Elmi arrives smiling, and carrying two enormous bags. Despite her diminutive size, she’s as strong as an ox, and she wheels her ‘trusty table’ into my living room, wasting no time in getting everything ready for my massage with swift, deft moves.
This is the kind of post I wish I didn't have to write but unfortunately, I have become aware that there is a need for it.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse in Berlin, there are options and support available to you. Even if you don't speak German, don't feel alone, below is the information in English of who to contact should you be suffering from domestic abuse in Berlin. Below you can find all of the support / advice / police options that I know of, if you know of any others, please feel free to contact me through the FB page and I will add them to the post.
For those who are recent to Germany and/or are having a child here, I thought I'd do a rough translation of what the 'U Screenings' are, with a slight breakdown of each one's purpose.
Please note that this is a rough translation and that from what I can tell with friends kids, each Dr. does the examinations a little differently, some focusing on one particular aspect than others. The list however can give you an overview of what you might expect from each U Screening.
Getting some time to look after yourself as a parent after having a baby can be tough and some parents like to make the most of creche services based in gyms to get some time for themselves to get fit and a bit of time baby-free. I've created a list of gyms in Berlin that offer creches for babies. I don't have any personal experience with any of these companies, so they are not recommendations, but I thought the list may be useful.
Finding a good, English-speaking paediatrician (Kinderarzt) in your area is vital when having children. Berlin has a number of English-speaking paediatricians and I have put together a list of children's doctors that have been recommended by a number of readers and across the web. Like with my list of English speaking gynaecologists what one parent appreciates in a paediatrician can be different to another, so please keep this in mind when reading through the list.
The German health insurance system can be a bit if a minefield for those who aren't used to dealing with it, especially if your German isn't quite yet up to scratch. I've lived in Germany for coming up to 6 years now and I am only just starting to make full use of what my health insurance has to offer me.
Beyond your standard care, doctors visits, hospital stay etc etc, there is the opportunity to have 'preventative' fitness classes paid in a large part by your health insurance. I kid you not. The exact type of courses that are covered, the percentage of the cost that is reimbursed etc can vary dependent on the health insurance so please make sure to contact your health insurer first to ask what your insurance covers. Here is a general overview of what could well be available from your health insurance:
For those of you who are in the later stages or pregnancy or who recently gave birth, you may have heard the term 'Rückbildungsgymnastik' banded around and are wondering what exactly is it? It generally translates as 'Recovery Gymnastics' and involves classes that focus on repairing and building back strength in your abdomen and pelvic floor (Beckenboden). Rückbildungsgymnastik is one of the brilliant (as far as I am concerned) bonuses of the German public healthcare system.
When something goes wrong. When your child falls ill and the doctors are closed and you don't know what is wrong, it can be horrifying. Being in another country can make this all the harder. Here is a list of emergency numbers and addresses for options available to you should you find your child fall ill or have a serious accident whether during or outside of normal doctor's opening hours.