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Pregnant - public hospital and antenatal class

  1. #1
    kareena is offline Registered User
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    Pregnant - public hospital and antenatal class

    I'm thinking of delivering my baby in either QE or Kwong Wah and thus need to go there beforehand for my antenatal checkups. Anyone delivered their babies in either one of those 2 hospitals or know anyone who has? How was your/their experience in the general ward - how many beds in each ward? did the nurses speak english and were they very helpful? did they teach you how to breastfeed, give the baby a bath etc after the birth? How was your birthing experience? What about visitors... cud your husband or mother be there all day? Any info about these, or any other comments/advice too, wud be greatly appreciated!
    Thanx!


    Also, I want to join antenatal classes and deciding between either Annerley Midwives - Hulda, or Byrne & Hickman - Janice Morton (lamaze). I would appreciate comments on your experience, or any info that you know of, so that I can make an informed decision.

  2. #2
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Welcome Kareena,

    There is a mum here who's delivered at QE.

    Steph.....where are u?
    Last edited by rani; 08-15-2003 at 11:21 PM.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  3. #3
    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs up QE Experience

    Hi, Kareena,

    I gave birth at QE Hospital in December. We live in Olympic City and did go check out both Kwong Wah and QE. Ended up chosing QE because it seemed like it was a newer facility and also a little friendlier to English-speakers. They have an English speaking antenatal class where they take you on a tour of the ward and the delivery suite.

    In general, I'd say the doctors and nurses are all very professional and thorough. But it is the public health system and you're paying close to nothing really for the service they offer you, so I wouldn't expect too much special treatment. It was a very busy time around the time I was giving birth and almost all of the forty beds in the ward I stayed in was occupied. In fact, there were so many other women giving birth on the same day I gave birth to Zanna, that I was only wheeled into the delivery suite half an hour before she popped out. I was lucky to have had quite a smooth delivery so I was attended only by midwives. Doctors are only called in for emergency situations. I also didn't have time to ask for any pain killers and was trying to do without but I think they tend to discourage the use of them as its better for the baby. I also wanted to avoid an episiotomy but they said that most Chinese women need it. My husband was allowed into the delivery suite with me and after the baby was born, they took her away briefly to clean her and then brought her back to me for her first suckling which is very important for beginning the breastfeeding relationship. I'm glad they didn't rush us out of the room but gave us enough time to enjoy the wonderful moment of seeing our newborn daughter for the first time.

    The hospital supports having the newborns room with their mothers so just be prepared to be amongst quite a few crying babies during the night. When one of them starts it gets all of them going! The first couple of days, they bathe the baby for you in the morning so you can have a lie in. They do have classes every afternoon teaching you about general baby care. As there are so many other women in the ward though, if you do have questions, it's best to be proactive and approach the nurses for help rather than waiting for them to come to you. In general, the doctors and nurses were quite friendly and helpful.

    I was disappointed to see that not many women in the ward were successful at fully breastfeeding. Many of them supplemented with formula. But I was committed to breastfeeding exclusively and was very grateful to one of the nurses who spent a lot of time with me throughout the second night helping the baby to latch on to me. Even though they do provide some coaching regarding breastfeeding at the hospital, I would recommend reading up as much as you can about it prior to this and also definitely contacting the La Leche League for information and support beforehand.

    They do have specific visiting hours so check with them on that. Since mine was a natural birth, they let me out of hospital after three days. I'd rate my experience with QE as being quite good as I had no special complications. I know of another friend who also had her baby there who had an awful experience because they refused to give her an epidural when she was practically begging for one. So I think it really depends on each person's individual experience. Anyway, my hospital bill was something like $264 versue the $40,000 I would have had to pay at a private hospital!!

    Hope this answers some of your questions, Kareena. If you have any more, please feel free to call me on 93084405.

    Stephanie

  4. #4
    kareena is offline Registered User
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    Re: QE experience

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your detailed reply.

    I have also been inside QE but not Kwong Wah, and thought I'd probably deliver over there (my due date is in Dec. too). However in the past week I have heard a couple of people say that Kwong Wah is better than QE and talked about their good experience. So it's nice to hear that you had a good experience in QE, and so I guess both hospitals shud be ok. I did think too that QE would cater to English speakers more than KW, coz KW doesn't have any English antenatal classes. However, what I heard about KW is that most nurses did speak English and they were very helpful etc... However like your friend, I also heard of another person who did not enjoy their experience in KW.... So as you can see I'm totally confused abt which hospital is better and thus posted here to get more feedback!

    The only thing i like so far abt KW is that they have 6 beds in a ward as opposed to 30 in QE! I would like to stay in a room with as few people as possible; and I suppose there'll be less people in the baby-care classes as well yea..
    By the way, I suppose you all shared the same bathrooms?

    Also, is it that you were awake at night only to feed your baby or that you could not sleep with so many babies crying? How about during the day - do you tend to sleep a lot or are you awake and really need someone there beside you to talk to or anything...

