Waterbirth in Turkey With 
Barbara Harper


 Waterbirth in Turkey With 
Barbara Harper


Original article at Waterbirth International

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Istanbul, Turkey is a place of history, art, passion and mystery. It is a dichotomy of ancient and extremely modern. The city is divided by the Bosphorus Straits between Europe and Asia. The European side is more old sytle and is reminiscent of the hilly streets of San Francisco. But, that is where the similarity ends. The smells and sites are unique to this ancient city where East meets West. The Asian side of Istanbul sports modern shops and malls, car importers and wide boulevards. The main one being Baghdat Street, where you can shop for Gucci, Versace or even Timberland, sip a latte at Starbucks or eat at McDonalds or Burger King.

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Instanbul

Entrance to Hospital

One of the most modern aspects about Istanbul is the Anadolu Medical Center, with clinic offices on the heart of Baghdat Street and the hospital located just on the outskirts of the Asian side of Istanbul. Designed by an archetechtural firm from Texas, this hospital is the zenith of medical facilities – undoubtedly the most incredible place in all of Europe, if not the entire Middle East, too.

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Inside the Hospital

The maternity department is no exception, offering women and their families large private rooms – all with private bathrooms. In each bathroom is a beautiful and roomy tiled bath with jets and hand held shower. One of the rooms also has a portable birth pool, which was installed in May 2005.

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The Birth Spa

This is all very new to Istanbul and a welcome relief from the usual and customary maternity care offerings for women. Most hospitals require women to share labor rooms with three or four other paitents and to birth their babies in a room with multiple births happening. Privacy is not a concept that is popular.

The cesearen rate is extremely high. Some of the nurses interviewed claim that 90% of first time mothers choose cesarean. Why? To aviod the standard medical maternity model of care, which requires shaving, preping, hourly vaginal exams, IV fluids, nothing to eat or drink, episiotomies, and immediate separation of mothers and babies. To avoid that treatment, they are choosing to have the surgical removal of their babies.

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Barbara with Dr. Melahat and the first woman to use a birth pool in Turkey

Barbara with the Hospital Staff

 

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