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Having a baby in China ?

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Hi, 

Have any of you been pregnant and had a baby in Shanghai? 

How was the clinic? The docs? 

What I'm really asking is will I be ok having a baby there?! 

Also, does anybody know if you can buy Enfamil baby formula there? 

Thanks thanks thanks for any help or advice!

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We delivered at Shanghai United, and know a dozen more famillies who delivered there...we had the Dr. Gee / MK (midwife) combo and found the overall experience excellent...given it was our first we didn't have any benchmark but we were pleased with the doctors, nurses, and the facility...

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"....we had the Dr. Gee / MK (midwife) combo..." Tee hee. Good one, but true, they are good. 

Shanghai United is great. Very good, very professional. Easy to make appointments. Better than Seattle maternity hospitals in our humble opinion (Seattle is a baby factory city, but we found maternity care there quite impersonal and frankly, less informative). 

Yes, you can get Enfamil here at Carrefour (although I brought 4 cans over from Costco during my last trip back). We also just went back for Thanksgiving and brought back Stroller, car seat, breast pump, clothes, etc. The works. Much cheaper (and easier to find) in the States. I recommend you load up on Enfamil, diapers, and the rest in your household goods if your company is moving you. 

Make sure you have a good international healthcare policy though. Knowing we were probably going to have kids while here, we insisted on that before we accepted our package (they tried to sweet talk us with "Local Plus" package at first, which is the best Local policy I guess...but not good enough for us). A colleague who accepted a lesser healthcare policy returned to the States early (after his spouse had an emergency in a local hospital, where they wouldn't treat her until after he paid in cash...brutal). 

Smartest thing my wife insisted on was "we are not going to China unless you get a healthcare package that covers Western style "expat" hospitals". It was almost a deal breaker.

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We just had our baby at Changning Maternity on Wu Yi Lu. Care was very good and had no problems with the delivery. It was pretty ideal in most way. They recommend natural birth and even have facilities to do water birth. We chose it because it was the best we option for my wife . 

However, my wife speaks native chinese. I probably would not recommend it to a woman who did not have some chinese language skills, as she will be pretty much in delivery with chinese staff who have limited or no english skills. 

The things are issues for foreigners here are 
It is very difficult to get into. They only take x number of new cases per day and people line up before the desk opens to get a place. Their reputation is very good. 
Once the woman is checked in for delivery, the husband pretty much has wait in the waiting room or somewhere else. No husband or family in the pre-delivery room, delivery room. They bring them out about an hour or so after the delivery for a few minutes for a look and then move them to a post delivery ward. 
There are alot of people having babies now and it is not possible to get a semi private or private room post delivery. So privacy is very limited. My wife spent about 2 days after in the post delivery ward with 3 other ladies (and their visitors and family ) in the room. There are curtain separators, but is not very private. 
It is not expensive, so if you are paying out of pocket, this might be an option. For us, 2700 RMB for natrual delivery and 2 days post delivery. It all turned out pretty good. our son is now three weeks old and doing great.

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Our baby girl was born at Peace Maternity Int'l VIP ward in Xujiahui this summer. RMB 30,000 for the standard package, smooth delivery, we paid about 10% after insurance. The level of English is OK, but my Chinese is passable and my wife is a local so we had an advantage there. Our baby's birth certificate (sitting right in front of me now -- renewing a work visa) has both her English and Chinese names. 
 

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To the original poster, don't let anyone dismiss your concern over giving birth here. It is a very realy concern and a very big decision to give birth in a foreign country, much less China. Women who are pregnant or mothers, will understand. 

That said, I just gave birth to my third son at UFH. (Others were born in USA.) The experience was for the most part good, but frankly I knew what I was doing. It cost us about the same as US, but we have good insurance. We probably paid apprx. $1000 USD out of pocket. I was told by my doctor that if I wanted to fly home to US, I would need to leave here at 32 weeks. (I was low risk) Some things will say you can fly up to 36 weeks, but I don't think they mean 14.5 hour flights. 

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I found out i was pregnant with my second child a couple of weeks after moving to Shanghai. Our new insurance wasnt gonna cover it (12 month waiting period), i wasn't gonna pay 15K US to deliver at a western hospital, so we started checking out cheaper options. 

The first hospital I tried was The Peace Maternity. Found it way overrated, ultrasound doctor did not speak English, it was hard to get appointments with the best doctor (forgot her name, could be Fang). 

Then we went to Changning. Strange enough, we had absolutely no problem getting in, although we didnt go early in the morning, didnt wait in any kind of line...asked to see Dr Wei Wei Something, highly recommended by a friend, who turned out to be a total bitch, who would not discuss options, but tell what i HAVE TO do. Then 4 weeks before due date, she told me i could not attempt a VBAC, whih was a deal breaker, so I went looking for another hospital. 