    I would also like to know, as you said you were wheeled into the delivery room only half-an-hour before you gave birth, where were you all the time before? Was there some sort of private room where you were taken care of and guided on what to do? Was your husband able to be with you before that? Or did they wheel you half-hour before bcoz your conctractions only got stronger then?
    I can't imagine being in pain with no one around to guide me!

    Also, I would love my mum or husband to be with me during the days after I deliver; however they have become so strict after SARS that they are very strict on the visiting hours - KW 1-2pm and 6-8pm; QE 5-8pm.

    I would also want to breastfeed my baby, and I will read up on it as you advised - I am also planning on taking some antenatal classes... Did you go for any? As I mentioned in my original post, I am going to choose from either Annerly Midwives or Janice Morton. You mentioned 'La Leche League' - what is that? And could you please leave me the contact details - Thanx :)

    I appreciate you taking the time to answer all my questions and help me in knowing these details so that I can be prepared :)
    I wish I could just have a look at the wards! But they have stopped the tours due to SARS... I sure hope SARS does not come back in Dec. as some predict...!! Then they'll e even more strict.... Did you happen to see the wards in KW??

    Looking forward to hearing your reply soon - Thanks a lot in advance!

  5. #5
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Kareena,

    La Leche is an Int'l organization that offers information and support on breastfeeding.

    More info here:
    http://www.geobaby.com/Hong_Kong/Hea...e_League_L150/

    Rani
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  6. #6
    stephchoy is offline Registered User
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    Re: Re: QE experience

    Originally posted by kareena
    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for your detailed reply.

    I have also been inside QE but not Kwong Wah, and thought I'd probably deliver over there (my due date is in Dec. too). However in the past week I have heard a couple of people say that Kwong Wah is better than QE and talked about their good experience. So it's nice to hear that you had a good experience in QE, and so I guess both hospitals shud be ok. I did think too that QE would cater to English speakers more than KW, coz KW doesn't have any English antenatal classes. However, what I heard about KW is that most nurses did speak English and they were very helpful etc... However like your friend, I also heard of another person who did not enjoy their experience in KW.... So as you can see I'm totally confused abt which hospital is better and thus posted here to get more feedback!
    ** yeah, that's why i said that everyone's experience is different. but it's good to do your research.
    The only thing i like so far abt KW is that they have 6 beds in a ward as opposed to 30 in QE! I would like to stay in a room with as few people as possible; and I suppose there'll be less people in the baby-care classes as well yea..
    By the way, I suppose you all shared the same bathrooms?
    ** i remember visiting KW as well but can't exactly remember what it was like. unfortunately you don't have much choice about which ward you're in. they do have private rooms with either one or two beds. but those will cost something like $2000 a nite. just as expensive as private. uh oh, forgot to say, the baby-care classes were in chinese. but i'm sure if you asked for instructions in english, they'd be glad to oblige. don't remember there being that many people in the class. and yes, you do have to share the same bathrooms.
    Also, is it that you were awake at night only to feed your baby or that you could not sleep with so many babies crying? How about during the day - do you tend to sleep a lot or are you awake and really need someone there beside you to talk to or anything...
    ** my situation was that i had a bloody show but no contractions and was checked into the hospital a few days before i gave birth. so during this time it was a little difficult sleeping with the babies crying. but after i gave birth, i was just so busy with the baby round the clock and the best rule is really to sleep when the baby's sleeping. the truth of the matter is that the first few days will be pretty exhausting as newborns need to be breastfed every two hours.
    I would also like to know, as you said you were wheeled into the delivery room only half-an-hour before you gave birth, where were you all the time before? Was there some sort of private room where you were taken care of and guided on what to do? Was your husband able to be with you before that? Or did they wheel you half-hour before bcoz your conctractions only got stronger then?
    I can't imagine being in pain with no one around to guide me!
    ** when i did the tour of the delivery suite, they told me that the suite had a TV and music on the PA for you while you waited. so i was under the impression that i would be wheeled into thesuite a couple of hours before to wait for my contractions to increase. but as i said, it was a very busy day for them so i guess they didn't have any free rooms. so i just waited in the main ward with the baby monitor attached to me to check on the baby's movements and also my contractions. they drew the curtains around my bed but i did wonder how the other mother's felt about me moaning and groaning right next to them and my husband cldn't be there because it wasn't visiting hours. i presume if they did have available suites, they'd wheel you in ahead of time and allow your husband in as well. you might check this again with the nurses on your antenatal visits. to be honest, the nurses can't really spare the time to hold your hand because they have so many other patients to take care of. but they did give me some advice on how to breathe and when i was in the delivery room, the midwives gave me very clear instructions on how and when to push.
    Also, I would love my mum or husband to be with me during the days after I deliver; however they have become so strict after SARS that they are very strict on the visiting hours - KW 1-2pm and 6-8pm; QE 5-8pm.
    **i understand. it was so much better when i got home and thank goodness i only stayed in the hospital for three days.
    I would also want to breastfeed my baby, and I will read up on it as you advised - I am also planning on taking some antenatal classes... Did you go for any? As I mentioned in my original post, I am going to choose from either Annerly Midwives or Janice Morton. You mentioned 'La Leche League' - what is that? And could you please leave me the contact details - Thanx :)
    **my husband bought me a pregnancy manual which i read thoroughly, i borrowed books from friends and did alot of surfing of the web. there's a wealth of information there. try www.babycenter.com. i didn't really take any special classes beforehand but it's definitely a good idea to be informed beforehand so you sort of know what to expect. if you're serious about getting off to a good start on breastfeeding, definitely contact the La Leche League. they are a world-wide non-profit organization that supports breastfeeding. they have demonstrations and show you the proper techniques for holding your baby. the meetings are informal Q&A sessions. they also have other resources there which you can borrow to read up as well. you might want to pick up a copy of the "Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" which is basically the breastfeeding bible. the leaders have been very helpful and i still run questions by them via email now and then. i think rani provided the web link to them. all the contact details for the hong kong chapter are on the site.

