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Birthing in the time of Covid

  1. #1
    doodoojuu's Avatar
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    Birthing in the time of Covid

    Hello!

    I'm a doula / birthworker in Hong Kong and I'm gathering information for a piece about birthing in the time of Covid19. Are there any expecting / new parents out there who could share their experience on birthing alone in the public hospital, deciding to change their birth setting because of the new restrictions (ie. changing from public to private, from Hong Kong to overseas, or from hospital to home birth), or expectation of doing so? Please feel free to reply here or PM.

    Thank you in advance for your time and sending out good vibes to all!


  2. #2
    CKP
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    Hello!

    This unaccompanied birth situation terrifies me...
    This is my second pregnancy, the first time I gave birth in QMH and had a very positive experience.
    This time around I am considering basically all options, but to give birth alone.

    Considered overseas a few weeks ago, but with COVID surging around the world it's best to not travel.
    Considering the private sector, but very worried that cost may escalate quickly with potential complications.
    From my knowledge, no birth center nor home birth is an option in HK... (apparently insurances won't cover doctors or midwives for home birth)

    Hope this helps your article, cheers!


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    Hi CKP,

    Thanks for your thoughts and really good to hear you had a good experience at Queen Mary! And correct, there are no more birth centers in Hong Kong and home births are not well supported in the system, though it is a possibility.

    Would be happy to just talk through your options with you if you want, and also hear about your experience after you give birth. Sending best wishes and good vibes.


  4. #4
    CKP
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    Hello!

    Well I'd imagine my only two birth options would be Public or Private... Right?

    Kind regards,


  5. #5
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    Hi CKP,

    It's true, most people give birth in hospitals in Hong Kong and almost all births here are medicated in one form or another. I found this article (https://www.scmp.com/article/999553/special-delivery) very interesting. Home births are legal in Hong Kong, just not well supported (ie. Hopsital Authority won't send a midwife to your home).

    And just because public hospitals require you to birth alone doesn't mean you have to labour alone. You could do early labour at home and only transition to the hospital when you're in active labour. An easy way to tell if you're in active labour is to have your supporter try and have a conversation with you. If you're unable to hold up your conversation even between contractions, then you're in active labour. Hong Kong has great prenatal care so if you're a low risk pregnancy, there's no reason you should add stress by being alone.

    I should mention though that even in private, if anything happens to your baby, they are referred to Queen Mary. You can check with private hospitals to know their protocol for emergencies. But yes, cost is a concern.

    Also, when is your due date? Hong Kong is registering new cases in the low single digits so maybe it's time parents start pushing back against these birthing alone requirements which run against WHO recommendations.

    Best of luck and would be happy to get on a call with you if you want to just talk through everything. It's a stressful time for sure.


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    Update:

    I ended up writing to the Hospital Authority pointing out that birthing alone is not an evidence based practice. Anyways, this is the response I got:

    Should patients have any enquiries or requests about accompany labour service, they are always welcome to discuss with their case doctor. Special arrangements may be granted on a case-by-case basis.


    So it sounds like if you push hard enough, there might be some leeway?

    Goodluck new parents!


  7. #7
    CKP
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    Good to know!! Thank you so much for the update!! Our family is getting more and more stress as the due date approaches...


  8. #8
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    Heard recently of husbands being allowed into the delivery room at a Gov't hospital. Hospitals are slowly lifting restrictions.

    Founded GeoBaby in 2002

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