On my quest to explore pregnancy and giving birth in general, and specifically in Israel – and even more specifically, in Jerusalem – I’ve collected information and kept my experiences jotted down.
You can check out the b’herayon category for the anecdotes, and right here I’m collecting useful links and bits of information I thought to share…
And of course, updates about the baby-turned-toddler and second baby, if you’re interested.
Mazal tov! Baby boy was born on April 26th in Hadassah Ein Kerem. Read the review of my experience at Ein Kerem hospital and the birthing experience in general.
Mazal tov! Baby girl was born on April 8th in our home. Read the review of our home birth in our apartment in Tzur Hadassah.
Hospitals/Birthing locations/Home birth
Here are my notes from the two Jerusalem hospital tours I did before my first birth in 2009, one at Hadassah Ein Kerem and one at Shaarei Tzedek. Those are also the only two I registered at. Registration is a way to ensure you are admitted faster if the hospital is particularly busy; it’s you registered as opposed to others unregistered. It’s also not 100% fool-proof, but a good precaution so there are no rare last-minute issues (being turned away).
I also explored the possibility of homebirth which I wrote about (and received some helpful comments and email feedback along the way). For my second birth in 2011, I did a successful home birth with Joyce Butler, a licensed and experienced midwife from Matta, outside Jerusalem. I highly recommend her and am happy to pass on her details.
Here is some more info about doing a home birth in Israel:
- My home birth story: Israel, Tzur Hadassah, apartment, bedroom
- Registering your newborn after home birth
- Home birth and the PKU test
- Home birth in Israel
There are a few English and Hebrew resources that can be helpful on your search for info:
- Israel’s protocol for homebirth (Hebrew)
- Joyce Butler’s home birth in Israel website and blog
- Barbara Ben Ami’s midwife/homebirth website (including FAQs, what happens after birth, useful links)
- Ilana Shemesh’s homebirth website (Hebrew or English)
- Natural birthing resources in Israel (including lists of midwives and doulas)
- Pregnant in the City (English articles and resources)
In addition, the long-awaited Natural Birthing Center of Hadassah Ein Kerem has finally opened. It’s a birthing center located within the hospital which is run by a group of Hadassah midwives. It costs 3500 NIS and you can now bring your own doula.
There is also a birthing in Israel Yahoo Group.
I also highly recommend taking a birthing class if it’s going to be your first time. Not only did I feel really prepared (which I definitely think lent itself to my smooth birth) but it’s a great support system to have a teacher you can always speak with and other couples in your shoes. The birthing class I took was the Lamaze class given in English in Arnona, Jerusalem, by Rachelle Oseran. She was an excellent teacher who both my husband and I felt completely comfortable with. She is also the creator of the postnatal Baby Shape class. Highly recommended if you live in or around Jerusalem.
If you’re looking to buy new furniture and first-time baby supplies, I’d suggest seeking out Motzitzim which gave us excellent service and not-awful prices (as opposed to the others). Shilav tends to be the most expensive.
If you’re going second-hand (which, having been there done that, I recommend), I’d suggest starting with Yad2 and Janglo.
After buying some things new, being given gifts, and getting a ton of stuff second hand, I find that when it comes to baby stuff, more often than not second hand is great. A lot of the stuff you end up with you don’t actually need or you learn you don’t need it to be brand spankin’ new. Certain things you want to keep for future kids – strollers, car seats – better to invest in a bit of quality (whether first or second hand). But tons of toys and clothes and furniture can be just as great and save you a ton when buying from previous owners.
And don’t forget nursing gear! I highly recommend Hanaka Tova, an Israeli online shopping site run by a local native English speaker. After shopping in Israeli malls, baby stores, and the United States, I’ve found this to be the best quality (and priced) option for us Israeli breastfeeding moms. Here’s my review.
Wanna get in touch? Feel free to contact me!