23 February 2009

Goodbye American Modesty

The first time I went to a prenatal appointment in Germany, I was in for a bit of surprise. When I hid behind the curtain to change out of my clothes, I was confused. Where were the customary hospital gowns or at least the paper blanket to cover up?.

I peaked back out from behind the curtain, and asked the nurse for something to cover up with. She looked at me funny, and then to my friend Amelie who came along to be my translator. Amelie having been through a OB/GYN appointment in Germany already was quick to explain.

She explained to me, that here they don't provide hospital gowns or paper blankets. I had forgotten how comfortable Germans were with nudity. Well, when in Rome... Anyways, for future appointments, I found a compromise that I was comfortable with. I always wore my longest maternity shirt whenever going to for a prenatal appointment. By the time Max was born, I was comfortable getting undressed without a prenatal gown. And well, after I gave birth to Max, I had completely lost my modesty anyways.

Now when I go to the OB for prenatal appointments, I have no problem getting undressed, though I do find it a bit strange that they still provide you with a curtain to get undressed behind.

1 comment:

Julia said...

I just stumbled onto your blog while looking for some information about buying strollers (I found the four strollers post). I'm a Canadian living in Germany, in Jena, Thüringen, and I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant. While in some ways the Canadian health care system is more like the German one (actually, even more socialized, with no private options), this thing about the place to change behind the curtain but then no paper gown to cover yourself with was also incredibly funny to me. I'm really okay with the nudity thing, but it's just bizarre to walk across the office at the Frauenarzt wearing nothing from the waist down, but still a shirt and socks. Also, the first time I went, all the curtains were open, which made it doubly strange. I'm looking forward to reading through more of your blog - a lot of this is familiar, and I'm curious to hear about your experiences with the Kindergarten etc., as I'll probably be going back to work here after a year (and possibly part-time before that). I'm so glad I found this! (We also have a blog about living here, and our various travels, but it's hopelessly out of date at the moment. I'm working on catching up now so we can get the pregnancy in there in chronological order.)