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Mary's Birth Experience at Hospital Puerta de Hierro

Mary is a mother of four children born in 2004, 2006, 2008 & 2011. Her births were in France (public), Almeria (private), Torrelodones Private, and Puerto de Hierro (public).

She chose these hospitals based on these reasons: "Private in almeria for option of water birth (it was broken when I got there!), private Torrelodones for proximity (though the 3rd might come fast, I was right). Puerto de Hierro, as horrid experience in private and it had finished being built. "

Mary's Story:

I always had epidural “just in case” on my paperwork, with the hope I would never need it. I had epidural is for all four births however. Including the third one which was pretty much half born by the time I got my legs in stirrups! In hindsight I could’ve done without an empirical for that one, but I have always had a distant memory of somebody telling me that it would be pretty scary to come into this world with some woman screaming her head off at you. And the thought stuck with me...None of my babies heard me scream :-) and yet, I worked hard with every contraction!

The last birth was the best, 4th! despite being public I had what I had always imagined : candles in my bedroom, music, big Pilates ball to relax my hips and my pelvic muscles on. I was allowed to sit up rather than stranded beetle position. There were ropes to pull on if you’d wanted to be actually sitting up (I was about 45o angle).

My only disappointment with my public birth in Puerto de Hierro, was that they lost the paperwork for the umbilical chord banking that I had organised. I wasn’t too upset as I do have placenta blood saved from two other previous births. My pregnancies and my births have thankfully been relatively easy, no nauseousness no headaches… I always had acid digestion which I dealt with eating huge amounts of liquids but that’s it. And they’ve been big: all of them 4-4.5 kilos!

My biggest problem was always the huge engorged breasts. I seem to overproduce milk straight after first nuzzle and it’s very difficult to explain that you know better than the nurses when it comes to “milking”. For my last baby, I listened to no shit. I insisted they get me an electric pump. And in advance of my breasts getting too hard to handle I started making test tubes of my milk for my husband to freeze.

The nurses declared that I had enough milk for several babies on their first days. This learning only came about after every birth lead to nightly baths to reduce pressure & trips to the kitchen looking for frozen peas (to reduce bills vessels again), or lying in the bath and literally milking myself and wasting the milk!

I always ended in running to ER in severe pain & would need to use their ‘industrial’ pump. That would happen on day 2, just when you’ve got home and you have to start fending for yourself exhausting. I wish somebody had told me about all this in advance! Good luck mamas!

Did you have a doula? If yes, how was the experience? If no, how do you think having a doula may have changed your experience?

No. I think it would be FANTASTIC, especially as I was the first in my circle to give birth and living far from family it would be very comforting to have an expert on hand to share with and ask for advice.

Did you feel supported in your chosen method of feeding your baby?

Very. Breastfeeding all the way. Although, I should have eaten more after giving birth probably, to help milk production. (Yes, alas my swollen boobs never lasted that long!)


If you're not sure what your own birth preferences are or would like additional information about preparing for giving birth here in Madrid, schedule a free discovery call with me! And be sure to check out the Madoula homepage. If you're looking for doula support during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum please be sure to contact me for a free consultation!

Giving birth is one of the most vulnerable moments in a person's life. There are many factors to consider at all times. The support of a doula from home to hospital adds an additional layer of support for both the birthing person and partner. Continuous care and individualized support increase the likelihood of satisfaction with one's birth experience, regardless of the birth outcome (C-section, instrumental birth, etc).

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