Antenatal check-ups

Pregnancy is a valuable time in which to optimally prepare for the birth as a wonderful and exciting natural event.

 

A time of great expectation

Welcome to the birthing centre

At the birthing centre, we view pregnancy and birth as healthy natural processes. We do everything we can to provide you with expert, personal and individual support during your pregnancy so that you experience this exciting time as one of great hope and expectation.

We look forward to getting to know you and your child at the antenatal check-up.

The birthing centre team

We are there for you

We care for around 400 pregnant women per year. At the antenatal check-ups, we speak to you on equal terms. We explain what we do and encourage you to ask questions. We have put together some answers to frequently asked questions for you here. During the antenatal check-ups, it is important to establish a relationship based on partnership and a personal bond.

  • We take time for your personal concerns, wishes and questions. We encourage discussion at every antenatal check-up and give you holistic advice.
  • We combine proven midwifery expertise with modern preventive examinations. We give you comprehensive information about the checks and laboratory analyses that make sense for you and your child before we conduct them. Additional checks (such as ultrasound scans) are based on your needs and are always discussed with you. Should you wish, we are also happy to advise you on prenatal diagnostics. If you have any problems during the pregnancy, we will be on hand to help with advice and assistance. As the parent testimonials (in German) show, proven midwifery expertise is often worth its weight in gold.
  • We are in contact with you, quite literally: haptic checks, i.e. feeling the baby’s position and growth with our hands, are an important part of the antenatal check-ups by midwives.
  • We help you to become more aware of your body and give you advice on posture, rest, movement, mindfulness and listening to your body so that your trust in its signals and your ability to give birth can grow.
  • We are family-oriented. Fathers-to-be and siblings are always welcome at the antenatal check-ups.

Fathers and siblings also welcome

The father-to-be and any siblings are warmly invited to attend the antenatal check-ups.  If siblings are present, the midwife will involve them in the check-up in a playful manner. We are happy to explain to the children what we are doing and why, as how the mother, father and siblings experience the emotionally intense time of the pregnancy has a significant impact on the unborn child, the birth and future family life. For that reason, we also make sure to provide a family-friendly environment during the postnatal period. It goes without out saying that our waiting room is equipped with a play area.

Team-based expertise

At Geburtshaus Zürcher Oberland, you will be looked after by various midwives during the antenatal check-ups. In this way, you benefit from the team’s many years of experience (more than 400 in total!) and the individual additional therapeutic qualifications that our midwives have. Please see the Our therapies section for more information.

 

What happens at the antenatal check-ups?

Antenatal check-ups at the birthing centre. Before the first antenatal check-up, we hold an informal admissions interview that takes around an hour.

What exactly do we check?

All key data are recorded at every appointment, exactly as they would be by a gynaecologist: this comprises the mother’s blood pressure, weight, urine and blood readings and abdominal circumference, the baby’s heart sounds and the height of the uterus. The baby’s position and growth (i.e. size and weight) and the quantity of amniotic fluid are ascertained by means of external palpation. The well-being of the mother-to-be also plays a big role in the check-up.

We follow the official flow chart for antenatal check-ups of the Swiss university hospitals and work with the Viollier laboratory in Winterthur to offer all required laboratory tests:

  • Regular haemoglobin tests
  • Determination of blood group/rhesus factor along with any antibody tests that are required
  • Fasting blood glucose level
  • Urine test for glucose, protein, leucocytes, pH and bacteriological abnormalities
  • Hepatitis A/B, streptococcus and syphilis

Further tests are possible at the woman’s/the couple’s request. It is also possible for you to forgo certain tests should you wish – we will be happy to advise you on the advantages and potential disadvantages of this at any time.

In our view, vaginal exams are not an essential part of antenatal check-ups. We only conduct vaginal exams if they are indicated, in particular with regard to the ripening of the cervix around the time of the calculated due date.

To listen to the baby’s heartbeat, we use both a traditional wooden Pinard horn and a small, portable hand-held device called a foetal Doppler. Many parents find it very moving to hear their child’s heartbeat for the first time, and the same goes for us midwives: we regularly experience this moment as one of great joy and amazement at the miracle of life.

Who can come to the check-ups?

Antenatal check-ups at the birthing centre are open to all parents-to-be. 
The birthing centre is an official service provider of the Swiss healthcare system and is on the hospital list of the canton of Zurich. Antenatal check-ups at the birthing centre are covered by basic health insurance policies (see also Costs and services).

Please note that you must meet certain medical criteria in order to register to give birth at the birthing centre.

> Admission criteria for birth

> Tours of the birthing centre