While I was pregnant we attended one of the information sessions (visita preparto) at Torrejón University Hospital. The session was really informative as a midwife talked us through the hospital ethos and practises. So as to provide privacy to labouring mums, they don’t hold a guided tour, but they did show us photos of the delivery rooms. At the end of the presentation they held a Q&A session with a midwife and one of the hospital’s gynaecologists.
Torrejón University Hospital: Respecting mum’s wishes
I chose Torrejón Hospital based on their programa de parto respetado which focuses on the entire physiological aspect of birth, respecting the mum’s wishes and opinions as much as possible in order to provide her with an environment where she feels safe and listened to. They aim to respect the natural process of birth so unnecessary medical intervention is avoided where possible. They don’t perform enemas, mums aren’t shaved before delivery, and the rate of episiotomies and Caesarean sections are extremely low in comparison to other hospitals.
Before the birth
From my own experience in El Hospital Universitario de Torrejón, the doctors and midwives were fantastic throughout the whole pregnancy. As I mentioned in a previous post, they have a downloadable birth plan available Mom-to-be section that you can email to the hospital so they have a copy of it on the big day.
During the birth
Unlike many other hospitals, in Torrejón they don’t have a separate labour and delivery ward. This means that mums can stay in the same room without having to move as labour progresses. All of the rooms are individual too, including the bedrooms so families can enjoy the first few days with their new baby in peace. Our bedroom was en-suite with a shower, and also had a sofa-bed so my husband was able to stay with us each night. He was also allowed to stay with me during all of the routine examinations and procedures during the birth and in the days that followed.
Each paritorio (delivery room) is designed to be as relaxing as possible and has a shower, dimmed lighting and a sound system for music. One of the rooms has a birthing pool which can be used during dilation and for delivery. The pool was the main reason that I chose Torrejón Hospital but my little one arrived so quickly that they didn’t have time to fill it!
In terms of non-medical pain management, they provide yoga balls, floor mats, birthing stools, heatpacks and birth support ropes. They also provide nitrous oxide (gas and air) which isn’t commonplace in Spain, as well as walking epidurals and full epidurals. The foetal monitors used during labour are wireless to allow mums to get up and move around to help with the pain and they encourage labouring in different positions rather than lying down to assist with delivery.
After the birth
Skin-to-skin contact is encouraged immediately after birth, including Caesarean sections. In the rare cases that the mum can’t do it, their partner is encouraged to hold the baby skin-to-skin instead. As long as there are no complications, they wait at least three hours to weigh and measure the baby so that the parents can just focus on being with them. After our baby was born we were left in the delivery room with her completely uninterrupted for several hours so we could enjoy those precious moments before we were brought to our room. When the vitamin K injection was administered, and the heel prick test was done, they made sure that our little one was feeding as skin-to-skin contact has an analgesic effect. Delayed cord clamping is standard procedure unless the blood is being donated or stored, and my husband was allowed to cut the cord. If babies need to be incubated or taken to the ICU, parents have 24-hour access to them and if the parents can’t be with them, they’re held by the staff when possible.
During our stay in the hospital, whenever we had a question or needed something, we just had to press a buzzer, and someone would come to the room to help us out. We were showed how to change and bath our baby, and each day a lactation consultant came to the room to make sure that she was feeding well. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful, and we felt so encouraged and accompanied at all times. Many of them also spoke English so although I speak Spanish, it was a huge help knowing that I could be understood if I had any problems with the language.
In each room, they supplied everything that you could need after having a baby: nappies, babygrows, hospital gowns, disposable changing mats, maternity pads, cotton wool, and sponges. We may have taken a few home with us!
I was so lucky to have had such a wonderful birth experience, and I’d definitely recommend Hospital Universitario de Torrejón to any mums-to-be in Madrid!
Check our Mom-to-be section to get more insights into all the aspects of having a baby in Madrid.