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Giving birth in HK- Please reassure me!

  1. #1
    Susanna25 is offline Registered User
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    Giving birth in HK- Please reassure me!

    Hi all. I am likely to be moving to HK from the UK at the end of November with my family and am due to have my second child in Feb.

    I have been researching maternity care and am getting a bit concerned! Obviously our health insurance won't cover my care, so it's likely I will go public. To be fair it doesn't sound like the standard of care is much off the NHS which is great, but I am worried about some standard protocols that may be very different from the uk.

    Firstly, midwife care. Am I right that there are no midwives in the hospitals, but you can employe a midwife for home care initially? Can they accompany you to hospital as well as my husband? I want to avoid c section or assisted delivery as much as possible which is why I want a MW.

    Secondly, my husband being present throughout labor is non negotiable for me, are there hospitals to avoid because of this?

    Finally, I hate the idea of my baby being taken to a nursery, and I plan to BF on demand as I successfully did with my first. Again, are there some hospitals that I should avoid/ aim for!?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated to help lower my stress!
    Thanks



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  2. #2
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Hi Susanna25!

    Welcome to Hong Kong! Yes the local public healthcare is very similar to the NHS. I've heard some mums even say its better :)

    There are mid-wives in the hospital but you can hire your own mid-wife/doula. Many 2nd time mums will try and labour at home for as long as they can with the help of a doula and then head to the hospital. This way you avoid the labour ward and go straight to the delivery room and your husband can be with you.

    Here is a list of a few companies that have Doulas

    Antenatal Classes Around Hong Kong - Hong Kong GeoBaby

    GeoBaby organized a super informative mini birth rehearsal with A Mother's Touch last week. Liz the speaker shared some invaluable tips on how to manage your delivery. We'll organize another in a few months so hope you can join.

    Also if all goes well at the hospital, mums have been able to get discharged within 24-48 hours.

    Lastly, Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, is the popular hospital amongst Expats on HK island.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  4. #4
    Asdracles is offline Registered User
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    I'm in a similar situation with my wife joining me in November and our first kid is expected in January. We also want to go through public but there is something that you must be aware if you are not...

    To book a room in advance through the public system (and looks like is really needed) you need your HKID ready. And you can only apply for it in person after your visa is approved. For us is not too tough (Im already working in HK, my wife is in Malaysia at the moment, so she can do a short trip to apply) but if you are in Europe you might consider if waiting until November is too much of a gambling.

    Not trying to worry you too much, maybe others with more experience might say other things, but this is what I have found so far, so after getting my wife visa approved last week, we are looking for a convenient date to travel to HK to apply for her HKID and then do the hospital paperwork.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Impatienz is offline Registered User
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    Hello there!

    Take a deep breath! It'll be okay. At least that is what I keep telling myself because I am in your same shoes. You are not alone and as you can see from the links Rani gave, there were many who came before us who have been there and done that (thank goodness!).

    We're moving to Hong Kong at the end of next month and having a baby at the end of November. I learned that they OBGYNs and hospitals over there are very much used to this sort of things. I was able to book a doctor (luckily recommended from a friend of my husband whose family lives in HK) and she was able to reserve the hospital bed for me even before I get there for my first appointment!

    I'm going with Adventist, though it is a private hospital over the public. But was fully prepared to go public since I've heard if there are any complications, they'll transfer you to Queens Anne Mary (if you are on HK Island) anyway, since it's such an AMAZING hospital.

    I think the key is just being stern with whatever hospital and doctor you choose as to what your wishes are and keep stating them. In the end you are the one pushing that baby, not anyone else!

    Good luck with everything and congrats on your pregnancy!!

  6. #6
    Susanna25 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you very much everyone for your kind words and thoughts!

    I think I will contact a midwife/doula in the first instance and sort everything else out from there onwards.

    At least it is not my first pregnancy and I know what to expect and ask for!


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  7. #7
    rani's Avatar
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    Susanna, if you're thinking of living in the New Territories then its best to look at hospitals closer to home.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  8. #8
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Answers to some of your questions:

    "Am I right that there are no midwives in the hospitals, but you can employe a midwife for home care initially? "
    There are midwives in the hospitals and if your delivery is uncomplicated, your baby will most likely be delivered by a midwife, with the doctor just checking in now and then.

    "Can they accompany you to hospital as well as my husband?"
    As far as I know, you can only have one designated person accompanying you during the delivery itself. It's simpler if it's your husband, but I think you can nominate someone else. You cannot switch the person midway during your delivery. The person is registered by their ID card and only that person will be let in with you.

    "I want to avoid c section or assisted delivery as much as possible which is why I want a MW. "
    In that, you are on the same page as the public hospital. They also seek to avoid c-secs. One thing you can rest easy with the public hospitals is that they will not unnecessarily recommend a c-sec.

    However, they do recommend induction (after a certain point - in my case, I was nearing 24 hours of labour with water broken before they induced me), episiotomy, lying down and being hooked to a monitor when you're in what they call 'active labour' (for the last one, how much they insist differs from hospital to hospital...I have heard of birth balls at Queen Elizabeth). So if you're anti those, you'll have to insist forcefully. Remember they cannot force you to do anything, but they will act annoyed so be prepared for that.

    Unless you want to go through the private stream in Queen Mary, if you have an HKID card (a regular one, not permanent) the public hospitals cannot turn you away if you go there for delivery. They have to take you in even at the last hour. So don't worry about that. It's never too late to register in the public system, but depending on when you register, you may miss the two free scans they offer during the process.

    Which hospital you can register at depends on where you live. You need to provide proof of address, especially at Queen Mary. So you can choose where you live according to that, if that's so important.

    I delivered at United Christian in Kwun Tong.
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