5 aspects to being pregnant in Greenland

baby in GreenlandI’ve never fallen pregnant before, so I’m pretty daunted at the thought of giving birth to a child – let alone without family in Greenland! Here’s five things I’ve found curious about the whole process since my journey to motherhood began.

  1. Hands-off approach
    At the first meeting in Nuuk, the midwife will brief you on how the consultation process works. I don’t know if other places have monthly check ups, but it seems like a hands-off approach here. I have so far only seen a midwife during my first visit, had one scan around week 16 and then another visit again week 22. The next time will be around week 32! Everything is as it should be, they tell me. At some point later in the pregnancy, one will see a doctor.
  2. Free vitamins!
    The advice is pretty much to approach life as normally as possible, but to think about your health. The hospital provides you with free supplements to top up your calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin levels.
  3. Guessing game
    For people who like to know everything in advance, Greenland’s can give you a run for your patience. In general, people tell you things on a need-to-know basis, or you have to know what to ask. But even if you want to know, it is hospital policy not to answer questions about whether your kid is a boy or girl in Greenland! Quite a few people I know have flown to Denmark or elsewhere to find out the sex of the baby.
  4. The eternal ice-skating rink!
    It’s snowy for a big chunk of the year and this means that sometimes the ground gets pretty slippery when the weather turns turbulent… so much so that the entire town turns into an ice skating rink! The locals are better at walking but I’ve never been good at balancing. Therefore I have to take good care when walking on ice… I haven’t yet resorted to wearing spikes under my shoes yet though!
  5. Minimum four months of maternity leave
    In Denmark, four months of maternity leave with full pay is considered quite short. I think in Australia it depends on where you work, but at my old job my colleagues took between six months to one full year off, on half-pay. When I discussed it with some relatives in Malaysia, they considered four months to be quite a decent block of time! Men only get three weeks paternity leave. I think I will probably take about 6 months off work.

Anyway, I promise that not all of my blog posts from now on will be about pregnancy, but just thought I’d give an idea of how it works around here.

Are things different where you live? Any tips are welcome!


13 thoughts on “5 aspects to being pregnant in Greenland

  1. My daughter- in- law was due yesterday. That is strange they will not tell you the sex. I will have three granddaughters. Have a safe healthy pregnancy.

  2. Good luck with your pregnancy. I’m a man. And I’m single. But I don’t think 4 months is what women get here in the US. If memory serves it’s not even a month, which is, of course, a travesty

  3. Very interesting blog! 🙂 I recently had a baby in Korea. I’m Korean, but was raised in Canada, and don’t speak fluently, so it was a bit different for me too. Things are definitely done a bit different here, but overall I’d say my experience was very good. I had not monthly check-ups, but biweekly check-ups for the 1st and 3rd trimester. The doctors were also extremely hesitant to tell me the sex of our baby before she was born. In fact, they said it was illegal to do so in Korea!!!

  4. The frequency of the check ups is similar in Finland when everything is fine. Wonder how it will be when the little one is born. In Finland we had check ups every week in the beginning and then every two weeks etc..

  5. The topic of maternity leave is an interesting one. I’ve worked in the Australian government, and it seems maternity leave for one year is quite common. I think they get a pay cut or something, as you mentioned. Time out for paternity duties isn’t as common. However, the other day at my workplace I heard a manager telling a new dad it’s okay to come in a bit later or leave earlier than usual because of family commitments.

    • Hey Mabel! It is very family friendly here. The kid comes first, and actually I think it is family over work-life balance. I might even call it life-work balance, and the town is so small it is easy to get around which is great for dropping and picking up kids from school and daycare!

      On Thursday, 11 February 2016, The Fourth Continent wrote:


  6. Congrats again, don’t worry about doctor/midwife check ups, the frequency is pretty much the same in Australia, if everything is ok you will see them only few times in first two trimesters and it will increase closer to the due date. All the best!

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