Three weeks before due date, millions of thanks to my wonderful assistant, i ended up at No 1 Maternity hospital, with Dr, Duan, who went to medical school in Germany, speaks perfect English and is a great man. Had a great experience, although ended up having an emergency C-section, the hospital stay was great, nurses did not speak much english, but were very friendly and helpful with breastfeeding. And it all cos less than 10000 RMB with a 4 day hospital stay.

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We had our baby at International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, 910 Heng Shan Road. Phone 8621-6407 0434 Ext 11053 (office) 8621-6447 0399 (appointments). The VIP service was excellent and worth the extra expense. Avoid the queues and guarantee yourself a bed! The VIP ward is on three different levels and is extremely comfortable and quiet. Our delivery worked out at about 5,500rmb per day for a five day stay for a C-Section. Its only a three day stay for a natural delivery. There are different size private rooms, which range in price (A+, A, B and C). We spent 5 days in the C room, which was comfortable, modern and clean. I stayed with my wife every night and the room included a TV (never watched), the internet, a sofa-bed and a decent shower. Doctor Gu Wei (Kris) was fluent in English and Chinese and great throughout the prenatal care and delivery, walking us through the pregnancy and communicating what was going on. The nursing staff were also helpful to first time parents and showed us the ropes after the birth. I was also allowed in the delivery room, although not able to witness the surgery. (Not worried in the least!) 
You have to get the birth certificate from the hospital within one month of delivery. 

I hope this helps!

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Again, as in the other thread you started, it all comes down to whether insurance will cover it or not, Parkway (formerly known as World Link) and United Family are by far the best option for maternity care. But they are very expensive, over 20000 USD for the whole maternity package (pregnancy+delivery it you need c-section), so most people who pay out of pocket will look into foreign (VIP) sections of Chinese hospitals. Please let us know which option you are interested in and I will tell you all I know and I am sure others can help as well.

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Yeah cause delivering in a city where you have no friends, staying away from your husband (who will probably be unable to take over one month vacation) for the last month before you deliver, maybe even deliver too early without your husband even there -- that is a much much better option. 

I did not hear "horror" stories, just a lot of spoiled and ridiculous mothers complaining about silly stuff. And, of course, some annoying things (like people pushing pain medication on you or not giving it to you in time when you ask for it, or trying to get you to have a C-section, etc) that actually happens everywhere in the world. 

There are thousands of babies delivered in Shanghai every day -- i think if not comfortable, at least it is pretty safe to have a baby here.

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just had our baby daughter in shanghai united 7 weeks ago. best place in shanghai, good care and really good medical facilities. plus of course they have MK.... 

if worst comes to worst, they will properly take care and bring you to the RIGHT place/hospital in SHA if there is something, they cannot do themselves. 

my wife is actually OB GYN doc, she knows the stuff. she compared different available options in SHA, everything from "foreigner hospitals" (SHA united, worldlink et al) to "local solution" (huashan or zhongshan hospital - both ran by fudan university) and SHA united is simply the best facility in town. 

also we never heard any horror stories and i have plenty of friends who had their baby here. so, i don't see the need to go to HK / s'pore / BKK or wherever... 

i know, it is about the then-millionth post here, hope it helps though...

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Hi all! I just had my baby in Shanghai 5 weeks ago so can share some experiences. I had my delivery at the "Special Needs department" of Ruijing hospital and it was excellent! The doctors, the nurses, the service, the private room, everything was great! All in all it came to about 22000 yuan (with pre-natal visits and tests, C-section delivery and 4 days in a private room). My doctors and most of the nurses spoke OK English and were very professional, patient and helpful. The room had two beds and a sofa, so my husband and older child could stay with me and the baby. 
The surgery was done very well, I honestly didn't think I would recover so quickly (I am comparing to my first delivery, which also was a c-section, done in one of the "developed" countries, and they managed to miss an infection, so it wasn't at all fun and took forever to heal) 
It's possible that Sh United is the best option for expats, but if you're on a smaller budget or your insurance doesn't cover the maternity, then trying a local hospital is actually a pretty good option.

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My son was born in The Red Brick Hospital on Dalin Road, Puxi. This is a baby hospital and I found myself to be completely satisfied with them. I should mention that my wife is Chinese so if you are not able to speak Chinese it could be an issue. However, my Chinese is very poor so some nurses and doctors spoke in english which was great. 
But most importantly my son is 16 months now and in full health as is my wife and the reason we chose this hospital was because my sister-in-law had also shared her pregnancy and birth there and everything was great.

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I know it can seem like a daunting experience to have a babe in China, but actually the Chinese are pretty experienced at it. My wife had ours end of 2005 at the Peace Hospital located at Xujiahui, which is affiliated with John Hopkins in the US. They have a VIP section on 13 and 14th floors. I believe the cost was about 14,000 RMB for delivery and 3 day stay in the smaller private room with private bath and I slept on a cot (which had sofa, TV, cot etc). Like the other "foreigner oriented" hospitals, the doctors were the same as used in the regular part of the hospital (just about 10 x the price for going through their VIP section). It is worth it though, if have the money, as service was very good and floors very quiet and clean, fresh cut flowers English dailies. 

