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Need Advices on preparation for our first baby

  1. #1
    Clyde22 is offline Registered User
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    Question Need Advices on preparation for our first baby

    My wife and I will be expecting our first baby in 4th quarter of this year. We have no previous experience and are desperately seeking some helpful advices from all mommies and daddies out there :

    1) Things to do to make my wife feels better
    - Wife has started to feel unwell (constant feel of 'throw ups'), especially in the morning at at night. Any suggestions on what we can do / take to make her feel better ? Our doctor did not really suggested anything to ease this.

    2) Chosing the Hospitals
    - Pros and cons between public and private ? I would imagine that the extent of medical services between public and private would more or less be the same, just that the quality may be different. Anyone can share with us their experiences on both public and private hospitals ? Have heard (actually seen in this Forum) that Queen Mary is not bad, any other suggestions ? I know private hospital costs a lot more, based on my research the package fee ranges from HK$35,000 to $65,000 excluding fees for doctor's and anaesthesiologist, etc... so the final bill may well be easily above $100,000. Have tried to research for fees for delivery at public hospital but with no luck, anyone can share any information with us. As long as we can afford, we may likely choose private, but yet we wish to learn more from others and see if there really is much difference between the two.

    3) What shall my wife eat and NOT eat ?
    - Have heard that my wife should stay away from alcohol and papaya, etc... Anything else that I should be aware of ? And is there anything that I shall encourage her to consume more regularly ?

    Thanks in advance to all of you for any valuable advices that I may receive here. Wishing all of you a nice day, and a safe and happy delivery for all mothers to be.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
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    (1) Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic's (a very well regarded medical institution in the US) guidance on morning sickness during pregnancy. Have also included a link to WebMD's guidance. Both of these web sites contain reliable information for many pregnancy related condition and are an excellent resource.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mor...-home-remedies

    http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/mana...rning-sickness

    (2) There are tons of discussions and comparisons about the public vs. private hospital experience in HK on this forum - try a search for some of the recent ones. The gist of it for most people is that if they have private insurance or some real aversion to the public system they go private, otherwise the public hospitals are fine (although some are better than others, which is also discussed on this thread). Also, while HK$100k may be about right for a normal delivery in a private hospital, the fees can go way up if you deliver out of hours, on a weekend, require a c-section or have other complications.

    Public hospital delivery costs about HK$100/ day.

    (3) Here is a good link discussing pregnancy nutrition:

    http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eati...-when-pregnant

    Also, I've heard this don't eat papaya during pregnancy thing a lot here in HK, but in the US a ripe papaya is considered fine (and in fact quite healthy) to eat during pregnancy. It is actually only unripe (green) papaya that has the substance that should be avoided during pregnancy.
    Last edited by elle; 02-28-2012 at 06:10 PM.

  3. #3
    charade is offline Registered User
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    1) Things to do to make my wife feels better
    I had really bad nausea in my first trimester. I really is a hard time. Things that helped ease the nausea - eating a couple of dry crackers (saltenes - you can buy them in any supermarket and even 7.11), especially first thing in the morning. And then drinking a few sips of water. That way even if I threw up, it didn't burn that much because what is coming up is essentially acid. Also, keep eating those throughout the day... i also ate a lot of plain or slightly flavoured bread. An empty stomach is the worst thing. Different things work for different people so these are just some suggestions. Oh and also I found salt and vinegar chips helped...some people find sour things help.

    Also, some people try these band that you can wear on your wrist to help seasickness - it basically presses a pressure point. I heard you can get it in some Mannings/Watsons. I meant to but didn't end up trying this.

    2) Chosing the Hospitals
    - Pros and cons between public and private ? I would imagine that the extent of medical services between public and private would more or less be the same, just that the quality may be different.

    I went public for both my deliveries. For the second, I was determined to go private and even paid the deposit. I was undecided till the last minute but my baby decided for me. She was in breech position and came early so I went public because an emergency c-sec in a private hospital would have blown my budget.

