Pregnant and Living in Turkey | Being Pregnant in Turkey

By | on 21 June, 2011 | 11 Comments
Pregnant and Living in Turkey

Being Pregnant and Living in Turkey

Being pregnant is an emotional time for all mothers especially first time mothers like me.  But pregnant and living in Turkey away from family and friends and people who speak the same language as you can make the whole first time pregnancy just that little more stressful.  I hope I can use my experience of being pregnant while living in Turkey to help lift the stress for others and I hope that other Mum’s who have been pregnant in Turkey will also add their advice as well.

Medical Insurance

It is important that you are covered by medical insurance if you are married to a Turkish Citizen then they may be able to add you to their own medical insurance be it private or through work.  If this is not the case then you will have to get your own medical cover.

Register at your local GP

Each neighbourhood/area has its own General Practitioner or Doctors surgery, where you should register not only for during your pregnancy but for when ever the need to visit the Doctor arises.

The visits are free and you only pay for your prescription just like in the UK.  You must have either a residency permit or Kimlik (Turkish Citizenship) to register and you may also need to provide your passport if you just have a residency permit.

Once you are registered you will visit the GP monthly for a check up throughout your pregnancy and this will also be where you take your baby for it’s regular check ups after it is born and for it’s immunisations.

Which Hospital to Choose?

This is probably the hardest decision to make, you can choose between the Government hospitals or the Private Hospitals.  The best way to make the decision is to ask around the people in your area where they went and visit the individual hospitals till you make your decision and also your GP may be able to recommend a hospital for you.

We started with the Government hospital as it is mainly free and cheaper than going private.  We did find a very good Government hospital and they were very efficient however we found them to be a little impersonal and also my Husband was not allowed in during the scan or the birth which meant he was left out of the whole experience and we didn’t feel this was right for us.

We then looked around for a private hospital and found one that suited us as I specifically want a natural birth.  Turkey has one of the highest rates of caesareans, though they are trying to change this you may find the government hospitals may push you towards a caesarean which should really only be an option in an emergency.

For us the costs of a natural birth is around 500 lira and a caesarean is around 1000 lira, prices do vary depending on where you live and the of course the hospital its self.

We asked to view the Labour ward this was to make sure it was clean and friendly and also so that I am comfortable with where I will be and that I know before hand what to expect.  This is normal in some hospitals in the UK to do a tour of the Labour Ward though not normal here if they do refuse to allow you to visit then I would maybe recommend you find another hospital.

How often do you have a Scan?

We go to the hospital every month for a check up and a scan, unlike the UK where they scan only at set points through your pregnancy here in Turkey they scan you every month.  You will have bloods tests and urine test throughout your pregnancy which is normal practise.  Being in my early 30’s I was offered a blood test for Down Syndrome which I did take and it was back within a matter of days.

You will visit your GP on a monthly basis, they will check your weight, blood pressure and monitor the baby’s heart rate which is a great experience the first time you hear your baby’s heart.  They will also ask you various questions to make sure you are doing ok.  You will receive the same check up at the hospital, so there is little chance of missing any problems.

Do the Doctors Speak English?

Yes most of the Doctors do speak English some better than others so it may be beneficial for you to find a Doctor with good English so you can communicate easily with your Doctor instead of having to rely on someone to translate.  The nurse’s do not tend to have English though a few do but I have not found it to difficult to communicate with my little knowledge of Turkish.

Midwife

Are you allocated a midwife, not in my experience and it has been the same for others that I have spoken to in my area, it is your doctor from the hospital that will attend your birth and is in theory your midwife throughout your pregnancy.  Though this could be different in other hospitals.

Birthing Classes

There really seems to be no such thing as birthing classes here in Turkey, it is still seen as a very natural thing for women to give birth and going to parenting or birth classes before hand is not something that is practised here.  You may be able to find some classes in your local area so do ask your Doctor at the hospital, your local GP or friends in your area.

Pain relief

Don’t worry you may be living in Turkey but all the normal pain reliefs are available for during your labour so make sure to discuss this with your Doctor at your appointments.  It may also be advisable that you discuss what you wish to happen during your pregnancy and what pain relief you wish with your husband/partner as you may be a little out of things during labour and it is good if he knows what your wishes are and can make sure they happen for you.

