Due to the rising cost for maternity packages at international clinics, more expats and foreigners are choosing to have babies in expats in China hospitals.
An expat’s perception of local hospitals is that they are chaotic, overcrowded, understaffed and provide poor levels of care.
China Expat Health’s experiences with Chinese healthcare facilities shows that this perception is not accurate. While the quality of facilities can vary and waiting times can be longer than in private facilities, most hospitals offer adequate care.
It may not surprise, then, that China’s medical personnel are experts in the birthing of babies.
The process of having a child with someone from China will be easier if you’re a foreign citizen. For foreign couples, however, the burden and pressure is much greater.
China: Having a baby
Even the best times can be stressful for a new baby. You can imagine how difficult it would be to start a family in another country.
With some preparations and knowledge, however, it is possible to have your child in a Chinese hospital.
Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, you need to decide in which hospital your baby will be born.
It is not necessary to make a decision immediately. After some thought, you might decide that you are more comfortable paying for international hospitals or going back to your country of birth. It’s not impossible to make this decision. Once you have made the decision to give birth in a local hospital, it is important to take the time to learn about what to expect. Pre-natal classes in China are rare. However, Chinese women have a strong support network of older relatives who can provide emotional support and share their knowledge about what to expect.
It is important for foreign couples to connect with other expats or those who have had experience in China. Many Chinese cities have active online communities. It is worth spending time looking for moms-to be online.
It is common to meet English-speaking doctors and nurses at Chinese hospitals for regular check-ups. This cannot be taken as a given and you should be ready to face a language barrier.
Even if your mandarin Chinese skills are sufficient, it’s worth inviting a friend who speaks English to help you.
Even if the hospital staff doesn’t speak English, having an English-speaking Chinese companion can help avoid awkwardness. It also helps to put Chinese people at ease.
One of the best things about living in China is its family-oriented culture. Therefore, finding a Chinese friend to translate for you may be easier than you think. A colleague or neighbor may be more than happy to assist.
It is important to know that many Chinese hospitals will push for cesarean sections. This allows for higher fees because the mother will usually stay in the hospital for five days following the birth. This procedure is more costly than natural childbirth.
Cesarean births are also convenient for hospitals because they can be scheduled at a specific time. It is always worth getting a second opinion. A one-off consultation at an international clinic can be worth it and help you to relax.