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Giving Birth In Public Hospitals

  1. #1
    cathryn is offline Registered User
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    Giving Birth In Public Hospitals

    Hi,

    I wonder if anyone could help me. I am moving to Hong Kong at the end of February by which time I will be 17 weeks pregnant. I have heard you need to book your private hospital very early. So I am thinking I might be too late to get into a private hospital and will have to go public.

    Can anyone tell me of there experiences of having their baby at a public hospital, I have read they take the baby away and put them in a nursery and you only go to see them every 4 hours! This worries me immensely as I would hate this, I need to be with my baby to be able to bond.

    Please can anyone help and hopefully tell me this information is incorrect!

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    From what I understand, you are more likely to have the baby taken away and put in a nursery in some of the private hospitals in Hong Kong. In most of the public hospitals you are "forced" to room-in with your baby whether you like it or not. I think this may have something to do with manpower shortages but I'm not sure.

    I am registered in a public hospital (8 1/2 months pregnant right now) but I am also registered in a private hospital because my in-laws are concerned about the quality of care in emergencies in the public hospital (this is my second birth and I hemorrhaged after giving birth to my first child--I was in a hospital in the United States at the time).

    My parents-in-law are concerned with the fact that in the public hospital you aren't provided with one doctor throughout your pregnancy (unless you are a high-risk case and then you might see the same specialist or two consistently throughout your pregnancy). So, the day you step into the hospital to give birth you will meet whoever is on staff--which could be a very talented and experienced doctor or someone who is nearly an intern.

    So, my husband and in-laws feel more comfortable with me giving birth in a private hospital so at least I know my doctor and he knows my medical history well. Also, I have a close friend who nearly died in a public hospital in Hong Kong because she was bleeding internally from an undiagnosed eptopic pregnancy and none of the doctors would take her seriously--they just kept telling her it was "all in her head" and to "go back and lay down and we'll come to you when we're ready." After repeatedly passing out from blood loss and pain her husband transferred her to a private hospital and they performed emergency surgery immediately which saved her life. So, I just don't want to risk getting into a situation where doctors and staff don't take me seriously.

    I've had the experience in the public hospital so far (just going for checkups) that often the doctors don't even look at my file so they aren't up-to-speed on my case and I have to actually remind them or sit down and explain over and over again certain things--which in an emergency would not be a good thing. However, not all public hospitals are the same in HK so others might have different experiences.

    Anyway, at the private hospital I'm registered at, due to concerns about SARS and swine & bird flu I've been informed that the baby is taken away from you and sent to the nursery and if you want to breastfeed or hold him/her you have to go down to the nursery and do everything there--you can't return with the baby to the ward unless you have a private room for fear of "contamination." If you pay the extra $$$ (and apparently it's a lot) to have a private room then you can have your baby room-in with you but your baby cannot return to the nursery afterward, again, for fear of "contamination." I was also told that the head nurse is very pro-breastfeeding but that seems like a complete oxymoron because unless babies are allowed to room-in with the mother breastfeeding is just all that more difficult to establish. So, I am also very concerned about this.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #3
    cathryn is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the info, I don't really understand how any concerns with Sars and Bird Flu etc would mean a baby would have to stay in a nursery, what difference would that make, if they are worried of the baby catching something from a visitor of yours, then surely you could catch it, then take it to the nursery and pass it on to all the babies! I find it very odd and I'm also really worried about the breastfeeding thing, because if you aren't in the room with your baby how are you supposed to hear your baby crying to be fed, when I had my son in the UK he didn't leave my side and when he cried I fed him.

    Sounds like your friend didnt have such a good time in the public hosp! The not seeing the same person wouldn't worry me so much as that's what I experienced in public hospitals in the UK so I am used to that.

    Oh well I think I am just going to have to wait until I get there, I ended up having a c-section with my first, so I don't know how they do things in Hong Kong, I want to go for a natural but think they may say I have to have a c-section, so this may change my chances of getting into a private hosp if they can say the date for definite that I will be there. Also I need to see through my husbands work and the private health ins whether I can get a private room.

    Well good luck hope it all goes well for you wherever you end up, let me know how it works out.

  4. #4
    CFM
    CFM is offline Registered User
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    Depending where you live, and which private hospital you go to, 17 weeks may not be an issue for getting in. I gave birth at Union hospital in the NT last May and there was no problem securing a private room. Deposit not paid until 23 wks I think it was. Baby can room in no problems in a private room, but not in the shared rooms. Of course, private does cost a lot....

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    you are not 'FORCED' to room-in. you have a choice in the public hospital (at least i always had)! they offer you the use of the nursery (which is located in the centre of the ward and not miles away). you can choose to have yoru baby beside you or go to the nursery. BOTH of my kids stayed at my side the entire time.

    the only time you may have to go to "visit" your baby is if your baby needs the special care or NICU. in that case you will have to go to their ward. my daughter was in the special care unite for 24 hours after her birth as she was born while i was under general anesthesia and her reactions were a little slow, she was also techinically pre-mature.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i think that there is a lot of mis-information out there about the public hospitals. yes, they do have their drawbacks, but for ANY case where the baby might require a NICU, then the public hospital is where you want to be. ex. matilda hotel, oops, i mean hospital is beautiful. yes, you can have pretty much any birth experience you want there BUT if there is something wrong with the baby... baby is transferred to Queen Mary Hospital, a public hospital, as Matilda is not equipped with a NICU/special care facility.

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    you are not 'FORCED' to room-in. you have a choice in the public hospital (at least i always had)! they offer you the use of the nursery (which is located in the centre of the ward and not miles away). you can choose to have yoru baby beside you or go to the nursery. BOTH of my kids stayed at my side the entire time.
    I think this is just another one of those things that it depends on which hospital you're at. My friend gave birth at public hospital near Mong Kok and asked if she could put her baby in the nursery because she was exhausted from labor and was told no and that she had to keep her baby with her at all times. In the public hospital "training videos" (y'know, the "awesome" ones you watch to learn about thing like breastfeeding and hospital protocol) the babies are always with the mothers in the room and the hospital nursery is never shown.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #8
    banane76 is offline Registered User
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    I think rooming in with your baby is encouraged, but I had my baby at Queen Mary and my baby had to be in special care for a week so I had to go visit her on a different floor as much as I wanted to. Of course, they preferred you come at feeding times, but they didn't turn you away. There was also a nursery where you could put the baby to get some sleep. I thought my experience at QMH was really positive except for one nurse in the general ward. I was sooo jealous of the new moms that had their babies by their side. It was nice the first night as I was exhausted, but after that, I really wished she didn't have to be in special care.

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