Giving Birth in Russia
Information on options for giving birth in Russia...
Giving birth in a state hospital is the most common option for the majority of Russian women. While these hospitals are starting to offer higher level packages for additional fees on top of a normal procedure with dedicated nurse and private rooms, the service and comfort may be a lot more basic than would be found in many foreign national’s home countries. Public facilities are also not recommended for non-Russian speakers as it can be difficult to communicate.
Private hospitals offer high levels of care, as well as being more likely to have doctors who speak English, although prices can be up to several times higher than state facilities, and are normally covered by medical insurance. While midwives are not required to be able to communicate in English, English-speaking midwives can be arranged from outside the hospital to attend the birth.
- For a source of information on midwives in Russia and finding an English-speaking midwife: Click here
The usual stay in hospital is three to seven days after giving birth. To leave earlier than this will require signing a release form. There may be restrictions on visitors to the hospital in addition to rules that may seem strange or dated for many nationalities. In some places fathers cannot be at the birth and in state hospitals it can even be three days or more before the father is able to see his partner or the baby. Private hospitals tend to be more flexible, so check all the rules and talk through requirements when discussing options with doctors before deciding on a hospital for the birth.
Home birth is possible, but is not recommended as if complications occur it is difficult to get medical attention quickly if hospital registration has not already been completed.
Water birth and other alternatives are available, but again are not common in Russia. The number of maternity units offering these is limited and it is necessary to confirm with the pre-natal centre that it is happy to work with the alternative centre. See below for details of centres in St Petersburg and Moscow and what they offer.
Traditional hospital births are the most common. ‘Vertical’ births can be offered in some places upon request, and caesarean births are carried out where necessary, although fathers are normally allowed into the room during this procedure.
Finding a Hospital
One of very few non-state hospitals in Russia where it is possible to give birth, and used by the majority of expats, is the Perinatal Medical Centre in Moscow.
- Perinatal Medical Center
At: pr Sevastopolsky, 24, Bldg 1, Moscow. 117209
Tel: (495) 331 4472 (Monday to Wednesday 10:00-16:00) / (925) 880 7185 (Thursday, Friday 10:00-17:00)
Of the state-run hospitals, Roddom No.4 also comes recommended by expats, while the Center of Family Planning and Reproduction offers some of the best public care in Moscow.
- Roddom No.4 (Maternity Hospital No.4; Rodylniy Dom No.4
At: ul Novatorov 3, Moscow, 119421
Tel: (495) 936 1401
- Center of Family Planning and Reproduction (Center Planirovaniya semiy I Reprodukciy)
At: pr Sevastopolsky 24?, Moscow, 117209
Tel: (495) 331 6967
- For a website containing advice on all aspects of giving birth in Russia, including details and ratings of all the hospitals in Moscow: Click here (in Russian)
- For English-speaking maternity hospitals in St Petersburg: Click here
Outside Moscow, which has only one non-state hospital in the city where giving birth is possible, the main option is state hospitals. English-speaking medically-certified translators (or midwives) can be booked to attend the birth.