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1st pregnancy and need help

  1. #1
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    1st pregnancy and need help

    Hello,
    This is my first pregnancy and I have many questions. Currently, I am 12 weeks pregnant and will be moving to join my husband in Sheung Shui at approximately 25 weeks. I have insurance back in the states and know and trust the ob doctor there. He said most of the tests will be complete by the time I move. I was wondering if anybody could recommend a good ob doctor close by that speaks english and will be available during delivery. My biggest fear is something bad happening during the delivery and I won't understand what is going on. Also, I will not be insured here but was told that it isn't too expensive to deliver without insurance. Is there optional maternity insurance that one could buy? Also, do I find an OB doctor before I find a hospital to deliver? Is private better than public? I know that most private hospitals are quite a distance from Sheung Shui, would that be a problem? I am very confused at the process here and am worried that this confusion will be further increased as I do not understand the area very well. A lot of questions, sorry. Any answers would be greatly appreciated. Please help!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    all doctors in hong kong speak english, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    private is more luxurious than public and also a lot more expensive. i don't know what it costs to deliver a baby in the US without medical cover but if you go private here without it, it would be just less than $20k USD.

    public, if you have a HKID card (which you MUST apply for within 3 months of obtaining your visa) is VERY cheap. the medical care is fine, but the bare bones as far as patient comfort in the ward.

    and yes, you must decide on your doctor BEFORE you decide on a hospital as not all doctors deliver at all private hospitals. if you go public, then you don't decide on a doctor, you get whoever is on-call when you go into labour.

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Hi, I think you will find most of the popular private doctors are based on HK island and not Sheung Shui.

    I would say that all public hospital doctors speak English and so you wouldn't ever not know what is going on.

    Private care without insurance is expensive but also the bill often ends up to be more than originally expected...if you need an emergency c-section for example that can almost double the cost, so you have to have a big budget for private care without insurance.

    I don't know of any insurance company that will provide maternity insurance for an already pregnant women.

    Sheung Shui is quite a way for HKs' private hospitals....your nearest would be the Union in Shatin, but people travel from Macau, Shenzhen etc. to give birth on HK Island, so you can make it there in time. Some people check into a hotel when they are due so as to be near the hospital.

    HK's hospitals are currently very overcrowded....I had to book a bed at a private hospital when I was 7 wks pregnant, and I am still waitlisted for my first choice hospital. So if you decide to go private you ned to find an ob and book a bed quickly.

    My first child was born at the Matilda and I can't recomend it enough!!!!

  4. #4
    rachrobin is offline Registered User
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    Hi Megan,

    I am 20 weeks along with my first baby and I am new to HK. From what I gather, you may find all private hospitals would be fully booked by now for maternity services. When I was 8 weeks along the nearest ones to me (on HK island) were already not accepting any more bookings.

    You may find you have no choice than to go through the public system. You can still pay to see a private OB for your check ups etc. but you would just have whoever is on duty to actually deliver your baby. Private doctors do not attend in public hospitals (as some do in Australia where I'm from).

    If you find you have to go public and you don't have an HK ID card, it will currently cost HK$39,000 (about US$5000). This includes all prenatal care and delivery, including C section if necessary. Note - C sections are only performed if medically necessary in the public system. You can't choose to have one if you don't specifically need it.

    From what I understand, the public system is very good in terms of training and up to date equipment etc. Where it falls down is the patient care and bedside manner compared to what you may be used to in the U.S. For example, you need to bring everything with you to hospital - diapers, maternity pads etc. even a cup to drink from! You would probably want someone to bring you food as well, from what I have heard.

    One other thing to consider (which is getting me down a bit) is that the father of the baby has very limited access to see the baby. They are only allowed in for the final stage of labour - which means if you arrive at hospital too soon, he may spend hours in the waiting room until you are dilated enough. He can only spend 1 hour with you after the birth. After that, he is relegated to visiting hours only (12-1pm; 6-7pm). They generally kepp you in for 3 days.

    If I had a choice for my own situation, I would return to Australia to have the baby. My problem is that I would not be able to fly after 34 weeks or so, and my husband would have to stay in HK and work. He would only have limited time to come over for the birth and obviously there is no guarantee on the due date. So I am staying in HK to be close to him so he can be there for the delivery. I still wonder most days if it is worth it!!!

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you so much for the useful information. I can't believe that there is such limited time for the father and support during delivery! Hope your delivery goes well rachrobin.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    at public hospitals, the father is allowed in the delivery suite. if you arrive and your contractions are still far apart, there will be quite a wait. that is when the hubby has to stay outside. the public wards are usually quite busy and with all the women and babies around, they want to give the new mothers some time to rest.

    they also want to reduce the possibility of cross-infection. the rules were implemented after SARS.

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