How to choose a maternity home in Moscow

How to choose a maternity home in Moscow
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
Sometimes it is not easy for a pregnant woman to choose the right maternity home best suited for her together with her baby. Should it be the one closest to where she lives, should it be the biggest or is she going to look for the most comfortable place she can find. This question becomes ever more important as the big date races ever closer. Let’s find out what the differences between obstetric in-patient hospitals are and what services they provide.

A pregnant woman in Moscow has a pretty large choice. The city healthcare system alone includes 27 obstetric hospitals, with four of them being perinatal centres. Last year city hospitals performed over 137,000 deliveries. This doesn’t include commercial medical facilities, which provide services that should be paid for.

The difference between them is that deliverance at state clinics is free. The patient only needs her mandatory health insurance. In order to support maternity homes further, additional financing is provided through maternal certificates. A woman can receive it with her maternity leave after the 30th week of pregnancy (or after the 28th, if she is expecting twins or triplets) or after the delivery (if they were on a free basis). This means that women can choose which maternity home they’ll use.

Specialised maternity homes

Each one out of the 27 Moscow obstetric in-patient hospitals has teams of experienced staff, and various medical fields in which they specialise. For example, there are several hospitals that deal with specific medical cases related illnesses that a mother and her baby might have, various complications or emergency situations, so this criteria should also be taken into account when choosing a maternity home.

The maternity clinics at Pirogov Hospital (No. 1) and Bauman Hospital (No. 29) specialise in delivery for pregnant women with diabetes. Filatov Hospital (No. 15) helps women with cardiovascular diseases; and Yeramishantsev Hospital specializes in urinary track diseases and mental illnesses. Hospitals No. 1 and 2 dealing with infectious diseases accepts women with hepatitis, respiratory infections, HIV and syphilis and Moscow Scientific and Practical Tuberculosis Centre accepts women according to its profile.

The newly-opened maternity home at the State Clinic Hospital No. 40 is the only obstetric in-patient hospital in Russia where pregnant women with oncology can receive special medical help. Maternity wards at hospitals No. 3, 7, 13, 24, 70, 81 and the Family Planning and Reproduction Centre specialise on preterm delivery.

Doctors in prenatal clinics will help to choose which obstetric in-patient hospital suits the needs of every case. Early monitoring and regular consultations with an obstetrician-gynaecologist will make it easier to choose the right maternity home.

It also important to remember the location of the clinic, because it is difficult to foretell the exact date of the delivery. Things can change at any moment. If the woman goes into labour unexpectedly, there may be no time to get her to the other part of the city, and the ambulance will take her to the closest in-patient hospital.



What the “free package” includes

Emergency medical help across Russia is free. The delivery is considered an emergency. However, this is a difficult process, and women worry about their future babies and themselves, so they are often ready to pay.

Free high-quality medical services should be provided in all in-patient hospitals. They have the most advanced technical equipment and experienced doctors, who are always ready to carry out an operation and any emergency procedures on the patients and the newborns. In addition to all this, according to the healthcare modernisation programme, neonatal resuscitation departments have opened at all obstetric in-patient hospitals. High-quality baby care will be provided here. All obstetric in-patient hospitals are subdivisions of general hospitals, so mothers also receive high-quality help at places that also have high-tech medical facilities too. For example, if the future mother has a lump joint (symphysitis), she will be transferred to the traumatic surgery department, have an operation, and then the mother heads for home with her baby. Before this, long bed rest was required.

It is important that the decision to use additional equipment or medication should be taken by a the doctor depending upon every specific situation

The statistics proves that the help becomes more effective. Each year the level of infant mortality in Moscow maternity hospitals falls. It went down by 30 percent over a period of several years, from 8.4 cases in 2010 to 5.9 cases in the first half of 2017 per one thousand live births.

In addition to upgrading the skills of doctors, work is constantly being done to improve the general situation in the obstetric in-patient hospitals. Childbirth with a partner nearby is a welcomed option, and any family couple can use it. Almost every maternity home has such an option (separate maternity units), but it is necessary to check in advance if the chosen hospital has it. For example, if there are not enough separate spaces for everyone, a fee might have to be paid. If all the units are occupied with women who have signed a contract for a pre-paid birth, doctors may not let the husband in. The other restriction is when the husband has an acute infectious disease (as they say, “got cold”).

Delivery on fee-paying basis

If the patient pays she can choose the doctor, who will monitor her condition during her pregnancy and deliver her baby, in advance. In this case, the woman is promised a contract with an individual obstetrician-gynaecologist round-the-clock. Now the delivery with not only an individual doctor, but also a midwife, a psychologist, a doula and so on is getting more popular.

The pricing policy varies depending on the maternity home. A specialist’s skills will be taken into account and whether or not a doctor has a PhD or Doctoral degree in Medicine. Such specialists and heads of the departments charge the most. General conditions can up the cost such as a separate room, a room with a partner and so on.

It is good to remember that if your own individual doctor cannot arrive at the time of delivery at the hospital somehow, the baby will be delivered by a different specialist who as your own individual doctor’s “deputy” should also be met in advance.

It will be less expensive if a birth contract is signed with a duty brigade. In this case, it won’t be possible to choose the doctor, but family members will be able to visit the woman after the birth. There are in-patient hospitals where paid services include postnatal observation during a period of a month. In additional to this, the clinic can offer a more comfortable room with separate WC, television, fridge and other commodities at an additional cost.

Some private clinics have rooms, which look more like luxury rooms at five-star hotels with the same services and prices no less than at elite resorts. This is why the woman should take into account not only her wishes, but her possibilities, too.

The task of the obstetric in-patient hospitals is not only safe, but helps in achieving a happy motherhood, so that nothing overshadows the day. Hence only the happiest memories will be remembered.