I think of Sweden in the same way as Narnia. A far off place with foresty islands, magical light, mythical history, and renowned novelists with strong female protagonists such as Lisbeth and Annika. They also have generous paid family leave. I try not to think about the dark cold winters, and focus on a country that is creating policies to offer families the healthiest work life balance.
Today, we present Emma Olevik, a horticulture journalist based in Sweden with her husband and three daughters. I had the fortune to “meet” her in an online photography class several years ago. At the time she was a mother of two and I was a mother of one. We bonded over ‘Wabi-sabi’ and have kept in touch since.
Here we talk about having and raising a family in Sweden while being a working mom.
As told to me March 2016. Emma welcomed her 3rd child, a beautiful baby girl, in October 2016.
Are there birth doulas and postpartum doulas in Sweden?
Yes, it exists, but it is unusual. But getting more and more common I think. None of my friends had a doula, or anyone I’ve heard of, but you can easily find one online.
During your pregnancies did you receive care from a midwife or an obstetrician?
In Sweden once you find out you are pregnant you call your local ”mother care central” where you register and get a personal midwife whom you meet regularly during the pregnancy. Once or maybe twice you visit the hospital for a scanning/ultrasound (more often if there are special needs). You don’t meet an obstetrician as long as everything is “normal.” Even during the actual birth it is most common to be assisted by a midwife and a nurse. They call on an obstetrician if there is a need for it.