Baby feet - copyright Kaedesis

A childbirth is a happy event that is being prepared so that everything goes as well as possible. We leave behind his French references and our actions to reduce waste. And you embrace the American way while you are in the hospital, which has a pretty good side.

My two children were born in the United States, each in a different state - New York and Connecticut. An experience far from resembling childbirth in France.

Money - copyright JESHOOTS-com

A delivery in the USA costs between $ 30,000 and $ 80,000 but this cost depends on several variables: the place of your delivery (hospital, city, state), the conditions on the B (birth) day and your Health Insurance. If your insurance is French, you will pay the full amount of the non-negotiated cost and will be reimbursed thereafter. In the case of American insurance, their brokers will have negotiated the rates beforehand. Most importantly, you will only pay a smaller amount - from 5 to 10%.

Hospital - copyrighht Parentingupstream

Apart from the astronomical cost, being pregnant and giving birth are somewhat different. The partner is included in the pregnancy from the announcement with a beautiful formula “We get pregnant”. We only named the woman to announce the great news in France.And on the day of delivery, no sheet to hide. The partner sees the whole process, maybe a little too much. For my first one, my husband even held one of my legs with the nurse to help me push. 

Nurses : great women. Apart from your partner, you are accompanied and supported by a nurse upon your arrival at the hospital and she stays with you until delivery. They have been a great comfort to me; present to relax, advise me and help me give birth to my children. I cannot thank them enough. The gynecologist (OBGYN) only appeared at the end for the delivery, in my case.

You are going to tell me: what does this have to do with the environment? The trousseau

For my oldest, I had very little feedback and everyone told me that everything would be fine. From the American-style gynecologist telling me that everything is fine even if there were a few complications. You don't stress a patient. But if your doctor is worried you can be sure the situation is serious.

I only had a friend who gave birth in NYC. And ditto, I didn't have to worry about it. No clear answer.

I thought I saw the Florence Foresti sketch in Mother Fucker - "The Pregnancy." Moms who have given birth are apparently not allowed to speak. 

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So I asked a very good friend in France what to prepare. I received two sets to make: one for mom and a second for baby. A long list of things for both of us to prepare. 

I finally got my answer when I visited the hospital. You bring the bare essentials, i.e., outgoing clothes for you and the baby, a toiletry bag for you and NOTHING ELSE … Easy !!! The partner is the one who will have to carry everything, you have to think of him - says the nurse.

The hospitals where I gave birth provided everything we needed for both of us during our stay: from gowns to postpartum panties, from diapers to baby clothes, plus towels and other products / medicines.

Ça semble être le rêve pour un couple – moins de préparation et de stress. Mais derrière cette facilité, se cache un fonctionnement qui se réfère au premier paragraphe. On ne vous offre pas ces affaires, vous les payez. Les hôpitaux aux USA ne sont pas publics et ne reçoivent quasi aucune aide de l’Etat. Pour fonctionner, ils font appel à des sponsors – individuels qui réalisent des donations, jusqu’aux entreprises qui placent leur produit notamment laits maternisés et les couches. Autant dire que ce n’est pas les couches les plus écologiques. 

Goodies - copyright Delphine F.

Le jour du départ on continue le placement de produits en vous offrant un paquet de couches et des bouteilles de lait maternisé avec des tétines à usage unique. 

When I got home I used these gifts. My husband was not convinced by cloth diapers. And the formula bottles have helped us a lot for my two children. 

We are a long way from a Zero Waste approach and maybe I could have done better - refusing these gifts at birth would have been a solution. But for couples who, like us, are space out, I can only be admiring and grateful for this gesture of support for parents.