Interview with Ana about her first time having a baby as an expat in Luxembourg
Q: Please tell me a little about you and your arrival in Luxembourg.
A: I came in 2012 with my husband since he was transferred from Latam to Luxembourg by the Company he was working for. We loved the Country from the first moment and people have been nice and open with us.
Q: How was your pregnancy experience?
A: It was super good, healthy, and supported by my doctor. I followed all the instructions and took advantage of prenatal courses given by the hospital.
Q: How did you find the doctor?
A: I found it by chance when I called the Hospital CHL to ask for an appointment since I knew I was already pregnant, they recommended me to a new doctor. I was lucky she is a very good doctor.
Q: How did you prepare for the delivery?
A: I did a lot of research in choosing a hospital, midwife. I took prenatal classes, yoga, practiced breathing, and ate healthy food.
Q: What was the best and hardest thing in the first week?
A: HARDEST? I could not get enough sleep. Breastfeeding was a real challenge for me too. Realizing I have responsibility for a person made me nervous.
BEST? I was amazed by how such a small person can make me love that much. I feel much relaxed by just holding him.
Q: What is the #1 baby item you can’t live without?
A: Nose Frida (nose suction appareil)
Q: What are the most memorable moments (1-3 moments)?
- 1st laugh,
- taking the bottle with my milk (meant freedom for some hours),
- napping together
Q: What is the most challenging thing that an expat Mom is facing in Luxembourg? Your pieces of advice?
A: I think the challenge of living as an expat is loneliness. Being alone with no family and friends besides, doing everything by yourself like taking care of the baby, doing housework. It is even more difficult if you don't have a group of friends to share and support, to help you when needed. Having a baby brings a huge change to your life. It is happy but challenging, so it is necessary to be mentally healthy, feeling supported.
So, my advice is to open up and ask for help, to look for new friends, support groups, external help such as practitioners, parental guide, etc. in order to avoid depression, loneliness, sadness. Try to live fully the great experience of a new baby and enjoy the good moments that come with it.
Q: What is your take-home message to a new Mom and an expat Mom?
A: Someone said: "the nights are long but the years are short". Try to enjoy all moments, even hard ones. Time passes by. Raising a baby is hard. You can be overwhelmed with diapers, breastfeeding, mess, and more mess, until you realize they are all over in a blink of an eye.