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Queen Mary and Husbands!

  1. #33
    Nic is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Mid Levels
    I just want to second what Matty has already said and reassure anybody reading this that is due to give birth in the public hospitals here.

    I had my first baby at QMH last March and had a really positive experience, I think much of it is based on what your expectations are, for me medical care was the primary focus.

    Perhaps that is what I convinced myself as there was no way we were paying for private delivery and no way to go home as I was still working (plus I didnt think it fair for daddy to miss so much time with our baby).

    It really isnt that bad.... there are many of us mummies and babies around to prove it!

  2. #34
    MLBW Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Matty View Post
    MLBW- I know that I laboured at home for the early parts of my labour, which definatley eliminated a lot of inconvienience. But at the end of the day, I've still given birth to 2 babies in the HK public system. I feel that it is very helpful to other women who may be concerned about doing so, to know that generally that their experiences won't necessarily be negative.

    I know that you chose to return to your home country to give birth, rather than deliver here, but that wasn't an option for me, nor is it for many others.
    I'm not really sure what it is you gain by being negative about something that you haven't experienced for yourself.
    I just lament the fact that HK is quite behind in their view of childbirth and it does mean that a lot of women end up with "emergency" c-sections that can be avoided (by not treating the labor process as an assembly line etc) and it does make it a non-option for those of us who concretely believe in natural, drug-free, family-involved, hospital births but couldn't promise that their labors would be speedy and convenient for hospital staff--as I noted before, mine was 43-hours long--something I doubt would be tolerated here in HK. But it was worth it and I do believe my son is healthier for it.

    Above, Nic stated that it's not "that bad"--which I'm sure it isn't--and I never said it was "bad"--and as Nic also said, there are lots of mommies and babies to prove it (meaning they lived through it and were fine).

    I'm just saying it could be a lot better and for me, personally, having the bleeding problems I did and then reading what I've read here and listening to the personal stories of countless friends who have gone through the public system--it's quite frightening to think that if I had stayed here things could have been very bad.

    And, no, I have not given birth in QMH or any other public hospital in HK because I believed so strongly in natural childbirth with my husband present and assisting that I had to go through a lot more to return to my home country to give birth--it was by no means any easier than staying here and giving birth--in fact, if the option had been available, I would have.

    Anyway, it's okay. I don't really think my full heart in writing this can be understood here but nevertheless I do feel that I should honestly voice my opinion although it goes contrary to what many others here believe and think.

  3. #35
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I tend to think about birth as OUTCOME and birth as EXPERIENCE. Certainly in terms of 'outcome', HK public hospitals are very safe (ie. extraordinarily low rates of maternal and neonatal death - amongst the lowest in the world). Their surgical care is good.

    Their personal care is almost non-existant. And they do have very high CS rates. SO the experience of birth is not so good - VB where labour is not managed well (ie. time limits on how long you can push, irrespective of baby's 'condition'; jump to CS at first sign of fetal distress etc etc). However, I am firmly in the camp of "Well, yes, it sucks, and the nurses are grumpy, but I want to focus on a healthy baby - not how they get there." I know others feel differently, and maybe if I had a more traumatic birth I would feel differently.

    Just prepare to be ignored unless it's a surgical/medical issue. Save your fights with the nurses for the things that really matter, and focus on getting home in an relaxed a state as possible.

  4. #36
    Matty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sai Kung
    I disagree with the idea that birth experience has to be bad in public hospital.
    I had some very unconventional requests for my births which were completely intervention free.
    I think you just need to know what you want and ask for it.
    Staff are just going to follow hospital policy unless you give them an alternative.
    And while there are grumpy nurses I found that there are also really lovely ones too.
    The midwife at my first birth ( her name was May but unfortunatley that's all I knew) was so nice that i wrote the hospital a letter afterwards praising her. Not sure if she ever saw it.

    As for time limits, I pushed for 3 hrs with my first.
    Which even Dr Dawkins told me was getting to his limits when I told him about it all afterwards.
    My baby was fine and staff were happy for me to do so.

  5. #37
    dbmum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I think an important 'reminder' to those of us who are expats going into the public hospital system here in HK: this is not our 'home' territory. The hospital service at QMH was great. Was it like my previous births in the states? NO. What really matters here?? Look. Things are going to be different here. Food is different. Everything looks different (like time warpish!) There are language barriers at times that seem difficult, even frustrating. BUT. If you go in with the right attitude, if you are expecting great medical care at the hands of trained professionals (even though they might not have the bedside manners you might prefer), if you are gracious but firm, you WILL have a positive experience. You should take a hard stance on the things that are important and be willing to be a bit flexible on the details. If I can say anything of my experience, I was treated better/friendlier than the local patients - it was like my baby and I were a bit of a novelty. Not to every nurse of course, but I never felt like I wasn't welcome or I wasn't given adequate care. (Oh, and on a side note: THANK YOU CARANG for mentioning the bread/peanut butter - it WAS a life saver for me!) :)
    Best to all of you with impending deliveries this new year... hopefully you too will be able to look back and wonder why you spent so much time worrying about all of this while you enjoy your newest blessing.

  6. #38
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    peanut butter & bread saved my life a few times!
    glad it worked for you too!

  7. #39
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    dbmum - what is 'local'? If you've grown up here to any extent, then you certainly have the right to be treated no worse than a woman who is ethnic Chinese.
    Whilst there are definitely good things, I have found (with more than a dozen admissions at QMH) that the 'rules' (particularly visiting hours!) were broken regularly by Chinese women, but as soon as my DH wanted to stay 10 minutes over time (becasue he hadn't even seen the baby yet!) we were told off. I have had many experiences which tell me that it's not a cse of expecting 'special' treatment, but fair and equitable treatment. I don't expect to be treated better because I am not Chinese, but I do not expect worse treatment, either.
    And it has nothing to do with expectations - I have never been in a public hospital in another country, so my only expectation are based on good medical care.

    I don't think any realistic person minds some language issues - but behavioural issues are different!

  8. #40
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District
    Each of us has our own idea of what is important to the labour process and each has its own merit. For me, though I did not give birth at QMH (I had mine at Matilda), QMH saved my kid - the public system because it had access to a machine that could beat air into my daughters lungs and revive it...something that not even Matilda, a wealthy private hospital had. Now, for me, QMH is a great hospital to have a kid in and where I would have my kid next time. The reason is clear and simple ...their medical staff are experienced and their facilities are the best in Hong Kong. They have a group of doctors and nurses that are so darn proud of what they do that do not even accept pastries and cakes as a token gift. Like HappyV, my expectations are based purely on medical care, and the medical care that I've seen bring back my daughter. Hey - my husband was there during my labour and afterwards, but what good did that do for my daughter? not least in my was good for me to have him there, but then again the mid-wife was the one walking me through the procedure, not my husband....I firmly believe that if your labour is going to be "normal" with no problems at all, then yes, do it the natural way, do whatever it is that makes your heart feel happy, however, if there is any chance there is going to be a problem - please do not do it the "normal" way and go where they have the medical facilities to ensure the survival of your kid. Who cares about bed side manners? Who cares about whether the nurses are nice or grumpy? You're only at the hospital for 3 days and then you're out of there. Honestly, apart from breast feeding every 2 hours the first few days, you're only sleeping - do you REALLY need your husband there? I didn't have my husband there...he was at QMH checking on our daughter, I was ALONE at Matilda and NOT brestfeeding! I think the focus should be on providing the best circumstance for your baby to be born - what you decide will depend on the circumstance of your pregnancy and the predicted difficulty (or not) of your labour.

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