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Queen Mary Hospital - husband can attend all of labor?

  1. #1
    Shavethewhales is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Queen Mary Hospital - husband can attend all of labor?

    Has anyone had a natural birth at QMH and can confirm if/that the father (or companion) was allowed to attend the entire labor/delivery? I've received conflicting information. And my choice between public v private very much hinges on the guarantee that my husband can accompany me through all of labor (and delivery obvi).

    -A recent ANNERLEY info session speaker informed us explicitly that, in the public system, usually the father can only attend the final stage of delivery (sometimes as late as 9cm dilation or after) because the mother first labors in a shared ward so fathers need to stay in the waiting room to give the the wardmates privacy, and the limited amount of private delivery rooms means that the mother won't "graduate" to a private delivery until much later in labor. The laboring mother can join the father in the visitor waiting area if they want to interact.
    -I had a doc appt at TSAN YUK today and the doc told me that all expectant mothers labor in private rooms, up until delivery, and are only in a shared ward for post-natal recovery. (I'm kicking myself that I forgot to ask him explicitly to confirm that my husband would be able to accompany me during the whole labor. I'm also anxious that I missed something in translation.)

    Thanks to anyone who can shed light on this. Picking between QMH and Mathilda has a lot of factors for me (cost! comfort! NICU!) but, as a first time expectant mother who's only lived here 9 months, and who knows no Cantonese, I'm really wanting to be sure my husband can keep me company.

  2. #2
    LollyLarkin is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Hi, I gave birth at QMH in December 2015 and also had midwife care from Annerley (who are brilliant by the way!) They are correct, husbands aren't allowed in to the first stages except during visiting hours or when you’re first “checking in”. No matter how dilated you are they will insist that you start on the public ward and say that you are 3cm dilated. I went in accompanied by my Annerley midwife when I was at least 5cm and they still said I was 3cm. Once they decide that you’ve progressed far enough they will move you to the private labour room where your husband can be with you the whole time. My midwife had to leave the moment I was safely booked in.

    Now, all the nurses at QMH like to follow the rules and tick the boxes. They kept trying to get my husband to leave by saying he should go and get some supper, he just gently said “maybe later” and then helped me with my breathing and massaged me. As long as he kept a low profile and looked like he was being useful they didn’t seem to worry too much. The moment I went into the private room there was no question that he could be there. I was on the public ward for a couple of hours before they moved me to the labour room but I think some women spend longer.

    Overall the medical care at QMH was very good but there is no bedside manner, get your husband really clued up on positions, breathing and general coaching. Mine even Googled how to read the contraction monitor while I was there so that he could see when I was about to have one and be ready to help, very useful. We were generally left to our own devices until the pushing part came. Make sure you eat and drink to keep your energy levels up! They give you a whole load of documents to read and sign which is the last thing you need when you're in labour. I just couldn't focus on them at all so my husband read them, knew I'd be happy with what they said and I just had to sign. He was my absolute rock and advocate so make sure yours knows exactly what your wishes are so he can translate them to the nurses when all you can do is weep!

    Ask for an epidural as soon as you arrive – even if you don’t end up having it they have to do a blood test which takes a couple of hours so at least you’re ready to go the moment you decide. I’ve heard a couple of stories where women decided too late and had to go without.

    The ward afterwards was on a different floor to the labour ward. They’re very strict about visitors (including partners) there. Only visiting hours or for a short while when you just arrive after giving birth. I have heard of a lady whose husband was allowed to stay because she couldn’t stop crying so at least they bend the rules in those cases!

    The space you get on the ward is miniscule! You’re very close to the neighbouring beds and with only curtains to divide everyone up it gets quite noisy. The breastfeeding care I got was round the clock and generally very supportive. There are zero comforts in the ward and I couldn’t wait to get home!

    I moved to Hong Kong from the UK when I was 6 months pregnant so was terrified by the whole thing, I decided pretty early on that I wanted to use the QMH rather than Matilda because the private hospital C section rates are so much higher and the cost without insurance was very high (I made my husband promise that if I saved the money by going public he would take me on a nice holiday later!). The Matilda will also send any high risk or special cases to the QMH anyway either for delivery or NICU. I think, overall, if I have another baby here I would go with the QMH again.

    Sorry for the essay but I found everything so bewildering when I first got here that I lapped up anything that I could read! If you’d like to message me with any questions I would be more than happy to answer them.

    Good luck mamma!

  3. #3
    Shavethewhales is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Thank you LollyLarkin!!! So helpful!

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