Five things we learned from a Paris pregnancy

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.

6 thoughts on “Five things we learned from a Paris pregnancy

  1. Thanks, Oliver. This episode is going to be entertaining! Best wishes to you and Lina and Wee Gee, and we’ll hear you again when you’re ready.

  2. I’ll try to catch it today or look at the replay as soon as I can. It sounds intriguing!

    Enjoy your time off. I’ll use the break to catch up with things I’ve missed. Enjoy your tours and am eager to hear when the baby arrives! Bonne chance!!

  3. Wishing you all the best! Enjoy your newest “Paris Edition (addition?!). Looking forward to seeing you three on the flip side.

  4. Doesn’t matter which country you’re in, everyone wants to weigh in with advice. And I have to warn you it’ll get worse once the sproglet is born. Listen to your mums, buy one good childrearing book , trust yourselves & ignore everyone else. Really hope your parents can come over from Oz this summer, what a post-Covid present for them!
    Will catch the ep later today, looking forward to it. And all the best!

  5. You two are going to be fabulous parents. I don’t really even know you two but just listening to you both, and enjoying your humor, shows me that your little bebe is going to be so very fortunate to have you two steering him/her along through life. A sense of humor is vital when raising kids — laugh a lot and just cry behind closed doors. It’s a wonderful magical time getting ready to occur for you and we all wish you the very best. I had a client in NY city who was moving to my area (in N.C.) and they’d just had their first baby, so I called to see how things were going. They’d just walked home several blocks from the hospital (COVID season made them not want to be in a taxi) — and she said that walking that far after having just had a baby the day before probably had been a mistake because she was “on fire” down there — so don’t walk home! Best wishes and we all want you all three safe and happy and healthy!

  6. Dear Oliver – congratulations to you and Lina on the birth of your dear baby Otis. As you said during your interview with Rod Quinn on Saturday morning you will have many people writing to you to let you know they heard it. Fantastic! Imagine my delight when Rod announced at the start of the show that he would be talking to you. I have just listened again via the Overnights website. Fascinating. Beautiful photo too. And I have not given you feedback about Kylie the Crocodile – love it and have read it to my little granddaughter – very enjoyable. Congratulations to both of you on this achievement too.
    Thinking of you with your dear son,
    Best wishes,
    Valerie Mayer
    Montrose Vic Australia

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