giving birth barcelona

Giving Birth: Stages (Part I)

Every woman’s experience of labour is different. Nobody can predict what your labour will be like, or how long it will last. But there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself. What are the stages of labour?

Labour moves forward in three clear stages:

  • First stage: when contractions gradually open up the cervix, which is the neck of your womb (uterus).It consists of early labour, active labour, and the transitional phase.
  • Second stage: when you push your baby out into the world.
  • Third stage: when you deliver the placenta.

There is also a phase called pre-labour, which happens before the first stage of labour.

What happens in pre-labour?

During pregnancy, your cervix is closed and plugged with mucus, to keep out infection. Your cervix is long and firm, giving a strong base to your womb. It’s also in a position that points slightly towards your back (posterior position).

Before labour can start properly, your cervix has to go through some changes. It has to move forward (anterior position), soften and shorten. The softening of your cervix is often called ripening.

What happens in the first stage of labour?

In the first stage of labour, your cervix has to open (dilate), so your baby can be born. The muscles of your womb tighten with each contraction and then release, gradually drawing your cervix up into the lower section of your womb.

In the early phase of first stage labour, your cervix may open very gradually so that it may seem as if no changes are happening at all. Early labour can be slow and your contractions may not last for long and have lengthy gaps between them. They may even stop for a while before starting again.

As you enter the active phase of first stage labour, the contractions usually last longer, and become more frequent and powerful. Towards the end of the first stage, your labour may become much more intense. This phase of labour is called transition. By the end of the first stage your cervix will be fully dilated, and open to about 10cm (3.9in) in diameter.

If this is your first baby, your cervix will first soften and shorten, and then begin to dilate. If you’ve had a baby before, this tends to happen simultaneously, meaning your labour may be shorter.

Sleeping better during pregnancy

Sleeping better during pregnancy

Yes, sleeping and pregnancy can go together! It is true that during the lasts months of pregnancy going to sleep can be a hard because your body is changing rapidly, you have a lot of things on your mind, and it may get more difficult to find a comfortable sleep position. Sleeping better during pregnancy is possible if your know how!



Before you go to sleep, (about one hour before) find something that can make you laugh, real belly laughter can help release any tension left from the day. Watch a funny movie or YouTube video. Watch silly videos, read something that makes you smile. Stop worrying. I know — easier said than done. But it’s important not to worry about sleep.Don’t think about fulfilling a required number of hours; just assess how you feel. Don’t lie awake worrying that you’re not sleeping enough for your baby. Let your body do its natural work.


A pregnancy aerobic workout, prenatal yoga, a walk, whatever it is you want to do — get up and move! Dance! Try to keep from exercising late in the day, because the increased adrenaline of an “exercise high” can linger and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Careful with eating habits

Eat your meals, especially later ones, at a leisurely pace. Spend your dinnertime unwinding a bit. Avoid caffeine and alcohol — both are detrimental to the sleep cycle. If frequent trips to the bathroom keep you up at night, limit your fluid intake late in the day. Try hot milk and honey, or hot almond milk and honey, the combination is known to promote sleeping.

Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary.

If you’re having bouts of insomnia, this may not be the best time to set up the home office in the bedroom. Surround yourself with pictures of happy babies, mothers breastfeeding their babies and any picture that will put a smile on your face. Be gentle with yourself, you have all the knowledge you need to bring this child into the world, it is written in your DNA. Let go, and let the Mother cuddle you in her arms for a full night of sleep.

pregnant barcelona

First trimester: What to do if you are pregnant in Barcelona

Having a baby is one of the most joyous times in many women’s lives. From anticipating the day you’ll bring your little one home, to picking a name and nursery colors, the excitement is palpable.

The first trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until the end of week 12. This means that by the time you know for sure you’re pregnant, you might already be five or six weeks pregnant!

A lot happens during these first three months. The fertilised egg rapidly divides into layers of cells and implants in the wall of your womb where it carries on growing. These layers of cells become an embryo, which is what the baby is called at this stage.During this trimester, your baby grows faster than at any other time.

What you need to do if you are pregnant in Barcelona

  • Arrange your first appointment with your midwife: you can go for public health system, so first you will need to go to your CAP or for private clinics.
  • Take a daily folic acid supplement
  • Check before taking medicines
  • If you smoke, it’s time to quit
  • Cut out alcohol and cut down caffeine


By six weeks, a heartbeat can usually be heard and by the end of week 12, your baby’s bones, muscles and all the organs of the body have formed. At this point, your baby looks like a tiny human being and is now called a fetus. He or she will even be practising swallowing!

Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women glow with good health and vitality during those first three months; others feel absolutely miserable. Here are some of the changes you might experience, what they mean, and which signs warrant a call to your doctor.

Bleeding. About 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. However, if you have significant bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your abdomen, call your doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus).

Breast tenderness. Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They’re triggered by hormonal changes, which are preparing your milk ducts to feed your baby, and will probably last through the first trimester. Going up a bra size (or more) and wearing a support bra can make you feel more comfortable; you can go back to the lacy bras after your baby is finished nursing.

Tips to slow down before giving birth

Pregnant in Barcelona: a shopping list


You are pregnant! Do you know everything you are going to need meanwhile you are expecting your baby?


New pants or a waistband extender

Your belly may not be visibly rounder yet, but your pants may not be fitting as well, even just a few weeks in. A new pair of pants with a bit of Lycra stretch might round out your wardrobe perfectly.

If you don’t want to start buying new clothes just yet, try a waistband extender such as the Belly Belt or Bella Band. Keeping comfy is your new mission, and it’s more important than you may think: Some women report that a looser waistband helps with morning sickness.


Body pillow

Some pregnant women say their number one favorite purchase is their body pillow. Even this early, you may get uncomfortable easily, and a body pillow may help you get a better night’s sleep.


Tooth care

Your mouth may be drier, your gums more sensitive – and you’re more susceptible to gingivitis now. Preventing periodontal disease is vital for pregnant women, so buy yourself a nice new, soft-bristled toothbrush and some dental floss and use them every day to keep your mouth fresh and healthy.


A comfy cotton bra

Your breasts are probably feeling more tender now. And while you may not be ready for a maternity bra, a sports bra or comfortable cotton bra without underwire will give you gentle support and ease discomfort.


A good body lotion

Your skin may start feeling drier, especially on your belly as it grows and your skin stretches. Find a good all-over moisturizer that you can slather on now and throughout your pregnancy.
Pregnancy journal
You’ve just begun an incredible journey. How are you feeling? What are you thinking? Jot down your emotions, thoughts, or questions in a pregnancy journal. It can help you feel connected to the little person growing inside you and will be a one-of-a-kind keepsake after your baby is born.

El bebé emocional de Enrique Blay

Hoy quiero compartir un encuentro que os puede ser de mucha ayuda si estáis embarazadas o tenéis un bebé, este sábado 10 de marzo por la mañana, con el psicoterapeuta Enrique Blay, con la charla “El bebé emocional” donde nos hablará de lo que sienten y perciben los bebés en las etapas de gestación, nacimiento y crianza hasta los 2 años. Enrique Play es psicólogo con amplia experiencia entorno a la maternidad respetada y respetuosa.
Esta charla está organizada por Amana Doula, dentro del ciclo “Charlas Abiertas alrededor de la Maternidad” a través de las cuáles se pretende llegar a familias.
Para reservar tu plaza debes escribir un email a
Día: 10 de marzo
Lugar: LLUÏSOS DE GRÀCIA Plaça del Nord 7-10 Barcelona
Duración aproximada: 1 hora y 45 minutos
Aportación por persona: 12 € [Parejas: 16€]
Primeras sensaciones del embarazo

What happens if I go past my due date?

According to research, only about one in 25 (four per cent) of babies are born on their exact due date. About one in five babies are born at 41 weeks or after. So rest assured, you’re not alone in wondering when your baby will make an appearance!

If you’re only a few days past your due date, most doctors won’t offer to induce your labour for a while. Although most babies remain healthy, obstetricians do worry when pregnancy continues several weeks past their due date. That’s because, after 42 weeks of pregnancy, a small number of babies die unexpectedly while they are still inside the womb (uterus) or shortly after the birth. Most hospitals follow guidelines which recommend offering induction of labour when you’re 41-42 weeks pregnant. This is based on evidence that babies are healthier at birth and more likely to be born safe and well when hospitals induce labour at or beyond 41 weeks. This approach seems to reduce the number of caesareans that are needed too.

If your pregnancy has been straightforward, you’re likely to be offered induction at 41 weeks. The timing may vary according to your hospital’s policy. In some areas you may be offered an induction at between seven days and 10 days after your due date, in others it may be two weeks. This is because it’s still not known when the ideal time is to induce labour in overdue mums. You may prefer to have your labour induced at 42 weeks, by which time you may have had enough of being pregnant. Or you may prefer to wait and see what happens, particularly if you’ve had a baby before, as the risk of stillbirth is lower for women who’ve already had a baby.

