Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thinking of returning home to give birth

  1. #1
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    95

    Thinking of returning home to give birth

    I'm pregnant with my second child and this is my first pregnancy in HK. I have private insurance but fairly quickly ruled out a private hospital because I'm not happy with the policies of our nearest private hospital (Union). So I decided I would go through the public system, but then started thinking about how I wanted to have a non-medicalised birth as much as possible. I don't really want to give birth is a hospital full stop (unless I become high-risk of course). I couldn't see a way around this in HK. So my alternative is to go back to my home country and attend a birthing centre instead.

    Unfortunately its quite a long flight (12 hours) and I think I'd need to be back home by about 34 weeks (I don't think I would comfortably fly after that period). I'm guessing I'd need to stay for about 4 weeks after the birth before returning to HK. So all up that would be about 10 weeks. It will probably work out more expensive then having baby in a private hospital here!

    Has anyone else traveled this far to give birth elsewhere? How did you find it? Any regrets and would you do it again? Thanks.

  2. #2
    newbiekt is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southside
    Posts
    148
    Is there another private hospital in Hong Kong you could get to easily if Union is not suitable? I think it would be a big upheaval to go elsewhere especially if you have already got another child.

  3. #3
    Papaya is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    28
    I totally get where you are coming from and feel the same way about hospitals in HK. I would also consider going back for a 2nd birth but recognise the many downs to that.

    If you decide to stay, I think Matilda (if you can get in and pay for it) would be a better option for less intervention with a doctor of the right mind set. If you are very confident about a natural birth it is also possible to have a home birth. The options you have then are to fly in a midwife from abroad, hire one here (difficult but not impossible) or do it yourself. It takes a lot of commitment and willpower but you would not be the only one going down this route.

  4. #4
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    95
    I am worried about the upheaval for my 3 year old. I know it's a big enough change already without having to go to another country for weeks.

    I haven't actually considered any other private hospital because I knew a lot had similar policies which put me off going to Union. That said, I hadn't thought about Matilda. Mainly because of the expense (but it could still be equivalent of going home so that's not a good reason) and I live in the NT so I automatically ruled it out, assuming it was too far away. My guess would be it would take an hour by taxi to get there...as long as it wasn't a Friday night or something! MTR would probably be faster...wouldn't that be a sight. At least I'd be getting an 'active' birth! But seriously, maybe something for me to consider.

  5. #5
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tsuen Wan
    Posts
    1,288
    I drove over two hours to get to the hospital for my first, as it was in Guangzhou and I was living in Shenzhen. I heard the second ones come a lot faster though... But since many hospitals don't like you to come right away anyway, that might give you enough lead time to get there when your labour starts. Just my thinking. And sounds like you aee already apprehensive about going back home anyway.
    Oh, and I was Really turned off by Union's policies too. That aided my decision to just have my first baby in china.

  6. #6
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    hong kong
    Posts
    133
    just to reassure you that a non-medicalised birth is possible in the public system - i had my baby in the public system & had a completely natural birth (at QMH) - i had a very clear birth plan and the midwives were really respectful of my wishes. The only thing i relented on was i let them give me pitocin (i think...can't remember...) to deliver the placenta - but only after waiting half an hour to see if my body would do it naturally. i let them do this because i think i read somewhere that over half an hour is pushing it a bit.
    hope this helps!

  7. #7
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    515
    OzMerc, I thought about going home to give birth but eventually decided on the Matilda although we lived in the N.T. The experience turned out to be far better than in Oz even though I had to stay in a 4 bedroom ward while in Oz it was a single bedder in a private North Shore hospital. It made a whole heap of difference given that my OBGYN had the bedside manner of a good Aussie doctor. I think that has to do with his personality and primary training as a doc in Melbourne. So I'd be definitely encouraging you to give HK i.e. Matilda a go if the costs are the same.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    Quote Originally Posted by ozmerc View Post
    I'm pregnant with my second child and this is my first pregnancy in HK. I have private insurance but fairly quickly ruled out a private hospital because I'm not happy with the policies of our nearest private hospital (Union). So I decided I would go through the public system, but then started thinking about how I wanted to have a non-medicalised birth as much as possible. I don't really want to give birth is a hospital full stop (unless I become high-risk of course). I couldn't see a way around this in HK. So my alternative is to go back to my home country and attend a birthing centre instead.

    Unfortunately its quite a long flight (12 hours) and I think I'd need to be back home by about 34 weeks (I don't think I would comfortably fly after that period). I'm guessing I'd need to stay for about 4 weeks after the birth before returning to HK. So all up that would be about 10 weeks. It will probably work out more expensive then having baby in a private hospital here!