How long do you stay in Hospital?

At our hospital the stay after the birth is around 3 to 4 days depending on both you and your baby’s health.  Again this will probably vary depending on the hospital you choose.

Tetanus Injection

I am not sure if this is done in the UK but certainly here you are required to be given a tetanus injection, you get two separate jabs 1 month apart and then one after the baby is born.  This will be done at your local GP.

Buying everything for Baby

Don’t worry you can find everything you need here in Turkey that you will need for your baby, the supermarkets are full of the normal baby things like nappies, baby milk and food and bathing products.  You will also find plenty shops selling baby clothes, cots, prams, bottles and all the accessories you need.  The other great place to get clothes is your local market.

One tip I would give is I got sent some pregnancy books by friends from home and they are great for reading when you need to know something and also to check out some of the websites online where there are forums where you can chat to others Mums to be.

I have written this article from my own personal experience about being pregnant and living in Turkey and hope that other Mums and Mums to be will contribute to the article to help others Mums who are pregnant and living in Turkey.

 

Pregnant and Living in Turkey | Being Pregnant in Turkey

Being pregnant is an emotional time for all mothers especially first time mothers like me.But living in Turkey away from family and friends and people who speak the same language as you can make the whole first time pregnancy just that little more stressful.I hope I can use my experience of being pregnant while living in Turkey to help lift the stress for others and I hope that other Mum’s who have been pregnant in Turkey will also add their advice as well.

Medical Insurance

It is important that you are covered by medical insurance if you are married to a Turkish Citizen then they may be able to add you to their own medical insurance be it private or through work.If this is not the case then you will have to get your own medical cover.

Register at your local GP

Each neighbourhood/area has its own General Practitioner or Doctors surgery, where you should register not only for during your pregnancy but for when ever the need to visit the Doctor arises.

The visits are free and you only pay for your prescription just like in the UK.You must have either a residency permit or Kimlik (Turkish Citizenship) to register and you may also need to provide your passport if you just have a residency permit.

Once you are registered you will visit the GP monthly for a check up throughout your pregnancy and this will also be where you take your baby for it’s regular check ups after it is born and for it’s immunisations.

Which Hospital to Choose?

This is probably the hardest decision to make, you can choose between the Government hospitals or the Private Hospitals.The best way to make the decision is to ask around the people in your area where they went and visit the individual hospitals till you make your decision and also your GP may be able to recommend a hospital for you.

We started with the Government hospital as it is mainly free and cheaper than going private.We did find a very good Government hospital and they were very efficient however we found them to be a little impersonal and also my Husband was not allowed in during the scan or the birth which meant he was left out of the whole experience and we didn’t feel this was right for us.

We then looked around for a private hospital and found one that suited us as I specifically want a natural birth.Turkey has one of the highest rates of caesareans, though they are trying to change this you may find the government hospitals may push you towards a caesarean which should really only be an option in an emergency.

For us the costs of a natural birth is around 500 lira and a caesarean is around 1000 lira, prices do vary depending on where you live and the of course the hospital its self.

We asked to view the Labour ward this was to make sure it was clean and friendly and also so that I am comfortable with where I will be and that I know before hand what to expect.This is normal in some hospitals in the UK to do a tour of the Labour Ward though not normal here if they do refuse to allow you to visit then I would maybe recommend you find another hospital.

How often do you have a Scan?

We go to the hospital every month for a check up and a scan, unlike the UK where they scan only at set points through your pregnancy here in Turkey they scan you every month.You will have bloods tests and urine test throughout your pregnancy which is normal practise.Being in my early 30’s I was offered a blood test for Down Syndrome which I did take and it was back within a matter of days.

You will visit your GP on a monthly basis, they will check your weight, blood pressure and monitor the baby’s heart rate which is a great experience the first time you hear your baby’s heart.They will also ask you various questions to make sure you are doing ok.You will receive the same check up at the hospital, so there is little chance of missing any problems.

Do the Doctors Speak English?

