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Delivering twins in the public system

  1. #1
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Delivering twins in the public system

    Hi. Any mums out there who have delivered twins in the public system?

    Having had a bad experience delivering my first child at the PoW, my husband and I decided to go private for our second and pay for it ourselves as we have no insurance. However we are having twins (hopefully! I'm only 9 weeks so still not into the second trimester) and we are worried about complications during the pregnancy and birth leading to costs spiraling way out of our budget.

    Some of the things I disliked about the public system before include the lack of communication in general (e.g. they brought me back in a few times over some concern but never explained to me what it was they were concerned about / what the implications were etc.), the very few appointments where you ever saw a doctor, and the language problems during the antenatal appointments at the local clinic (often the midwives I saw had next to no English so asking them questions, or having concerns reassured, was not possible).

    I wonder whether delivering twins in the public system is pretty much the same as delivering a singleton, or whether you have better monitoring and whether you have more access to doctors who are specialists.

    Also, I have to have a c-section anyway, so no question I will this time. Last time I had a trainee surgeon do the operation (with no direct guidance). I am wondering whether in higher risk situations, like a twin delivery, they would only use qualified surgeons or whether there is a chance I could end up with a trainee again.

    Does anybody know / have any experience?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    elle is offline Registered User
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    My closest HK friend (not on this board) delivered twins at QM and it was a nightmare. One of the babies needed to go to ICU (they did not communicate with either parent why for hours after the baby was stable) and there was pretty much zero communication regarding what was going on with him. She had a previous c section with a very tiny scar, but the surgeon at QM left a huge (and not straight) incision mark. Surgeon was one or two years out of traineeship, but by no means senior. He said all of two words to her, very bad communication. Father didn't see either baby until they were over 2 days old (when mother and one baby were leaving hospital) as the hospital wouldn't allow for some reason?! They also decided my friend had severe anxiety and dosed her with a benzodiazapine (sp?) against her will, so she was unable to BF for days. She also didn't get proper post-op pain meds, stitches bled a lot and the external stitches were re-done at Adventist after she discharged herself from QM. No assistance with using the toilet despite the fact that she couldn't stand (she was told to wait until visiting hours when family could help, pee in the maternity pad or use a bed pan, which she couldn't manuver herself and they woudn't even help with that!!) and she was unable to rest (except when she was knocked out by the drug) on the ward. Oh, she left about 48 hours after 'against medical advice' rather than the usual 4-5 days and Adventist hospital kindly made a spot for her in their wards so that she could recover properly.

    Anyway, not everyone has such a difficult experience, but for her everything that could have gone sideways did.

    I have a colleague who delivered twins there and had a better time of it - notable differences were the hospital was not very busy at the time she delivered, there were fewer women on the maternity wards and she speaks Cantonese.

  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    ps. i talked to my friend who had all the complications at QM again and in hindsight she stresses that a lot of the problems were due to lack of communication on her (and her husband's) part and because her husband did not advocate strongly for her. She did have a lot of complications during the late pregnancy stages and the c-section was an emergency where they decided to use a general anesthetic on her (there was no medical reason for it they were later told) despite her protests (the medication for a general makes her very ill and causes vomiting afterwards, which she knew about, but the docs didn't listen to her concerns), before her husband was able to reach the hospital to advocate for her. After that her husband took a back seat and she was just too unwell to handle much, partially from stress and partially because she was vomiting after the operation, then they sedated her (there was a later investigation opened into that following a formal complaint against a nurse, but that is another story, and unlikely to happen)... Anyway, point is, you need to communicate firmly with the staff ahead of time and during your time in the hospital or they may do whatever they want even if it isn't want you want or need.

  4. #4
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Elle. That's really useful to know. Confirms my fears about adequate communication... Problem is that even delivering privately, if there is any problem with the babies they will be transferred to a public hospital ICU. But all of the antenatal and actual delivery communication problems are very important too.

  5. #5
    wedgie is offline Registered User
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    Hi,
    I am due to give birth at QMH in about 4 weeks with twins so I can let you know.I choose the QMH as they have one of the best nicu wards in APAC. I have only heard good things about QMH in regards to delivering twins from friends of friends.

  6. #6
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Wedgie. Will be good to hear. How has your antenatal care been so far?

  7. #7
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Congrats!!!!

    I suggest you join Mothers of Multiples Hong Kong and you'll find many women who deliver twins in public hospital. First of all most private hospitals are not equipped to deal with twins born before 35 weeks (which is not uncommon) so you'll end up automatically at a public hospital. Most doctors want you to register at a public hospital anyway in case you won't make it privately. There are plenty who had their twins at QMH and one my former team mates had hers there tremendously premature (26 weeks) and she's still convinced QMH saved their lives and she can't speak highly enough about it. There is not special about it, but if you need medical care, you can get the best there is, and it can make a major difference. Her twins are now 5 or 6 and thriving without any medical issues.

    I had twins myself but mine were born in the States, like my oldest. They were full term (over 38 weeks), vaginal delivery, full term singleton sizes and I was out in 48 hours, so everything is possible, but you need to prepare for more scenarios with twins.

    Definitely join MoMs and you'll find plenty of great advice!

  8. #8
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Mommyto3. I'll definitely join.

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