time for a 19-month-old baby.
How did your firstborn son react to his little brother?
At the beginning, he was confused and didn’t really know how to deal with it. He is only 19 months old after all. When I came home, he was very jealous initially and needed a lot of attention. But now things are good.
How long did you stay at Klink Im Park after the birth?
Originally, I wanted to go home in two days because of my firstborn. But I felt like I was in such good hands, and the midwives were so helpful, friendly and experienced that I stayed longer. I was really pampered after the birth and was able to recover very well.
What tips would you like to pass on to expectant mothers?
Stay at the hospital for five days, not four, and let yourself be pampered. At home, you are all alone and have to do everything yourself. That is stressful enough.
What can you recommend to other families that have recently moved to Switzerland?
Learn German, that is very important. Find out how the healthcare system works. Here in Switzerland, it's excellent. And I can highly recommend giving birth at Hirslanden. I was in the best of hands.