This week on the podcast I have a guest who has been pregnant for the past nine months. It’s my wife! (She’s due any day now!)
Together, we talk about five big things we learned about the journey of being pregnant in Paris.
And remember, even if you’re not pregnant in Paris, this chat shines a different kind of light on French people in general. And heck, you’ll surely enjoy the chat with Lina and me. There’s a cracking Owen Wilson imitation near the beginning.
Here’s the episode, and an overview of what we learned below it.
Paris bloggers can wildly exaggerate
There are lots of wonderful expat blogs about pregnancy in Paris. But there is also a lot of fear mongering. When we first looked around it was almost intimidating. Do this quickly. Register here immediately. If you don’t do this you’re in big trouble! Turns out every single hospital, lab, doctor, and social security person was chilled out and helpful. No need to stress!
It’s the mother-of-all paperwork
And I thought opening a bank account was bad. If you want to have a baby in France, you’re going to be killing off a tiny forest of trees. Blood results faxed between labs and hospitals, feuille de soins sheets, prescriptions, leaflets from the midwives, dental records for your pet rabbit…. (OK, I’m exaggerating there, but you get the point). And we learned quickly that we were not as good as the French when it came to paper organization.
You might drown in advice
We found people really swamped us with well-meaning advice. I’m sure a large part of this is because we shared news of the pregnancy on the podcast and social media, but we saw it in other forms too. Cafe workers would suggest oat milk when they noticed the pregnancy, as an example. I am sure this is the same in other countries too, of course, and it has been lovely to get so many tips – but there sure was a lot of it! And given that lots of it was conflicting too, it makes it hard to take it all in.
You might get lab confusion
The whole blood lab thing was a headache. And not only because there have been surely tens of thousands of Parisians looking for Covid tests at the same time as we were looking for blood tests. Which lab do you go to, how do you pick a good one, what surprises are waiting for you inside?
And the price of a baby is…
And lastly, how much does it cost to give birth in Paris? Due to some social security delays, we found out the shocking way how much it costs to pre-pay for the hospital visit. I’ve asked people from all different countries for their guesses on this, and people have been WILDLY wrong. What’s your guess? For the answer, and the rest of the full story, listen to the podcast and find out 🙂
There you have it! This episode marks the finale for season nine! For the next few weeks, the podcast run through the entire audio experience of my memoir, Paris On Air. It’s narrated by me and free for you to hear. Enjoy my story and I’ll see you again soon.