    Pros of going private: 1. You get to choose your doctor and have that doctor attend your delivery (though there have been cases where the doctor is not available)
    2. A lot of your requests about how you want the birth to be may be accepted. Different private hospitals are accomodating at different levels.
    3.You can have visitors at all hours. For me, this is not actually a positive thing because it means if you're in a ward, others can also have the same and therefore it gets really noisy.
    4. If you're having a c-section, the doctor may be more skillful and do a smaller cut. My c-sec cut was huge... but basically not really painful after 5 days. And it's below the bikini line so not really seen so I dont really care. Same with if your wife has an episistiomy - a private doctor may be neater with the stitches.

    It really depends which private hospital and obviously if you can afford a private room... then you can have someone stay with you, the baby with you all the time etc.

    Pros of public:

    1. The cost: $400 as opposed to $60,000 - 100,000 (or even 200,000 as some spend in Mathilda) and no need to stress about spiralling costs in case of complications.
    2. The best equipment in neo-natal icu. Ironically, if your baby has complications, the baby may end up being transferred to a public hospital because the private ones don't have the equipment. However, that generally happens pretty seamlessly so if your wife's pregnancy is smooth it's something I would keep in mind only as an added factor for consideration.
    3. Very pro-breastfeeding. Private hospitals vary in their commitment to breastfeeding. In Baptist, I was pretty much told, they would feed the baby formula initially. In public, they will bring the baby to you 4 hours or so after the birth and will get you out of bed and breastfeeding asap. They will cupfeed the baby in case formula is needed...this is added effort on thier part but they do it. Many private hospitals wont.
    4. You can be sure they will not push a c-section when you don't need one. They are pro-natural delivery but they have their rules ... once you're in the delivery suite, they prefer you to be lying down on your back so you can be hooked to a monitor. Then again, while some private hospitals support mothers giving birth in whatver position they want, many private hospitals don't. If you want an elective c-section, public is not for you. You can't choose to have c-section unless medically necessary in the public system.


    3) What shall my wife eat and NOT eat ?
    - Have heard that my wife should stay away from alcohol and papaya, etc... Anything else that I should be aware of ? And is there anything that I shall encourage her to consume more regularly ?

    Here is what my doctor told me to avoid:
    1. Avoid alcohol. Cut down (not eliminate) caffeine.
    2. Don't eat big fish like tuna more than once a week as thye have high mercury content. However, don't avoid fish altogether as fish has good nutrients too.
    3. Make sure what you eat is well cooked through, especially if youre eating out. Raw food like salad and fruit should be well washed and fresh. This is to avoid listeria.

    I think i'm missing one rule...I'll post it if I remember.

    Your wife will get a LOT of advice from everyone she meets on what to eat and what not to eat and do. Most of it is nonsense. The papaya thing - raw papaya is supposed to cause uterine contractions. However, no doctor has ever mentioned this to me and I was spotting through my first trimester both times...I wouldn't bother as long as she's not at risk for pre-term delivery. If she is, I'd discuss with a doctor and not listen to the general public.

  4. #4
    erina320's Avatar
    erina320 is offline Registered User
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    Read!!!

    When I was pregnant with my first I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy and also babies first year of life (no one tells you what to do with baby once you get the little one home either... even more scary than pregnancy!) Get the book 'What to expect when you're expecting'.

    For first trimester nausea, saltines help, Ginger ale or ginger tea, Tums (also a good source of calcium)... can you get those here? Lots of rest. Enjoy the ability to rest and sleep with your first pregnancy, cause you won't be able to with subsequent pregnancies.

    It's very easy to find a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy on the Internet. Majority of them are to reduce the risk of exposure to listeria, but they include:

    Lunch meats/ cold cuts
    Hot dogs and sausage
    Unpasturized cheeses, such as feta and Brie
    Raw or undercooked foods
    Large fish (swordfish, tuna, shark) more than one serving a week
    Some people avoid peanuts, but there is no evidence to support this reduces food allergies.

    No foot massages. There is apparently apressure point on the foot that can induce contractions.

    Later in pregnancy they say to avoid laying on your back as the weight of your uterus/ baby can cut the blood flow to the uterus starving baby for oxygen.

  5. #5
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by erina320 View Post
    No foot massages. There is apparently apressure point on the foot that can induce contractions.
    This is another common pregnancy myth in HK. Once out of the first trimester, done properly a foot and leg massage (or a full body massage) is beneficial as it can relieve both stress and help with circulation and water retention. Just make sure to tell the therapist you are expecting. I had them weekly throughout my pregnancy, on the advice of my OB, to help with swelling in the ankles as I sit at a desk all day.