Yes most of the Doctors do speak English some better than others so it may be beneficial for you to find a Doctor with good English so you can communicate easily with your Doctor instead of having to rely on someone to translate.The nurse’s do not tend to have English though a few do but I have not found it to difficult to communicate with my little knowledge of Turkish.

Midwife

Are you allocated a midwife, not in my experience and it has been the same for others that I have spoken to in my area, it is your doctor from the hospital that will attend your birth and is in theory your midwife throughout your pregnancy.Though this could be different in other hospitals.

Birthing Classes

There really seems to be no such thing as birthing classes here in Turkey, it is still seen as a very natural thing for women to give birth and going to parenting or birth classes before hand is not something that is practised here.You may be able to find some classes in your local area so do ask your Doctor at the hospital, your local GP or friends in your area.

Pain relief

Don’t worry you may be living in Turkey but all the normal pain reliefs are available for during your labour so make sure to discuss this with your Doctor at your appointments.It may also be advisable that you discuss what you wish to happen during your pregnancy and what pain relief you wish with your husband/partner as you may be a little out of things during labour and it is good if he knows what your wishes are and can make sure they happen for you.

How long do you stay in Hospital?

At our hospital the stay after the birth is around 3 to 4 days depending on both you and your baby’s health.Again this will probably vary depending on the hospital you choose.

Tetanus Injection

I am not sure if this is done in the UK but certainly here you are required to be given a tetanus injection, you get two separate jabs 1 month apart and then one after the baby is born.This will be done at your local GP.

Buying everything for Baby

Don’t worry you can find everything you need here in Turkey that you will need for your baby, the supermarkets are full of the normal baby things like nappies, baby milk and food and bathing products.You will also find plenty shops selling baby clothes, cots, prams, bottles and all the accessories you need.The other great place to get clothes is your local market.

One tip I would give is I got sent some pregnancy books by friends from home and they are great for reading when you need to know something and also to check out some of the websites online where there are forums where you can chat to others Mums to be.

Pregnant and Living in Turkey | Being Pregnant in Turkey

Being pregnant is an emotional time for all mothers especially first time mothers like me.  But living in Turkey away from family and friends and people who speak the same language as you can make the whole first time pregnancy just that little more stressful.  I hope I can use my experience of being pregnant while living in Turkey to help lift the stress for others and I hope that other Mum’s who have been pregnant in Turkey will also add their advice as well.

Medical Insurance

It is important that you are covered by medical insurance if you are married to a Turkish Citizen then they may be able to add you to their own medical insurance be it private or through work.  If this is not the case then you will have to get your own medical cover.

Register at your local GP

Each neighbourhood/area has its own General Practitioner or Doctors surgery, where you should register not only for during your pregnancy but for when ever the need to visit the Doctor arises.

The visits are free and you only pay for your prescription just like in the UK.  You must have either a residency permit or Kimlik (Turkish Citizenship) to register and you may also need to provide your passport if you just have a residency permit.

Once you are registered you will visit the GP monthly for a check up throughout your pregnancy and this will also be where you take your baby for it’s regular check ups after it is born and for it’s immunisations.

Which Hospital to Choose?

This is probably the hardest decision to make, you can choose between the Government hospitals or the Private Hospitals.  The best way to make the decision is to ask around the people in your area where they went and visit the individual hospitals till you make your decision and also your GP may be able to recommend a hospital for you.

We started with the Government hospital as it is mainly free and cheaper than going private.  We did find a very good Government hospital and they were very efficient however we found them to be a little impersonal and also my Husband was not allowed in during the scan or the birth which meant he was left out of the whole experience and we didn’t feel this was right for us.

We then looked around for a private hospital and found one that suited us as I specifically want a natural birth.  Turkey has one of the highest rates of caesareans, though they are trying to change this you may find the government hospitals may push you towards a caesarean which should really only be an option in an emergency.

For us the costs of a natural birth is around 500 lira and a caesarean is around 1000 lira, prices do vary depending on where you live and the of course the hospital its self.

We asked to view the Labour ward this was to make sure it was clean and friendly and also so that I am comfortable with where I will be and that I know before hand what to expect.  This is normal in some hospitals in the UK to do a tour of the Labour Ward though not normal here if they do refuse to allow you to visit then I would maybe recommend you find another hospital.

