Pre-natal Care in Russia

Information on how to get the pre-natal help required in Russia…

A pre-natal visit needs to be scheduled as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed. A visit to the doctor is then recommended every four to six weeks for the first six months of pregnancy and more frequently during the last three months. In Russia, as giving birth is not normally carried out in the clinic or hospital where pre-natal care is given, pre-natal check-ups and tests normally finish there at about 36 weeks, after which they are carried out weekly at the hospital where the birth is planned.

For foreign nationals planning pre-natal care in a private hospital or clinic, it is wise to check in advance what is covered on any medical insurance policy held and which local clinics would be preferred for this. If not covered by insurance, research what packages are available and at which establishments, and for how much.

Even in Moscow and St Petersburg, options for giving birth in private, non-state hospitals are extremely limited, so expats living outside the main cities or in rural Russia may find it hard to get the level of care desired in anything but the largest government hospitals, especially for non-Russian speakers. Options for the best care include travelling to Moscow or St Petersburg for pre-natal checks and giving birth, or even to fly to the home country well before the due date to give birth.

  • For a list of private medical centres and clinics in Moscow providing prenatal care with contact details and pricing information: Click here (in Russian)

Medical centres in Moscow

As well as being the most popular choice to give birth at for expatriates, Moscow's Perinatal Medical Center also offers prenatal packages, and similar services are on offer at all the main clinics used by expats.

  • American Medical Center (???????????? ??????????? ?????)
    At
    : pr Mira 26, Bldg 6, Moscow, 129090
    Tel
    : (495) 933 7700
  • European Medical Center (??????????? ??????????? ?????)
    At: Spiridonievsky pereulok 5, Bldg 1, Moscow, 123104
    Tel: (495) 933 6655
  • Perinatal Medical Center (????????????? ??????????? ?????)
    At
    : pr Sevastopolsky, 24, Bldg 1, Moscow, 117209
    Tel
    : (495) 331 1601

What to Expect at Pre-natal Visits

The first visit will be the longest, during which the following are normally carried out:

  • Height, weight and blood pressure is checked
  • Blood taken to check for type, diseases and iron levels
  • A urine sample taken to check for infection, sugar and protein
  • The due date estimated
  • Questions are asked about medical history, the father’s medical history, family members and medicines
  • The doctor carries out a physical exam including a pelvic exam with pap smear
  • A pre-natal vitamin with folic acid is prescribed

After this, an appointment for the next visit needs to be made. At all subsequent visits, the following are usually checked:

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Urine
  • General health
  • The baby’s heart rate and growth

In addition to these, other tests either required or offered may include:

  • Blood tests – Rh factor, hepatitis B, German measles (rubella), chickenpox (varicella), cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia
  • Other tests – syphilis, gestational diabetes, HIV, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), group B streptococcus (GBS)
  • Tests offered to monitor foetal health – ultrasound, foetal movement count, doppler ultrasound, non-stress test, biophysical profile, modified biophysical profile, contraction stress test

Finding Support

Joining a mother-to-be support group to share useful information and experiences can be helpful as an expatriate getting to grips with Russia’s unfamiliar systems.

It is also possible to find classes to learn about pregnancy, what to expect from childbirth, help with breastfeeding and baby care. Most instruction will be in Russian, but the main private medical clinics in cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg offer English-language sessions.

For one organisation in Moscow offering specific advice and assistance to mothers-to-be from midwives, see below:

  • Centre of Traditional Midwifery and Family Medicine (Center Tradicionovo Akusherstvo I semeynoy mediciniy / ????? ????????????? ?????????? ? ???????? ????????)
    At
    :  Armyanskiy pereulok 3/5, Bldg 1, Moscow, 101000
    Tel
    : (495) 988 5252
    Services
    : Professional staff including pediatricians, obstetricians and midwives speaking several languages offer antenatal care, advice on breastfeeding, education advice and instruction, fitness classes and post-natal care

Outside the main cities in Russia, private medical centres can often help new and prospective mothers get in touch with other mothers and provide useful information about groups and assistance.