    i did have some trouble with breastfeeding in the beginning and needed some special advice. i was put in touch with a certified British midwife, Sarah Pickup, and she provides post natal visits after your baby is born to provide advice on baby care, bathing and of course breastfeeding. the cost is $500 a visit but the great thing is that she comes right up to your home and encourages you to call her whenever you have any questions at all. her contact no. is 2548 8355. maybe you can give her a call to find out more about her services and whether it will suit you.
    I appreciate you taking the time to answer all my questions and help me in knowing these details so that I can be prepared :)
    I wish I could just have a look at the wards! But they have stopped the tours due to SARS... I sure hope SARS does not come back in Dec. as some predict...!! Then they'll e even more strict.... Did you happen to see the wards in KW??
    ** the public hospital experience is pretty much no frills but hopefully you'll just be spending a few days there and i think you can rest assured about the level of healthcare they provide. it's really an awesome experience giving life to a baby. try not to think too much about the pain and focus on relaxing. i wish you all the best kareena. i remember how lost i felt as well as i'm a first time mum and it is hard work in the first few days. but i'm sure you'll be fine.

    Looking forward to hearing your reply soon - Thanks a lot in advance!
    Last edited by shri; 08-17-2003 at 09:37 AM.

  7. #7
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Information about La Leche League

    Dear Kareena,

    La Leche League was founded to give information and encouragement, mainly through personal help, to all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies.

    Breastfeeding though a natural process does not always come naturally. Most questions mothers have about breastfeeding are practical ones best answered by other nursing mothers. La Leche League Leaders are volunteers who have nursed their own babies, undertaken required training and satisfied La Leche League International that their views and attitudes to mothering are in accordance with La Leche League policy.

    Accredited Leader contacts in Hong Kong are:
    Sarah – Mid-levels – 2548-7636
    Judi – Heng Fa Chuen – 2987-5809 (away until end of August)
    Maggie – Happy Valley – 2817-7475 (away until end of August)
    Tanja – Discovery bay – 2259-3801
    Maggie – Kowloon – 2779-6955 (Chinese-speaking)

    E-mail help: [email protected]

    LLL in Hong Kong has three groups with English-speaking meetings in Central and Discovery Bay and Cantonese-speaking meetings in Tseung Kwan O.

    Central Meetings

    Tuesday September 9th 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Tuesday October 14th 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Tuesday November 11th 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Tuesday December 9th 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    All meetings at 7th Floor, North Committee Room, High Block, CITY HALL, Connaught Road, Central (2548 7636)

    Discovery Bay Meetings

    Wednesday August 27th 10:00 am - 12 noon at Tanja's
    Wednesday September 24th 10:00 am - 12 noon at Tanja's
    Wednesday October 29th 10:00 am - 12 noon - venue to be confirmed
    Wednesday November 26th 10:00 am - 12 noon - venue to be confirmed
    Wednesday December 17th 10:00 am - 12 noon - venue to be confirmed

    Tanja's address: Flat A, G/F, Block 58, Siena One, Discovery Bay (2259-3081)

    For Chinese meetings please contact Maggie on 2779-6955.

    These meetings are open-ended discussions about breastfeeding and related aspects of childcare. They aim to provide the information, support and encouragement that mothers need to successfully breastfeed their babies and are interest to mothers both before and after their babies are born.

    I hope that you will be able to make one of our meetings soon.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader

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    kareena is offline Registered User
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    Re.Stephanie & Sarah

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks again for your reply. It seems like your experience was really not bad, and now I don't even mind going for QE. You did mention that you stayed in the hospital only 3 days - but you were admitted a few days before your delivery...? --which means you dont have to stay there for another 3 days after a normal delivery?

    About the LLL, so before delivery I would attend meetings that demonstrate how to breastfeed and the techniques etc.... are these the meetings you mentioned Sarah? If so, then I assume they are once a month and each meeting teaches something different...? If not, then what are these meetings about and how do I enroll for the meetings Stephanie was talking about? Also, is there any charge for these meetings?

    Thanx.

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