How often do you have a Scan?

We go to the hospital every month for a check up and a scan, unlike the UK where they scan only at set points through your pregnancy here in Turkey they scan you every month.  You will have bloods tests and urine test throughout your pregnancy which is normal practise.  Being in my early 30’s I was offered a blood test for Down Syndrome which I did take and it was back within a matter of days.

You will visit your GP on a monthly basis, they will check your weight, blood pressure and monitor the baby’s heart rate which is a great experience the first time you hear your baby’s heart.  They will also ask you various questions to make sure you are doing ok.  You will receive the same check up at the hospital, so there is little chance of missing any problems.

Do the Doctors Speak English?

Yes most of the Doctors do speak English some better than others so it may be beneficial for you to find a Doctor with good English so you can communicate easily with your Doctor instead of having to rely on someone to translate.  The nurse’s do not tend to have English though a few do but I have not found it to difficult to communicate with my little knowledge of Turkish.

Midwife

Are you allocated a midwife, not in my experience and it has been the same for others that I have spoken to in my area, it is your doctor from the hospital that will attend your birth and is in theory your midwife throughout your pregnancy.  Though this could be different in other hospitals.

Birthing Classes

There really seems to be no such thing as birthing classes here in Turkey, it is still seen as a very natural thing for women to give birth and going to parenting or birth classes before hand is not something that is practised here.  You may be able to find some classes in your local area so do ask your Doctor at the hospital, your local GP or friends in your area.

Pain relief

Don’t worry you may be living in Turkey but all the normal pain reliefs are available for during your labour so make sure to discuss this with your Doctor at your appointments.  It may also be advisable that you discuss what you wish to happen during your pregnancy and what pain relief you wish with your husband/partner as you may be a little out of things during labour and it is good if he knows what your wishes are and can make sure they happen for you.

How long do you stay in Hospital?

At our hospital the stay after the birth is around 3 to 4 days depending on both you and your baby’s health.  Again this will probably vary depending on the hospital you choose.

Tetanus Injection

I am not sure if this is done in the UK but certainly here you are required to be given a tetanus injection, you get two separate jabs 1 month apart and then one after the baby is born.  This will be done at your local GP.

Buying everything for Baby

Don’t worry you can find everything you need here in Turkey that you will need for your baby, the supermarkets are full of the normal baby things like nappies, baby milk and food and bathing products.  You will also find plenty shops selling baby clothes, cots, prams, bottles and all the accessories you need.  The other great place to get clothes is your local market.

One tip I would give is I got sent some pregnancy books by friends from home and they are great for reading when you need to know something and also to check out some of the websites online where there are forums where you can chat to others Mums to be.

I have written this article from my own personal experience and hope that other Mums and Mums to be will contribute to the article to help others Mums who are pregnant in Turkey.

Pregnant and Living in Turkey | Being Pregnant in Turkey

Being pregnant is an emotional time for all mothers especially first time mothers like me.  But living in Turkey away from family and friends and people who speak the same language as you can make the whole first time pregnancy just that little more stressful.  I hope I can use my experience of being pregnant while living in Turkey to help lift the stress for others and I hope that other Mum’s who have been pregnant in Turkey will also add their advice as well.

Medical Insurance

It is important that you are covered by medical insurance if you are married to a Turkish Citizen then they may be able to add you to their own medical insurance be it private or through work.  If this is not the case then you will have to get your own medical cover.

Register at your local GP

Each neighbourhood/area has its own General Practitioner or Doctors surgery, where you should register not only for during your pregnancy but for when ever the need to visit the Doctor arises.

The visits are free and you only pay for your prescription just like in the UK.  You must have either a residency permit or Kimlik (Turkish Citizenship) to register and you may also need to provide your passport if you just have a residency permit.

Once you are registered you will visit the GP monthly for a check up throughout your pregnancy and this will also be where you take your baby for it’s regular check ups after it is born and for it’s immunisations.

Which Hospital to Choose?

