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Poll: What do you think of the natural birth options in Hong Kong?

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  1. #9
    solidstars's Avatar
    solidstars is offline Registered User
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    I read somewhere that crouching/bending down really helps bring the baby along (gravity and all). i mentioned this to my doctor early on in the pregnancy and he almost laughed at me... basically, 'no they don't do things like that'.

    i think they're just not equipped for it?

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidstars View Post
    I read somewhere that crouching/bending down really helps bring the baby along (gravity and all). i mentioned this to my doctor early on in the pregnancy and he almost laughed at me... basically, 'no they don't do things like that'.

    i think they're just not equipped for it?
    Squatting (if you can do it) is the best position for giving birth because it 1) Opens up your pelvic area wider so the baby can come down more easily 2) I shortens the birth canal 3) It gets gravity on your side working with you.

    Having said that, the best position to be in to give birth is the one that you can 1) Get into (for me, squatting was extremely painful because of my sciatic nerve and the back labor I experienced my entire birth) 2) That works for you.

    I think it's about choice--not about the doctor telling you what to do and you just obeying orders like a "good robot...er patient." I think that's the point of natural birth anyway--learning to follow your body's lead and doing what works. It's criminal to force a woman to give birth in a position which impedes labor (lying flat on your back hooked up to monitors) or makes her uncomfortable. Back in the 1950s (and even in the early 1980s) they used to tether and shackle women to the hospital bed while she was giving birth!!! It seems it hasn't improved much here in HK. Do they even let you walk around the birthing room to keep labor progressing? (every woman at the hospital I gave birth at was encouraged to walk as much as possible because it does in fact speed up labor).

  3. #11
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Oh, and about "not being equipped"--how much equipment does it take? A birthing ball? A bit of space to walk in? Just allowing you to squat (I did squat for awhile on the bed using the back which was raised up as a support)? Ideally they would have a bathtub nearby so you could get into some hot water?Or, how about this, just let the doula accompany the woman in labor as well as the father of the child? Or allow collapsable birthing tubs to be made available for rent or extra charge? Naw, but here in HK it's just an assmbly line--get 'em in and get 'em out. Natural birth? Whatever! Oh, you want to have this important moment in your family's life as peaceful and honored as possible? Don't look here! Not a lack of equipment--just the wrong mindset.

  4. #12
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    well, no, i wasn't allowed to walk around, not that i wanted to towards the end, but at the beginning i did ask and the nurses looked scandalous.

    i wished i could have tried squatting, but then, if in you case you had back pains, then i wouldn't have been able to, i had massive back pains too.

    i think my doctor would have asked me to go elsewhere to give birth if i had pushed the idea of squatting... I asked about water births too and he said they're not equipped for it...

  5. #13
    Suv
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    I had a drug free, vaginal birth and I had pretty good support (starting from husband who was a great labor coach, my helper who used to be a midwife in Phil, midwives from Annerley, yoga classes, my pregnancy group which is now my baby group, my Ob- Lucy Lord, midwives from Matilda were just amazing) from all, throughout the pregnancy and final labor in HK. All everyone counseled me was to keep my options open and not feel bad if I am not able to get through the labor without drugs or need a C. No one pushed me one way or the other. And luckily for me, all went smoothly.

    I have another friend who also had a natural (drug free/ vaginal) birth with a different Ob (Chinese)- I forget his name. He was ok with her being more than 2 weeks overdue. She did schedule an induction but went into labor naturally on the eve of a typhoon of all days.

    1. Not allowed to do homebirth with a certified nurse midwife- Yes, agree.

    2. No birthing centers in Hong Kong- True

    3. An extremely high c-section rate in Hong Kong.
    True- but you have to find the right OB for yourself. For eg, NYC has as high Csec rates inspite of home birth doulas and birthing centers.

    4. Birthing coaches/doulas not allowed in the birthing room (right?)
    Perhaps true for public hospitals but you are allowed birth coaches/ doulas in Matilda for sure. I found out upfront. Basically any 2 people other than yourself (besides the Matilda midwife and your ob) can be present.

    5. No access to hot water/tubs during labor (right?) I dialated from almost 8 cm (I was able to stay at home for a pretty long time) to full in the hot water tub in less than half hour. I absolutely loved it. The tub was clean, the bathroom was lovely.

    I was also allowed to squat with a mirror but I could only do a semi squat due to the pain and pushing was easier for me when switching on knees. In the last bit, I was getting quite tired with the squat and needed to concentrate more on the pushing so I did get up on to the bed but more in a sitting position than on my back.

  6. #14
    Suv
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    "I'm surprised to see so many people think the natural birth option in HK are satisfactory."

    I think few people in HK as a whole opt for natural birth because they want to, to begin with- so the onus lies as much with them, in my opinion, about the range of availability of natural birth choices. With lucky dates, lucky year in mind, from conception to birth is planned, right?:)

    So my guess is that its the few expats who have taken this poll, a number of them are more informed/ aware about choices they can exercise and demand health care in a certain way.

  7. #15
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    Having had my first child in London (a natural home birth delivered by a mid-wife). I find it unsatisfactory that all births in HK require hospital admission and delivery by an obstetrician - irrespective of whether that ob lets you squat, kneel or otherwise. I am comparing the birth options in HK to many other countries where home-births, birthing centres and water births are the norm. I don't think it has anything to do with being informed/aware of the choices. It is a fact that the options here are limited.
    My second son was born here in HK. I had Dr Dawkins - a great obs and natural birth advocate who let me deliver anyway I wanted. I also used a doula from Annerly as support and the midwives from Matilda were wonderful. Do I think my personal experience was satisfactory? Yes.
    Does this make the natural birth options in HK satisfactory? Far from it.

  8. #16
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussie mum View Post
    Having had my first child in London (a natural home birth delivered by a mid-wife). I find it unsatisfactory that all births in HK require hospital admission and delivery by an obstetrician - irrespective of whether that ob lets you squat, kneel or otherwise. I am comparing the birth options in HK to many other countries where home-births, birthing centres and water births are the norm. I don't think it has anything to do with being informed/aware of the choices. It is a fact that the options here are limited.
    My second son was born here in HK. I had Dr Dawkins - a great obs and natural birth advocate who let me deliver anyway I wanted. I also used a doula from Annerly as support and the midwives from Matilda were wonderful. Do I think my personal experience was satisfactory? Yes.
    Does this make the natural birth options in HK satisfactory? Far from it.
    aussie mum, I quite like the way you explained the situation using your own experience for reference. Well said.

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