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Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital-My Experience

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Post Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital-My Experience

    I am starting this thread because I was unable to find any other threads offering information about Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital.

    I am booked in this hospital and last night my husband and I went and took a tour. I'd like to share my impressions/experience so far. I haven't given birth there yet but maybe I can update this thread in the future.

    First of all, I was surprised by how small the hospital actually is. I have never seen a smaller hospital in Hong Kong--the hospital is the size of a clinic in my opinion. It's about 4-5 stories tall and just very small.

    It was a bit difficult to communicate with the front desk staff--both in English and in Chinese. The desk staff seemed to be quite young--almost like secondary students who were doing an internship or something. We finally were able to be directed to the right department.

    The maternity ward is on the second (and I think third as well) floor. It's also very small. Everything is packed pretty tightly. The actual hospital is nothing any different than the public hospitals as far as decor goes. There is only ONE private room and it is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    One of my biggest concerns with this hospital is that they don't allow rooming-in with babies and I had heard it was because of a fear of contamination and exposing the newborns to SARS or swine flu...that type of thing.

    However, after speaking with one of the head midwives, I completely understand this policy now that I know how the hospital operates. I'm not saying I'm a fan of how things operate there or am very cool with the practice and even the head midwife explained that there needs to be a policy change soon but it will take time.

    And...this is how it goes...almost all of the patients/clients in this hospital come from Mainland China. When they come to give birth in Hong Kong, they bring along all the relatives too. Since the hospital has open visiting hours every grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle and friend crowds into the already cramped wards.

    Most women are staying 3-5 beds/room. The rooms are packed like a can of sardines anyway (barely any space to even get out of bed and walk) but then you have to add in the fact that for every woman in those rooms there are at least 3+ relatives visiting, talking loudly and well, in my opinion, making a nuisance of themselves at all times of the day and night. The head midwife says that they tell them over and over again to be quiet and try to respect the other women in the ward but it doesn't really help. We witnessed this while we were there, actually. If you've ever taken the train in China and slept on the hard sleepers--you might have an idea of what I'm talking about. There is one communal toilette for every room that both the mothers and their fan clubs use.

    As the midwife explained (and I could see with my own eyes) many of these mothers come from villages in Guandong Province where neither they or their relatives are aware of the standard of hygiene in Hong Kong (maybe don't wash their hands, wash their clothes, cover their mouths, refrain from spitting etc.).

    So, at this point the hospital is trying to manage several risks. If newborns are allowed back in the room with the mother A) there isn't any room for a baby cot for the baby to sleep B) there is a risk that babies will be kidnapped because the security isn't high in the rooms and people are flooding in and out all day long C) there is a risk of actual exposure to illness which in a newborn can cause really bad issues like diarrhea and the hospital feels that they can't risk exposing the babies to all the relatives visiting.

    In our case, of course, we won't have a ton of people coming to visit us and we do have an understanding of hygiene but if we are allowed to have the baby with us in the ward then that creates an issue of "fairness" and there will certainly be complaints. So, I guess all I have to say is that although the public hospital, in my opinion, goes overboard with their strict visiting hours--at least they have some sort of way to stem the tide of people coming in.

    The labor rooms are super small--almost like a closet. The bathrooms are clean but kind of reminded me of a low-budget hotel--not that that really matters all that much because it's mostly a cosmetic thing but I noticed things like gaps in the trim along the floor with some insulation sticking out and a hole in the tile behind the toilette. When I'm in labor, I can guarantee I won't care very much about any of that but it did make me wonder where the massive amounts of money that the public hospitals charge is actually going.

    Staff--I only spoke really with the senior midwife. Her name is Sharon and she seemed pretty cool. She has worked for about 25 years as a obstetric nurse in Hong Kong and spent about 6 years working at Matilda. So, when we came in with a birth plan that details a unmedicated, natural, vaginal, husband-coached birth, she actually was quite relaxed about that as she said she's had exposure and experience with that in Matilda. She gave us her word that she would support us 100% and make sure her staff does too.

    However, she said that most of the midwives and nurses at the hospital don't have a clue of how to handle such a case so she needs to bring them up to speed on how things are done. She works during the day but is not on duty at night so I'm still not very confident that if she's not there we won't have to have clashes with the staff over what we're doing.

