Hospital Birth in Israel: What to Expect
Full Israel hospital list here
Based on our visits to hospitals in the Sharon area (Ichilov (Lis Maternity), Tel Hashomer (Sheba) Beilinson, Laniado, Meir) here's a general guide about what to expect about giving birth in hospital in Israel.
Hospital Admissions Procedure
Before you leave for the hospital, make sure you have either teudat zehuts (Israeli ID) or passports for both you AND your partner as well as your pregnancy file/cartis ma'akav ha'rion (pregnancy history).
At every hospital there will be a maternity drop off point enabling you to enter the hospital while your partner finds parking. In the event that you are arriving close to the final stages of labour, the hospital midwives will immediately admit you to the labour and delivery ward. The admissions paperwork will be filled out by you or your partner as soon as is possible. However, identity bands will be given to you and your partner immediately.
Normal admissions procedure involves opening up a file, which can be done together with your partner. Once the file is open you will be asked to wait until a midwife comes to you to begin the routine testing and monitoring. This includes:
attaching you to CTG (cardio topograph) machine, which monitors both the strength and frequency of your contractions as well as the fetal heartbeat
The midwife will then establish whether it's time to admit you to the labour and delivery or to send you home.
You will be assigned your own delivery room and one midwife, who will have up to three women in her care. We advise visiting several hospitals to view their facilities. For information on what to take with you to hospital, read more here on what to pack in your hospital bag.
Routine procedure for baby:
Eye drops, Vitamin K shot and Hepatitis B vaccination. Vaccinations are only given with parental consent and can be refused in the hospital.
Post Birth Health Check for Baby in the Nursery
Why do they take my baby from me for six hours after the birth?
This is a topic that many of our mums and dads-to-be have many concerns about. The concern is often not related to the tests the baby will need to have but more about the way in which the testing is carried out in Israel. I am referring to the practice of taking your baby to the nursery approximately one hour after the birth for up to six hours while the neonatal check is performed.
There are several reasons why the baby will need to go to the nursery for the neonatal check:-
The midwives are not trained by standard here to do the initial neonatal checks to detect newborn abnormalities.
A paediatician will perform the baby check in the nursery, therefore it is more efficient to have all the babies in one place.
The mother cannot be discharged to the postnatal ward with the baby, so the baby has to leave to be checked and then the mother go through the discharge procedure
If you are giving birth at home or in hospital natural birth centers, the midwives receive additional training to perform the neonatal check, which is why your baby is allowed to remain with you. This applies in the Tel Hashomer birth center .
Here we have answered some expectant parents' commonly asked questions:
Can my husband stay with baby for this time?
Yes, he will be given the choice and can go with the baby to the nursery.
Can I go see my baby during this time?
No, not if you have had an epidural as you will have difficulties walking for several hours . But if you can walk, yes you can go to the nursery.
What tests are done on the baby during this time?
A full neo-natal check will be carried out, which includes: 1. looking for any abnormalities 2. muscle tone and reflexes, 3. heart and respiratory rate, 4. maintaining temperature 5. measuring weight