If your obstetrician suggests an induction, ask if your hospital usually offers inductions at a certain date, or if it’s due to your individual circumstances, such as your age, your weight, or complications in your pregnancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have and she’ll take your wishes into consideration when an induction date is suggested. If your obstetrician suggests an induction, ask if your hospital usually offers inductions at a certain date, or if it’s due to your individual circumstances, such as your age, your weight, or complications in your pregnancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have and she’ll take your wishes into consideration when an induction date is suggested.
If you’ve spoken to your obstetrician but you’re not sure about having an induction, you could ask for a day or two to consider it. See what your midwife thinks, read our information on induction with your partner and talk to friends who’ve had an induction. Though keep in mind that every pregnancy is different.

If there are no risks to your pregnancy and you don’t want to be induced, you could ask to be monitored every two to three days, to check that your baby is well. This should be offered to you if your pregnancy continues beyond 42 weeks.


pregnant barcelona

Having a Baby in Barcelona

If you are having a baby in Barcelona there are some things you need for you postpartum and the legal/professional life.

How to register your baby’s birth in Barcelona?

During 2017 some hospital offer to register your baby directly in the hospital, so you don’t need to go to the “Registro Civil”. They will give you a document call Cuestionario para la Declaración de Nacimiento en el Registro Civil. Make your baby’s name is correct!! This document is signed by the doctor or the midwife that was with you during the delivery.

In case your hospital doesn’t offer this service you must register your baby at the local Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil) within eight days of the birth. You can go directly to Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli, 3. If your married only one of the parents needs to go, but if you are not married then both parents must attend the registry office

If you intend to apply for a non-Spanish passport for your baby, remember to ask for a full birth certificate (certificación literal). In addition to the documentation provided by the hospital, you must also bring any national insurance documents belonging to the parents and a marriage certificate, which must be officially translated into Spanish. Don’t forget to bring your passports and identity cards (and copies), in case they are required to verify your identity.

Maternity and paternity Leave: do you qualify?

Maternity benefits are paid by Seguridad Social, the Spanish Social Security System. To qualify have a maternity/paternity leave you must have paid contributions for at least 180 days in the last seven years if you are 26 or older with certain exceptions, for example, those aged 21–25 qualify in fewer days and women under 21 have no contribution period. Maternity benefits are also available to self-employed women, provided they are registered in the Spanish social security system for the self-employed. You apply through your local social security office, they will let you know which documents you need to fill, basically you need to bring the Birth Certificate, el “Libro de familia” (they will give it to you at el Registro)

Maternity and paternity leave can be taken part-time if an arrangement has been made with the employer ahead of the birth. In the case of patenity leave, a part-time day must be no less than 50 percent of the full-time workday. In the case of a birth (versus an adoption), the mother cannot avail of part-time maternity leave until after the mandatory six-week, full-time maternity leave period after the delivery.

Extended maternity leave is also available for women who cannot perform their job because it puts their pregnancy at risk. Extended benefits are also offered to breastfeeding mothers if their job prevents them to nurse.

prueba de la rana

La prueba de la rana – Doula Barcelona

Existen algunas manera curiosas para detectar si una mujer está o no embarazada, de hecho muchas habréis oído sobre “la prueba de la rana” y es que antes, para saber si una mujer estaba embarazada, se usaba una rana o sapo hembra.La prueba de la rana era una prueba de embarazo que se utilizó comunmente hasta los años 60 del pasado siglo, cuando se desarrollaron los métodos inmunológicos, es decir, los típicos test de embarazos actuales. La prueba de la rana es una prueba efectiva y de hecho se continúa usándo en zonas rurales de muchos países latinoamericanos por su simplicidad y bajo coste. Consiste a inyectar a una rana o sapo hembra, bajo la piel, la orina de la mujer que se cree que puede estar embarazada. La orina de una mujer embarazada contiene la hormona GCHque estimula la ovulación del animal. Si la rana desovava en 24 horas, el test se consideraba positivo. El animal sobrevivía y podía ser utilizado para otro test, a pesar de que con demoras de unos 40 días. Este test se desarrolló en Sudáfrca en los años 30 del siglo XX por los investigadores LancelotHogben, Zwarenstein y Shapiro.
De hecho existe otro método muy similar y que se suele llamar igual pero que está basado en otro fenómeno biológico que requiere machos en vez de hembras, fue desarrollado por Galli Mainini en Argentina (1947), con el sapo Rhinella arenarum . Si se inyecta orina de una mujer embarazada en el saco linfático dorsal del sapo esto provoca la eyaculación del animal dentro de las tres horas siguientes y confirmaría que la mujer está embarazada.

¡Curioso! ¿No? ¿Conocéis algunas otras pruebas de embarazo tradicionales?