    But, Sharon was quite open about actual practice and policy at the hospital and could give us some insight even into how our own doctor (whom she has observed attending births) operates which actually gave us some information and grounds to have a lengthy discussion with him last night at our checkup appointment.

    It was a bit stressful, honestly to visit the hospital and then hash everything out with our doctor over a 1-hour+ consultation last night. I do feel more aware of everything now, though.

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    so, tell me, why are you choosing this hospital over a public one? sounds to me like the public one would have a higher chance for you to:
    1) have the birth that you want
    2) have your baby room in with you

    from what i know about you, it sounds to me like when you compare the two hospitals, the public one would be more to your liking....

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    so, tell me, why are you choosing this hospital over a public one? sounds to me like the public one would have a higher chance for you to:
    1) have the birth that you want
    2) have your baby room in with you

    from what i know about you, it sounds to me like when you compare the two hospitals, the public one would be more to your liking....
    Honestly, at this point, it's not totally my decision.

    My big issue with the public hospital I'm registered at is that when I asked at my 34-week appointment if my husband could accompany me in labor I was told that it was at the discretion of the doctor on duty at that particular time and they couldn't give me an answer--that wasn't a good enough answer for me and that is probably the biggest reason why my husband is against it. I absolutely refuse to go through labor without my husband's continuous presence, especially considering the marathon labor I had last time.

    We've worked out some things with our doctor as well that take a lot of the time constraints off of me in labor.

    Also, I want to avoid the dreaded lithotomy position (flat on your back continually hooked up to a fetal monitor). From what I've gathered at the public hospital I'm registered with, this is how things are done. I need access to hot water in labor as well--don't know how that works in the public hospital. Because "unmedicated" for me doesn't mean that I simply just grit my teeth and endure all the pain--you have to have pain management and water was the most effective form of pain management for me last time.

    Also, simply location because the public hospital I'm booked in is just about as far from my house as you can get and I'm wondering if I'd be able to make it to the hospital if I happen to have a fast labor.

    But, the baby hasn't come out yet so there is always time to adjust things and make a different decision but I keep mentioning public hospital to my husband and his parents and the answer is always a resounding "no!"

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    thanks for the clarification. i was asking more for other's information rather than questioning your decision.

    good luck! i hope you get the birth you want and that your little girl is happy & healthy!

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    taysty is offline Registered User
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    BTW, i remember HK Aventist is serving vegetarian, wonder if Tsuen Wan Aventist is the same? Only if it bothers you. You can rely on SOHO Delivery for sure! :)

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    mavislohsp is offline Registered User
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    Thanka 2,

    When u mentioned that you want to access to hot water, do you mean hot tub?

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavislohsp View Post
    Thanka 2,

    When u mentioned that you want to access to hot water, do you mean hot tub?
    Not really meaning a "hot tub" (although this is pretty much a standard provision of the hospitals where I'm from in the States). Actually, I mean the freedom and ability to get in and out of hot water (whether it be a shower or just sitting in the bathroom with hot towels wrapped around me as one of my friends did here in HK). There is a lot of research that points to the benefits of water for pain relief and relaxation (thus facilitating dilation and making birth go quicker and smoother for baby and mother) in labor. All the information I've been getting from the public hospital I'm registered with is that when you go in they expect you to lay down flat (preferably on your back--which totally will cause me to pass out at this point in pregnancy) with a fetal heart monitor continually strapped to you and progress through labor that way.

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by taysty View Post
    BTW, i remember HK Aventist is serving vegetarian, wonder if Tsuen Wan Aventist is the same? Only if it bothers you. You can rely on SOHO Delivery for sure! :)
    Hmmmm....SOHO Delivery--to Tsuen Wan? Yeah, I don't care about food at all but we've run into so many snags today with this private hospital thing that I think we will have to give birth in the public hospital. Who knew that having a unmedicated, natural childbirth would be so difficult for so many doctors and nurses here--my doctor admitted to me that he has never actually seen this type of birth and the only position he knows how to deliver a baby in is the lithotomy position (with the woman lying on her back which is the absolute least conducive position for childbirth physiologically). To me, that's pretty sad when a doctor tells you, "The only thing I know how to do is give drugs and cut women open but when it comes to the simple stuff like, well, y'know, letting the woman's body just go through labor and produce a baby...yeah, I'm just really out of my league there" (paraphrased).

    I am feeling quite disappointed and frustrated with the system overall in Hong Kong tonight but I can't say I'm surprised.

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