This is probably the hardest decision to make, you can choose between the Government hospitals or the Private Hospitals.  The best way to make the decision is to ask around the people in your area where they went and visit the individual hospitals till you make your decision and also your GP may be able to recommend a hospital for you.

We started with the Government hospital as it is mainly free and cheaper than going private.  We did find a very good Government hospital and they were very efficient however we found them to be a little impersonal and also my Husband was not allowed in during the scan or the birth which meant he was left out of the whole experience and we didn’t feel this was right for us.

We then looked around for a private hospital and found one that suited us as I specifically want a natural birth.  Turkey has one of the highest rates of caesareans, though they are trying to change this you may find the government hospitals may push you towards a caesarean which should really only be an option in an emergency.

For us the costs of a natural birth is around 500 lira and a caesarean is around 1000 lira, prices do vary depending on where you live and the of course the hospital its self.

We asked to view the Labour ward this was to make sure it was clean and friendly and also so that I am comfortable with where I will be and that I know before hand what to expect.  This is normal in some hospitals in the UK to do a tour of the Labour Ward though not normal here if they do refuse to allow you to visit then I would maybe recommend you find another hospital.

How often do you have a Scan?

We go to the hospital every month for a check up and a scan, unlike the UK where they scan only at set points through your pregnancy here in Turkey they scan you every month.  You will have bloods tests and urine test throughout your pregnancy which is normal practise.  Being in my early 30’s I was offered a blood test for Down Syndrome which I did take and it was back within a matter of days.

You will visit your GP on a monthly basis, they will check your weight, blood pressure and monitor the baby’s heart rate which is a great experience the first time you hear your baby’s heart.  They will also ask you various questions to make sure you are doing ok.  You will receive the same check up at the hospital, so there is little chance of missing any problems.

Do the Doctors Speak English?

Yes most of the Doctors do speak English some better than others so it may be beneficial for you to find a Doctor with good English so you can communicate easily with your Doctor instead of having to rely on someone to translate.  The nurse’s do not tend to have English though a few do but I have not found it to difficult to communicate with my little knowledge of Turkish.

Midwife

Are you allocated a midwife, not in my experience and it has been the same for others that I have spoken to in my area, it is your doctor from the hospital that will attend your birth and is in theory your midwife throughout your pregnancy.  Though this could be different in other hospitals.

Birthing Classes

There really seems to be no such thing as birthing classes here in Turkey, it is still seen as a very natural thing for women to give birth and going to parenting or birth classes before hand is not something that is practised here.  You may be able to find some classes in your local area so do ask your Doctor at the hospital, your local GP or friends in your area.

Pain relief

Don’t worry you may be living in Turkey but all the normal pain reliefs are available for during your labour so make sure to discuss this with your Doctor at your appointments.  It may also be advisable that you discuss what you wish to happen during your pregnancy and what pain relief you wish with your husband/partner as you may be a little out of things during labour and it is good if he knows what your wishes are and can make sure they happen for you.

How long do you stay in Hospital?

At our hospital the stay after the birth is around 3 to 4 days depending on both you and your baby’s health.  Again this will probably vary depending on the hospital you choose.

Tetanus Injection

I am not sure if this is done in the UK but certainly here you are required to be given a tetanus injection, you get two separate jabs 1 month apart and then one after the baby is born.  This will be done at your local GP.

Buying everything for Baby

Don’t worry you can find everything you need here in Turkey that you will need for your baby, the supermarkets are full of the normal baby things like nappies, baby milk and food and bathing products.  You will also find plenty shops selling baby clothes, cots, prams, bottles and all the accessories you need.  The other great place to get clothes is your local market.

One tip I would give is I got sent some pregnancy books by friends from home and they are great for reading when you need to know something and also to check out some of the websites online where there are forums where you can chat to others Mums to be.

I have written this article from my own personal experience and hope that other Mums and Mums to be will contribute to the article to help others Mums who are pregnant in Turkey.

I have written this article from my own personal experience and hope that other Mums and Mums to be will contribute to the article to help others Mums who are pregnant in Turkey.