    Has anyone else traveled this far to give birth elsewhere? How did you find it? Any regrets and would you do it again? Thanks.
    For the birth of my first child I chose to go back to my home country to give birth for the reasons you mentioned above. Also, I wanted to be around my family at the time of the birth. I wanted to have a 100% natural, medication-free childbirth that was directed by my husband and I. I wanted to have a midwife present at my birth instead of a doctor. I basically wanted the birthing center experience. We didn't have any insurance at the time so private hospitals in Hong Kong were out of the question. I had major problems with the doctor-centric attitude here in HK where women often are told they're crazy or foolish or don't know as much as the doctors so they should just sit back and do as they're told.

    I chose to go back. I left Hong Kong when I was 27 weeks pregnant and my belly barely fit behind the meal tray on the airplane. My flight was 26 hours with three layovers that totaled more than 8 hours of waiting in airports. But, I was determined to go back and I did. Actually, I had to have a note from my doctor stating that I was fit to fly and I had to present it at check-in. The airport staff, seeing how big I was told me that they would contact the pilot as he had the final say in whether he would allow me on the flight--so until I actually boarded the airplane, I didn't know if I would be allowed on the flight. As far as I know, flying at 34 weeks is probably a little too late for any long flight--I guess it depends on the airline but I was told that I needed to fly before 30 weeks in order to even be considered to board the flight.

    My experience with the midwives, nurses and the hospital where I gave birth were amazing. My husband joined 38 weeks so I spent 10 weeks separated from him overseas. I went into labor naturally on my due date at exactly 40 weeks. My labor was long and tiring and in many ways difficult but I was able to do it 100% naturally with the encouragement and support of my "team" (husband, mother, midwife and nurses).

    I hemmorraged after I gave birth but my midwife had anticipated that and when she saw my face for the first time at my 28-week appointment she said in her southern drawl, "Honey, you have red hair and fair skin, in my 30+ years of experience working in birth centers, hospitals and doing home births I've seen so many women like you bleed. But don't worry, if that happens, I know what to do." She also gave me a hug at the end of that appointment and thanked me for choosing natural childbirth. And she did know what to do and she saved my life after the birth of my son. She stuck by me and kept my birth intervention-free. I doubt I could have had that same experience here in Hong Kong.

    My husband was coached on how to "catch" the baby when he came out and got to cut his umbilical cord. We experienced the utmost in dignity and care where I gave birth.

    So, I have never heard of any experience quite like this in any of the HK hospitals. When my son was born the midwife asked, "So, would you like to sing a song or say a prayer? Many families like to do some sort of thing like this to honor this special moment."

    It just depends on how one sees childbirth. From reading the posts on this site sometimes I get the impression that many women in HK see birth simply as a physical act and as long as neither the baby nor mother die in the process things are successful. But, birth can be traumatic--because of unforseen circumstances or just the insensistivity of hosptial staff. I think it is important to take into account the profound emotional and spiritual consequences of birth as well as the physical realities before deciding where you will give birth.

    For us, because of my blood loss, I had some extra complications that took awhile to heal. I also tore quite badly and had a lot of stitches. In total we spent an additional 6 weeks after the birth in my country and then as a family made the trek back to HK.

    It was not easy. It was a very stressful time because we were staying with relatives and felt a little unsettled with a newborn. Coming back to HK with a newborn on a plane for that many hours and that many layovers was difficult as well. I was still swollen from the IV fluids (which I reacted not well to) even at 6 weeks post-partum so flying on a plane was misery.

    If I had to do it over again, I would. However, this time around, for this pregnancy (I'm 6 months pregnant now) we're staying in HK to give birth. I feel like after making it through 43 hours of natural, unmedicated labor, there is nothing the HK system can throw at me that I can't handle. We are fortunate that we can give birth in a private hospital this time so that my husband can be by my side throughout labor and having gone through it once at least we have a game plan for this go around based on what we experienced before. I wish I could be back with my previous midwife (whom I'm still in regular contact with) in the wonderful hospital I gave birth to my son in but know I'm strong enough to handle the "less-than-perfect" (in my opinion) options in HK.
    Last edited by thanka2; 11-26-2010 at 11:12 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Where to give birth in HK?
    By KateHK in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 07-20-2010, 01:45 PM
  2. Expat in Shenzhen, Mainland wife, thinking of birth in HK
    By mrg9192 in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-26-2009, 04:09 PM
  3. Days off for returning home
    By Heikeli in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-14-2007, 10:14 PM
  4. Moving, About to Give Birth, No HK Insurance!
    By 0ze_Kid in forum Moving Forums
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-12-2006, 12:04 PM
  5. Where to give birth? Hong Kong or U.S.
    By airay in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-17-2005, 10:53 PM
Scroll to top