OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Giving birth in Sweden!

Beyond her duties...or just her normal routine?

Photo of Carolina
2 4

Written by

We are The Engels.... and this is the story about my youngest son Philippe. He was born in September, 2008. My first son was born in 2004, I've been trying for a while and I was not getting pregnant so I went for acupuncture treatment. After 3 sessions I was pregnant. On my six week of pregnancy I got varicela from my son, I went to the doctor and they told me that I have to terminate my pregnancy because I had big risk of my baby been infected. I didn't know what to do, my husband was on a plane  on his way to Switzerland and I was alone without my family in Sweden. 

After a lot of crying the doctor asked me if I was catholic, I guess because my Spanish accent and she toldnme that and abortion was the best I could do.

A few days later, I was with my husband at the hospital waiting for my appointment to have an unwanted abortion. While I was in the chair waiting to be examínate, the doctor start asking several questions, until she said why I wanted to have an abortion. I said I didn't, I was told I have to and I explained the whole story. She started doing a research online and after a few minutes she told me that she would like me to get a second opinion and she was going to refer me to a specialist. Until week 20, I was not sure if I would be able to have my baby, I had the most stressful weeks of my life... and after having an   Amniocentesis, I was able to get the confirmation that my baby was safe. Philippe decided to come 10days earlier than expected and he is a healthy boy. The delivery was very Swedish natural which  mean no painkillers whatsoever just like my first son. 

I grew up thinking about giving birth with all the painkillers that I could get, but in a country like Sweden, you can only dream about it. My relation with the healthcare system was a love hate relationship. In Sweden everybody gets the same treatment, I didn't have to pay anything for the extra care I had during the whole pregnancy, all my cost was part of the taxes i paid monthly. I was privileged to be there, when I was during labor, the nurse asked for support of a Spanish speaking nurse, she came and hold my hand and spoke Spanish, I don't remember her face only her voice, and few minutes later my son was born.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Been surrounded by women was very powerful, I felt safe and secure. It was one women that safe my son. What's she doing her normal work or she did more than usual? I want it to go back and thank her, but I couldn't. But when I see Philippe smiling, I think of her as an angel.

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

The role of the midwife was crucial during my whole Pregnancy. Having well train support can make a huge different, women that understand that their job is one of the most important jobs is key.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Carolina, I am 40 years old and I was born and raised in Panama. I moved to Sweden for work and got married and gave birth to my boys there. Now I live in Texas.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Carolina

I think language is king in making a pregnant women more conftable in a foreign country. Perhaps an App that can explain to the patient week by week what is happening to her and her baby and she can validate it with her midwife. For example the results from the sugar test or iron levels are sync to the app after her visit to the midwife, then she can review them in her language and take the necessary actions. The App can provide more useful information to the women that is also aligned to local culture and traditions, in that way she can integrate better to the local culture and th midwife can have a tracking tool and use the data later on to improve the info on the App or to understand better the patient needs.

View all comments