 

 

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Author Description

Hi my name is Kerry Arslan and this is my blog a Housewife's Guide for Living in Turkey. I came to live here with my Husband in 2010 and started my blog at the same time to share my stories of living in Turkey and the things that happen along the way. Turkey has a wonderful history and is an amazing mix of new and old. There is never a day goes by which you don't learn something new about this lovely country.

11 Responses to “Pregnant and Living in Turkey | Being Pregnant in Turkey”

  1. 22 June, 2011

    Duke Dillard Reply

    Thanks for sharing so informatively and vulnerably. I sent the link to one of my friends here (an American) who is a doula and birth educator. My wife gave birth in Turkey (her 4th overseas). We used a private hospital here in Ankara. We were very pleased with the whole experience. The hardest part for us came after the birth trying to get the CRBA and passport in time to get the Turkish Visa which is pretty much impossible. We just paid accepted that we would pay the fine and did not worry about it.

    • 23 June, 2011

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thanks Duke, Stacey has left me a message and I will contact her later. So far for us it has been a good experience for us also two months left to go now and we will see how it all ends.

      I would like to understand more about the visa and CRBA you had problems with as I have not heard about these issues before.

      Kerry

      • 23 June, 2011

        Duke Dillard Reply

        We did not have problems getting them. The issue is that you have to get the Turkish visa for the child within 30 days of the birth (at least that was the case). I have not figured out how to get the CRBA, the SS# (US citizens) and passport all within 30 days. It takes at least 2 weeks for the passport. All of this while trying to adjust to a new little one and the recovering mom who needs 24/7 care and is not eager to get out and about for passport photos and embassy visits. At least it should make for good blog posts!

        • 23 June, 2011

          Duke Dillard Reply

          Let me clarify the above that the little one needs 24/7 care, not the mom!

        • 27 June, 2011

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          I am looking into the process and will create a post to help others in the future. It is certainly not an easy thing to organise when you have a new baby. Will find out how the process goes for myself in just a couple of months.

  2. 28 June, 2011

    Hannah Gollancz Reply

    Thank you so much for your post.

    I am living in the Fethiye area of Turkey and expecting my first child.

    I found your post to be very reassuring and informative.

    Hope you and your family are well
    Hannah Golancz

    • 7 July, 2011

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Glad you found the post of help Hannah, I hope all goes well with your pregnancy. If you find anything you think would be of interest to other Mums as you go through your pregnancy then please feel free to post a comment.

      Kerry x

  3. 28 October, 2011

    Danielle Sivrikaya Reply

    Hi Kerry. Just found your blog and very interesting it is too! This particular post reminded me of when I was pregnant with my first child 17 years ago in Istanbul. Even then it was very difficult to get a natural birth and you had to choose your doctor very carefully. Things were very different in istanbul then and you couldn’t get everything that you needed easily. One thing I do remember though, was that there were birthing classes for both English and Turkish. However, maybe this has changd now.

    • 1 November, 2011

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Danielle

      Thanks for your message. I think it’s really important to take your time choosing your Doctor and hospital carefully as they all vary in standards. We were told many times to go to the local childrens hospital which we decided against. After our son was born we had to take him to the childrens hospital for his hearing check. I was appalled at the place it was dark, felt dirty and very old building. So it is really important to go to several different places before you decide. As for birthing classes I think it must be my area or we didn’t ask the right people the right questions to find one. Its good to hear that you can get them here.

  4. 2 January, 2012

    shelly sahin Reply

    hı ı am lıvıng ın anakra… and decidıng weather to have the baby here ın turkey 0r uk..
    ı am due ın august 2012..
    ı am also worrıed about the vısa for the baby weather ıt wıll get englısh passport or turkısh.
    and another thıng that is causeıng the most stress for me at the moment ıs food here.
    ı cant seem to find anythıng that comes to my taste. ı really dont lıke turksıh foods atall.
    ı mıss our uk youguts and cerals and uk mılk. and lots of other stuff that you could just pop in to tesco and buy. but here ı fınd thıs so hard. and uppsettıng at tımes.
    when pregnant ıts the worst. as when you want somethıng you should eat ıt.
    ı fınd myself goıng wıthout food for most of the day.
    please any suggestıons would be helpful

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