Next up in the series of The Global Differences of Baby-Making we are back in France to hear about how Sophie Le Brozec dealt with living dangerously by requesting a natural birth, breastfeeding beyond 3 months and not sterilising everything in sight!
Tell me a bit about yourself? Where are you from? How old are your children and where did you have them?
My name is Sophie, I’m English and married to a Frenchman. At the time of having my daughter I had been living in France for 8 years. My daughter is now 4 years old and I had her in Cagnes sur mer (just outside of Nice), France.
Why did you have your daughter abroad?
I had my daughter abroad as I was living in France at the time with my French husband.
What do you feel were the benefits to having a baby abroad?
Excellent hotel-like accommodation for 5 days after having my daughter – a room shared with one other mum (who I’d previously met through ante-natal classes), with an en-suite bathroom, pretty good food and babies taken away from us if we needed to rest and sleep.
As an expectant mother abroad how did you feel?
Fine as I am bilingual and I was used to living in France so I was not worried about the cultural differences. I think I felt pretty much the same as if I’d had the baby in the UK. However I did get a bit fed up with the non-stop tests – monthly blood tests for toxoplasmosis etc
Did you encounter any opinions that would have been different in your home country with regards to your pregnancy or parenting choices?
They were shocked that I wanted a natural birth and not a completely medicalised one, that I wanted to breast feed and then that I wanted to breast feed past 3 months, that I wanted to do BLW (obviously I was trying to kill my child!), that I wanted to use washable nappies, that I didn’t ever sterilise anything – with a dog and a cat at home my daughter was ill for the very first time when she was 11 months old and is rarely ill now, so that non-sterilising thing was obviously a killer! I think they thought I was a freak on most accounts!
What advice would you give other mothers in your situation?
Follow your own gut feeling and use common sense. Stand up for yourself and be prepared to fight for what matters – wherever possible try and get your partner on side!!
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