El papel del padre en el parto y primeros días del bebé

El momento del parto es un momento perfecto para que el padre esté de forma presente y participe de la forma más activa posible, porque aunque esté dando a luz su compañera él puedo hacer mucho por ella, aunque solo sea estar a su lado y tratar de satisfacer sus necesidades.

De hecho las clases de preparación al parto son una oportunidad ideal para que ambos aprendan sobre la fisiología del parto, los cuidados del bebé, y también compartir la experiencia con otras parejas que están en nuestra misma situación.

Durante la fase activa de parto el padre es un apoyo muy necesario para la mujer. Puede ayudarla a sobrellevar el periodo de dilatación, acompañándola, aliviando los dolores con masajes y ofreciéndole lo que pueda necesitar en cada momento, tanto en casa como en el hospital. También puede ocuparse de las cuestiones más prácticas como llevar la documentación requerida, llevar la parte administrativa y asegurarse de que se está cogiendo todo lo necesario y pactado previamente. También puede ayudar midiendo el tiempo de las contracciones, llamando a quién considere necesario…

Una vez el bebé ya está aquí lo primero que necesita es el contacto físico con su madre, por tanto no debería ser apartado de su lado, pero si la mamá ha sufrido una cesárea el papá puede ofrecerse para el piel con piel. Lo ideal es que los primeros chequeos como medirlo y pesarlo esperen si el bebé está sano, aunque normalmente se realizan en la propia sala de partos, o si se lleva al niño a una sala contigua, el padre puede acompañar al bebé.

Los primeros días después del nacimiento, padre e hijo irán conociéndose poco a poco. Sus caricias, sus brazos y sus palabras contribuirán a que se establezca entre ellos un vínculo muy especial. También, si así lo habéis decidido, puedes favorecer y apoyar a tu pareja en la lactancia, primero formándote y luego acompañándola en el proceso, facilitándole la vida con las comidas y el orden de la casa… También el nuevo papá puede ayudar a controlar y si es necesario limitar las visitas para que el bebé y la mamá puedan estar tranquilos.


giving birth barcelona

Giving birth in Barcelona

It is well-known information that the healthcare system in Spain is among the best in the world, so giving birth in Barcelona is really a good idea! Barcelonas maternity facilities range from large hospitals to smaller clinics and in medical terms, are regarded as being of a high standard. The bigger hospitals tend to operate under the social security system and the clinics under private insurance. Birthing options, however, are limited although this is beginning to change as more women are opting for a natural birth.

The degree of medical contact with pregnant women is reasonably high in Spain, with more antenatal tests, scans and intervention during childbirth than in some other countries,. The standard of care in Spain is highly regarded, both public and private, although women are generally required to have held a private insurance policy for a certain amount of time to cover maternity costs, while state healthcare does not have any time restrictions.

Choosing the specific clinic for delivery is a decision future parents should handle with care. You can give birth in Barcelona both in private and public hospitals. Everything depends on the personal preferences of the parents-to-be and whether the future mother has medical insurance. If you are a resident of an E.U.-country, in order to receive free medical service in a public clinic, it is sufficient to present the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

On the other hand, one can choose a private clinic in which payment will be charged on a daily basis or they can be covered by a private medical insurance. There is a good reason for this charge – private clinics in Barcelona very often resemble expensive hotels, boasting personal rooms, individual service, excellent food, and 24/7 presence for mother and baby.

Normally, in private or public, you can get a guided tour of a clinic before the childbirth and in public you can find some hospitals with private rooms meanwhile in private hospitals all rooms are private.

When you go to the hospital to give birth you should go to the emergency ward (urgencias) of the local hospital, and take your passport, foreign identification card (NIE) and necessary paperwork. English is not always widely spoken so it is sensible to have someone with you who can speak Spanish to ask questions and communicate your preferences concerning medical treatment. Spanish hospitals will have standard operating procedures that they don’t necessarily run past patients, so it is important to have someone to explain what is happening and to speak up for you.

You need to know that not in all hospitals not allow gas or air, although epidurals and pethidine are available. Birth in Spain is seen as a fairly straightforward medical process and alternative birth methods, such as water births, and birthing plans are not as common in Spain as in other countries but in Barcelona you can find at least two hospitals with the possibility of dilation in water. However, you can still write your birthing plan in Spanish and take it with you.

Home births in Barcelona, meanwhile, are not covered by the state health system.

Apart from that, one should bear in mind that during childbirth Spanish doctors widely administer epidural anesthesia (in 98% of the cases). The epidural is considered completely safe for both mother and child and allows the mother to move through the whole process in a more comfortable and less painful way. However, if this option does not suit your vision of the ideal childbirth, you can always choose to decline the epidural anesthesia.