Re, the birth certificate, our boy just has one name, so not an issue of putting multiple names. I do recall it was very easy to do - I took some forms to another floor of the hospital and got through it with my not quite fluent Chinese in about 15 min. 

I was in the delivery room during the delivery. 

I forget our docs name, was female, may have been fang - spoke fairly good broken english. 

Even though med staff are not supposed to disclose sex of child before birth, the ultrasound techie, let us know there was something "sticking out " on our little guy - probably do that with most ex pat or mixed couples I imagine. 

Unless, you have med insurance to cover, I would recommend against United Family or other similar hospitals at 20000 USD a pop - not worth the money, in my opinion.

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Hi Everyone,
I know this is an old thread, but it's the one that comes up every time I google this topic, so I thought I might as well post here to start.

My husband and I are planning to move to Shanghai for his job. He is Chinese and I am American. We are trying to have a baby soon. Sadly, we just suffered a miscarriage so it has set our parenthood plans back a bit and now we will try to have a baby in China.

I would love to find something similar to what we planned in the states:

Midwife or doctor specializing in all-natural delivery, with the ability to escalate if needed to someone VERY skilled in c-sections, etc. should it become mandatory. Practice should have excellent personal attention and really care about our family.

Doula trained in massage, administration of aromatherapy, guided imagery/hypnobabies, coaching parents, and support during pregnancy to ensure correct positioning of the baby, etc. to prevent complications.

Hospital equipped with water birth, squat bar, birthing ball, private room, aromatherapy, and various other comfort measures. Very clean!

I think our expat package will have good insurance. My husband speaks Chinese so it does not have to be in an English speaking hospital, but it would be preferred. I will be new to Shanghai and to big-city life in general, so anything regarding queuing in line at 4am is probably going to be too difficult for me.

I know it's not likely that we will find everything we have here in the US, but I was hoping someone out there can provide some guidance for us! 

Thanks in advance to anyone who can share their thoughts 

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Depends on your budget. If you have expat insurance that covers maternity, one of the expat hospitals might work for you. United family is a good choice. If you are paying out of pocket, one of the local maternity hospital might be choice. 

We have had two here at local hospitals and everything was fine. We have two healthy boys and we feel the situation in both cases were handled professionally. They were, however, fairly ideal pregnancies and deliveries. We went to Changning Maternity (which is only local hospital you can do a water birth.. and for that - everything ( healthy of the mother - health of the fetus- etc) has to be ideal. Our second child we had a Red House, which is joint venture with an American medical group. In both cases, they usually will not allow the father into the pre-delivery or delivery room.

Over and above issues of care and medical professionalism, one of the pluses was that it was very inexpensive. Minus was that post natal rooms were crowded in both cases, and we got out of there as soon as we could ( we could not even book a VIP suite as they were all booked or not available in both cases ) . Also, Changning Maternity is very difficult to get into.

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Hi there, 

My wife and I are TTC and although we live in Shanghai we decided on IVF treatment in Taipei which we felt was the closest we could get to a 'western' type hospital where they do IVF. 

Unfortunately both our attempts at IVF have been unsuccessful  and simply due to practical reasons (as we both work in Shanghai) we are now considering options for IVF in Shanghai. The Taipei clinic was absolutely great, but unfortunately we do not have unlimited holidays at work  

Our OB/Gyn here in Shanghai mentioned Ji'Ai as the best place to do IVF. Having read many articles, most of them a few years old, on Ji'Ai it appears the doctors seem to be quite good and western trained but the hospital is very 'Chinese'. Long long queues and waiting times, no appointments, all the things that initially made us decide to go for Taipei. 

We were wondering if anyone here has had any recent experiences with IVF at Ji'Ai. Any impressions on the 'service', waiting times etc? Are there ways to avoid the longest queues by going at specific times? Any particular doctors you would recommend? Any thoughts on the treatment, success rates etc? Do they have any kind of VIP service which many hospitals in Shanghai offer for other types of medical treatment?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Cheers

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We are still under the treatment. First attempt was unsuccessful. Yes, the service is very "Chinese", but we are focused more on results rather than the comfort. There are no ways to skip the long queues, but it is not always that you will need to wait. To see the doctor is better after 10:30 am or afternoon. Injections can be done by 10:00 am. The queue is usually for Ultrasound and for blood collection, but never exceed 40 minutes, besides in the afternoon, the queues are vary rare. The most waiting time is on the actual day of an operation. 

With regards to doctors. First we met Dr. Sun, but he diverted us to his assistants Dr. Chen Hua and Dr. Chen Jinling. All doctors speak good English. We are with Dr. Chen Junling. It seems that Dr. Sun is only doping operations and supervising the Department. The nurses speak limited English, but till now we did't face any communication trouble with zero Chinese  

Good Luck! 
For the beginning we spent almost two month on check ups and analyses. It is quite a long process.

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