France takes good care of mothers and babies after birth. Here are some of the cares I received after discharge from the maternity ward.
Attachment to our health card
Before we got discharged from the clinic, an officer of CPAM (Healthcare agency in France) came to visit us. She gave us the form to fill in order to attach the baby to both me and hubby's health card (Carte Vitale). Within a week, the baby appeared in our health cards so we could get reimbursement from CPAM directly instead of filling a demand form and send it to the agency. This service was not provided during Aelig's time and she could only be attached to one parent. I praise them for this improvement, it saves us the time to deal with the agency and the hassle of having to remember to bring the card where Aelig was attached to.
Home visit from a midwife
The CPAM officer also proposed us a home visit service from a midwife in our area. I immediately said yes. She took the appointment with the midwife and sent me a SMS to inform me the detail of the appointment. The midwife came two days after I went home and once a week during three weeks. She examined both me and the baby. She answered all our questions. This service didn't exist during Aelig's time, how I'm glad they added this as it really reassured me that both me and baby were doing well.
Cost: 27€ per visit, fully paid by the National Healthcare Systems.
Visit to the gynecologist
It is recommended to pay a visit to the gynecologist 6 weeks after giving birth. My gynecologist examined me to know how well I recover, and she reiterated on the importance of contraception. She also prescribed me to 10 sessions of postnatal physical therapy.
Cost: 23€ paid by the National Healthcare, 27€ paid by my private insurance.
Postnatal Physical Therapy (Rééducation périnéale) - 8 sessions
Some foreign reports commented that this therapy is to teach you to make love again so that you will make another baby quickly. Well, it was not presented this way to me. Not once I was told by the medical professionals that this therapy was to please my husband or to quickly get pregnant again or to get back on nice body shape. My gynecologist and midwives recommended this so that I can reinforce the muscles around my pelvic floor, in order to prevent leaking issues in the future. I did 8 sessions with my midwife. I brought both my kids along with me and when the baby cried, she took care of her while I was doing the exercises, how nice!
So what did I do? We started with exercises to tighten the pelvic floor. My midwife inserted two fingers there in order to feel my movements. She then taught me how to hold up my body without breathing, so that the organs can get back to their normal place. I would tightening and releasing my pelvic floor, then do a round of hold up of my body, then the tightening and releasing exercise again. The following six sessions involved a lot of gymnastics for the pelvic area, which would indirectly exercising the abdominal. I did 8 sessions instead of 10 as prescribed because we cancelled two sessions and after an examination the midwife felt that I didn't have to replace the two missing sessions.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience, as beside practicing gymnastics I was able to ask her questions regarding my recovery and the baby's development. I didn't do this after having Aelig because I was not convinced that it was important. Now I'm convinced!
Cost : 19.60€ per session fully paid by the National Healthcare Systems.
Protection Maternelle et Infantile (PMI)
PMI is local healthcare center for mothers and children. The baby should go through medical checkup once a month and we could do it with our family doctor or PMI. During Aelig's time they only had a nurse but this time around, they have a nurse plus a doctor who could give vaccinations to children. I was impressed since the first appointment. The nurse was very friendly. A friend told me that I could ask for BCG vaccination (not mandatory anymore in France but recommended if one is to go to Malaysia) in this center. Indeed. The center was equipped with all kind of vaccines so the doctor immediately agreed to give the vaccination. I'm so glad that it was done and that I didn't have to go through the painful experience to get someone to give BCG vaccination! Another improvement is that instead of getting the vaccination every month like what Aelig did, a baby now only needs get the pain during his/her 2nd, the 4th and the 9th month of life.
Cost : Free for the parents, the PMI gets 28€ from the National Healthcare Systems per visit.
We are so blessed to have all these good cares!