Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cultural Differences during Baby Deliveries

A few people have asked how the delivery and hospital stay were different here in India vs. in the USA. Obviously, we've never had a baby in the US, but based on what we have heard from friends, here are some (mostly pleasant) differences:
  • Over here the husband is rarely allowed into the delivery room, but I got in
  • They were happy for us to take pictures and video in the delivery room
  • Over here you have to move to three different rooms during the delivery
  • Most of the nurses and helpers don't speak English! We used a little bit of our Hindi.
  • Some doctors insist that you don't let the kid sleep under the fan (and give other traditional advice)
  • They refuse to do any circumcisions until a couple weeks after the birth; we convinced them otherwise but tramautized the hospital staff in the process (they hate to see any baby cry, ever!)
  • You don't have nurses coming in all night. Just a visit at 8:30pm (just after dinner) and then at 7:15am in the morning when they serve you tea
  • After 7:30am, there are four types of staff visiting your room: doctors, nurses, doulas (older ladies who bathe mother & child, change diapers, etc.) and cleaning ladies. Libby wanted to take the doulas home.
  • The food for both patient and one guest (me!) is almost all rice; no meat, only some eggs for the mother
  • Tea and snacks are delivered to your door at 7:15am and 5pm
  • Visiting hours are very very strict: from 5-8pm and a guard walks down the hall ringing a bell at 7:45pm to warn the familes milling about that it's time to "make a move"
  • If you order "room service" (the cafeteria will deliver to your room), then you have to pay cash since they won't just add it to the bill
  • There are pediatricians and anesthesiologists in-house 24-7!
  • The entire cost of the delivery and after-care are (understatement!) very reasonable: $760

(originally posted on Saturday, March 03, 2007 as "US vs. India delivery" at

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