Birth in Cyprus - Three times over!

I've had a fantastic response to my plea for stories of pregnancy and birth in Cyprus, and it's been really interesting for me (and hopefully will be to other ex-pats facing the same situation now or later)  Today I'm sharing Sarah's story with you. Like many other ex-pats I've come across she has experienced giving birth in both the General hospital and a private clinic, once again I'm pleased to say that the General wins out!

I'll hand you over to my questions and Sarah's answers....

Did you have your baby in a private clinic or in the general hospital?
 I have 3 children, all of them born in Cyprus but my first was in the Napa Olympic Clinic (Private) as Paralimni general hospitals maternity ward wasnt open at the time, and it would have meant travelling to Larnaca for all appointments and the birth. Both my 2nd and 3rd children were born at the General hospital with all appointments and scans there too. Although I did pay for the 4d scans at the Lito as well as having the free scans at the hospital purely for my own benefit, and they are 'special' scans! Having experienced both private and general births as far as I am concerned there is no comparison!! The general is fab!!!

How much did it cost?
 For my 'not so wonderful' experience at the Napa Olympic with my first child we paid £1400 Cyprus pounds

What was the care like? Were you happy with it?
With my first and second child I suffered from pre-eclampsia. With my first at the private clinic, they didnt really seem that concerned at all! Although it was explained to me that i would have to a c section because of my blood pressure etc. In fact, I remember going to my normal check up on the friday morning (38 weeks) having the normal checks and being asked if i would prefer the c section tomorrow (the saturday) or Monday. My response....'your the dr.....what do you suggest'! He answered Monday. I left the hospital and had to report back to my mother as to how the check up went, told her my blood pressure digits and to say she flipped a lid was a slight understatement!! Apparently I should have been on bed rest with it all weeks ago! The poor doctor got a call from my 'concerned' mother, and agreed that perhaps it should be done sooner, so I was back on the Sat for the section! After my son was delivered and I was back in the room I was complaining to my husband of a really bad headache. He told the nurses and was told 'she has just had a baby'!! To which his response was 'She also has very high blood pressure have you checked that?'. They relunctantly came and checked it, and within 5 minutes I had the Dr in my room and emergency tablets because it was dangerously high!

With my Second child, having previously suffered from pre-eclampsia I was well aware of the symptoms and so not too surprised when the blood pressure started to creep up! But the general hospital were well aware of my history and weren't about to take any chances. I ended up being kept in for about 5 weeks on and off being monitored before my son was delivered at 37+6 by c section. Not much fun for me because it was all over the Christmas period!!! But the staff and Drs were fantastic!!!! And they even let me home to spend Xmas eve night and Xmas day with my son and family providing I promised to be back there by 7pm xmas night!!!! I dread to think how much this whole episode would have cost at a private clinic!!!

Baby number 3 came as a bit of a surprise and she was born 15 months after my son. This time round there was no pre eclampsia!!! But again, with my history and the fact that it was so close to my 2nd c section I was very closely monitored. Again I didnt have much of a choice in the matter, it was c section number 3 for me and she was born at 37+5.

But overall, having spent so much time in the general with my middle child and then back there so soon with my 3rd I have to say I can not fault the care at the general hospital. I did find one dr in particular at the hospital very short and sharp and not very friendly at all! But just got to accept that was his way and he had little bed side manner. Altough he did occasionally crack a joke! But my theory was, its the midwives that you are with 90 per cent of the time anyway. I did find that on there 'rounds' the Drs and nurses come round and talk to each other about you as if you arent there and leave with no info! So make sure you ask because they wont offer it! The nurses and Drs are fantastic. You do occasionally have the language barrier which can only be expected when you are having a baby in a different country! But at the end of the day there English is a lot better than my Greek!!!!

What do you wish you had known about having a baby here beforehand?
 With my first child at the private clinic, I had an epidural (which they eventually got right on the 4th attempt!) but my husband was allowed to stay with me. However as the epidural wasnt working quick enough I was given a general. I automatically assumed that the same would apply at the general hospital, your partner would be allowed with you in the operating room but they arent. I stupidly didnt ask that question 2nd time round and found out that as I was being wheeled through the operating room. 3rd time round I knew exactly what to expect!! But the midwife stays with you in the Operating room and was constantly talking me through etc and calming me down as that was my first experience with the spinal working and being awake through it all.

Did you have any pain relief? What was available to you?
 Again, General hospital wins hands down!!!! If I asked for pain relief I was given it. In fact the whole receovery process with my 'general' births were so much better! At the general, they have you up and about the next morning. Help you shower etc. But the more mobile you are (within reason obviously) the quicker the healing process. At the private hospital, I remember being helped up being told to 'hold myself together' walking 5 steps and that was it! I buzzed for a nurse and when I told them I need to go to the toilet they looked at me with 2 heads and said 'yes you can'!!!! and left me to it!

At the General also, the baby is left in the room with you!! Which makes you more motivated to get up and care for your child. Which also helps with the bonding process! I was shown how to make the bottles, bath etc. If ever I asked them to help me, or to take the baby so that I could rest for a while they had no problems with it at all!! At the private hospital, my son was taken away from me and kept in the nursery. I had to ask them to fetch him into me and even then it was a chore!!! I fed him once in the whole time I was there, and was basically handed him back when I was leaving!!

How long did you stay in hospital after birth? What was it like?
 My first was 5 days. Second, was probably about 6 weeks! And third was 5/6 days (the longer the better with her!!! I tried to make the most of the rest!!!)

I now have 3 lovely children, and I can not fault the maternity care etc at the general hospital and would most certanily choose there over private any day,

To see all the other stories so far.....visit my Pregnancy and Birth in Cyprus page


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