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/97...age-pregnancy/

    http://www.healthdetails.org/general...nancy-779.html

    http://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-and-massage

  6. #6
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Nausea really sucks:( I had it pretty badly up until 16 weeks. I found that getting lots of rest and never letting myself have an empty stomach helped. Saltines really do help and stayed away from overly cold drinks and also staying away from anything too acidic or too oily helped me out.

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    1) Things to do to make my wife feels better
    - Wife has started to feel unwell (constant feel of 'throw ups'), especially in the morning at at night. Any suggestions on what we can do / take to make her feel better ? Our doctor did not really suggested anything to ease this.
    There are a lot of recommendations on different websites which have already been suggested. These are what I read about that worked for me: using SeaBands and eating cultured vegetables.

    2) Chosing the Hospitals
    - Pros and cons between public and private ? I would imagine that the extent of medical services between public and private would more or less be the same, just that the quality may be different. Anyone can share with us their experiences on both public and private hospitals ? Have heard (actually seen in this Forum) that Queen Mary is not bad, any other suggestions ? I know private hospital costs a lot more, based on my research the package fee ranges from HK$35,000 to $65,000 excluding fees for doctor's and anaesthesiologist, etc... so the final bill may well be easily above $100,000. Have tried to research for fees for delivery at public hospital but with no luck, anyone can share any information with us. As long as we can afford, we may likely choose private, but yet we wish to learn more from others and see if there really is much difference between the two.
    Based on my experience with booking in a private hospital but in the end choosing to give birth in the public hospital, I would not choose to give birth in the private hospital again unless I could have the doctor I want and give birth in Matilda. Otherwise, I feel you're paying a lot of money for essentially the same service (but with a lot more restrictions--for example, it's nearly impossible to room-in with the baby and get a good start with breastfeeding if you're in a private hospital--totally different in the public hospital). I don't think the extra cost of the private hospital is worth it at all. Especially considering that if there is an emergency that involves your baby the private hospitals in Hong Kong do not have the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) capability to deal with it so your child will still have to be transferred to a public hospital for that--in those cases, seconds and minutes can matter a lot so I would rather be in a public hospital to begin with.

    3) What shall my wife eat and NOT eat ?
    - Have heard that my wife should stay away from alcohol and papaya, etc... Anything else that I should be aware of ? And is there anything that I shall encourage her to consume more regularly ?
    This depends on how much stock you put in Chinese medicine beliefs. Western medicine stipulates that almost all foods are okay to eat during pregnancy except for unpasteurized cheeses, alcohol and high levels of caffeine. So, the whole "hot" and "cold" food thing doesn't apply. When I was pregnant, I was the only non-Chinese employee at my work and every time someone would bring something like pineapple to work for the staff to share everyone would warn me sternly that I wasn't to eat the pineapple as it was "too cold" for the baby. I went ahead and ate as much pineapple as I liked and if anything it gave me a vitamin C boost and the enzymes helped with my digestion.

    But...if you put stock TCM, I would visit a TCM clinic (I can suggest one near where I live that is good if you need) and ask the doctor for the specific list of "do" and "do not" eat foods.

    I personally think it's best to get more dark green vegetables into your diet as well as plenty of protein and get on a good vitamin and mineral supplement (I can suggest the ones I used that helped me a lot in pregnancy if you need). Also, get enough water and rest.
    “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
    yikes is offline Registered User
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    Like your wife, I'm also expecting in the 4th quarter and have started feeling very nauseous. So far, I've found that eating little and often helps. Might be a good idea to take a multivitamin specifically for pregnancy if she's not eating too well (don't take a regular multivitamin as there may be too much vitamin A). So far I've been able to stomach cheese toasties very easily. Saltine crackers are a good choice as they are very plain.

    I've recently registered with a public hospital and found that there really isn't a choice, you register at the hospital in your catchment area. Others on this forum may know of ways around this eg. using a different address.

    As someone else said, read up as much as you can. Might be worth investing in a good book that you can refer to when you have questions which can then be followed up at your wife's next appointment with the doc.
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