I’m just over 5 months pregnant now. My husband and I are super excited about welcoming our first baby in less than 4 months time! Here a few things I’ve learned about being pregnant in Sweden, which will hopefully give other parents an idea of what to expect:
(Note this is based on our experiences)
1. You can get free baby boxes
Woohoo! Free stuff! Baby boxes contain stuff like free nappies/diapers, pacifiers, vouchers, wet wipes and other stuff you and your baby might find useful. I only discovered this about a month ago when I was talking to some of my colleagues who are also pregnant. I’m the first in our group of friends to have a baby, so feel a bit more clueless than most.
Here are the sites which have free baby boxes, that we have discovered (so far):
- Apotek Hjärtat - you need to become a member then you can get it for free otherwise you need to pay a bit of money
- babybox.com - this includes 2 baby boxes, one from Babyproffsen and one from LLoyds Apotek
2. You get assigned a barnmorska
After I took a few pregnancy tests, and got the confirmation I was pregnant, we rang 1177 and asked to be assigned to our closest Barnmorskamottagningen. We were also given the name of the person who would be our barnmorska throughout our pregnancy. So far there has been one woman who has been our main contact person for each appointment we’ve had.
3. There are a quite a few tests etc
To be honest, I didn’t think too much about the number of tests when I initially got pregnant - the only thing I thought about was the ultrasound and getting to see our baby. So far, I’ve had (that I remember):
- Ultrasound (around week 12)
- Ultrasound (around week 19)
- NIPT (this happened after the KUB, Kombinerad Ultraljud Blodprov test)
- Blood test to test my iron levels
- Blood test to test that I’ve had all my vaccines done
- Blood sugar test around week 10-11 (Note: this isn’t typical, since my dad had diabetes I had to take this one, but this isn’t typically offered if you don’t have a history of diabetes in your family) I was told I’ll have to have another blood sugar test later in my pregnancy (this is the one offered to everyone, so that’s normal), and I’m seriously dreading that. I had to drink this disgustingly strong sugar water and then very little normal water, then sit around for 2 hours. At least I got to read lots in those 2 hours!
- Protein levels test (had to pee into a cup and make sure the protein levels are fine - don’t actually know the official name of it)
- Audio only ultrasound (around week 21) - didn’t even know this one existed until halfway through one of our appointments when they asked me to lie down and I noticed a small machine that could listen to our baby
4. You can talk to your barnmorska in either English or Swedish
English is my native language but I have lived in Sweden for almost 4 years and am married to a Swedish man so I have a pretty good grasp of the language. Our appointments, so far, have been in Swedish, except for the odd sentence here or there where I don’t know the vocabulary and I ask my husband and/or barnmorska for a translation.