What is going to happen to me over the next nine months? What is it like to be pregnant in Taiwan? Pregnancy questions, birth stories and other topics relevant to this special time in your life.
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I'm so glad I found this website! I've been living in Taipei for over 2 years and I'm a stay-at-home wife, soon to be a stay-at-home mom.
I'm in my 33rd week and I'm due mid-April with my first baby. I'll be giving birth at Chung Shan Hospital (as per the recommendation of my Taiwanese 60+ aunt-in-law who has no children and swears Taiwanese celebrities gave birth there so it must be the best). I can't speak any Chinese, but fortunately, my doctor speaks English.
In spite of having lived here for so long, I really don't know anyone in Taipei, so I plead for your assistance!
1. CHUNG SHAN HOSPITAL
If you or anyone you know has given birth in Chung Shan Hospital, was it a good or bad experience? Is there a medically, even culturally, routine procedure during the birthing process that I should be aware of?
2. CONFINEMENT CENTER
I don't mind reserving Chung Shan Hospital's confinement center, but I believe they are currently remodeling until the end of April. Can you recommend a confinement center (private or hospital) that I can reserve after giving birth?
- Preferably has English-speaking doctors and/or nurses
- Good facilities / care
- Decent food
- Reasonable price
I would really appreciate your help!
(P.S. If anyone else out there is pregnant in Taipei and wants to waddle on by to talk baby bellies and munch on healthy snacks, I'm available )
I'm also a soon-to-be SAHM with my first baby. My little boy is due in March, so I'm getting close. I've lived in Taipei almost 4 years now I think. It's kind of a blur! Anyway, I obviously don't have much experience with this, but I've heard that Zhongshan hospital is pretty good. I have heard that there are certain interventions that most all of the hospitals routinely do here (I think episiotomy rate is something like 99%, I think they also shave most everybody), so I would just be sure to be very clear about what I do and don't want. Like I said though, I don't have a lot of experience with this and am just going by what I've heard. As for me, I'm going to be giving birth at the water birth clinic in Hsinchuang. I'm actually kind of excited!
Anyway, I hope everything works out! I know nothing about confinement centers, but PM me if you ever want to get together and compare pregnancy stories.
Thanks Cahleen for you reply!
Last night I attended one of their birthing classes. I didn't understand some of it but here's what I derived from my husband's translation:
(1) SHAVING is routinely done on patients. I don't want to be shaved so I will have to inform my doctor when it comes time.
(2) EPISIOTOMY is something I'm not too sure about. They only informed us that they will generally make a diagonal incision because of the risk that a vertical incision will tear during the pushing phase.
(3) EPIDURALS seem to be placed in your spine while you are lying on your side, judging by their pictures. ALSO, since you will not feel as strong of an urge to push as you would in a natural birth, the doctors and nurses will apply pressure on your stomach to help you push if they don't think you are pushing hard enough. They told us this is routine to spare us from being alarmed.
Chung Hsan hospital is really good and has a lot of experience working with foreigners. The doctors all speak English but the nurses not so much. I think you'll find that is the same everywhere, just depends who is on duty.
Chung SHan is still a hospital though so they have a lot of routine procedures and policies. Shaving and enema you can just say no to. The episiotomy, no one is allowed to perform surgery on you without your consent. Iv's are standard policy but you can ask if your doctor will make an exception for you. Most hospitals also require mother/baby to be sepereated for 2 hours after birth for observation.
These are all reasons why I reccommend the birth center for low risk pregnancies. Mother/baby are never seperated and mother can labour how she likes with whomever she likes.
I suggest you look at all your options and asking a lot of questions before making a decision that is right for you, your husband and your baby.
While I do not have any experience with Chung Shan hosptial - I did have two April babies (2006 & 2008) and think that it is a wonderful month to give birth. However, I do have to chime in that I find it very odd what they consider 'normal' here for a hospital birth. I had my first child in the States complete with epidural and none of those things that you listed as routine were even considered as options. In fact, my doctor actually used olive oil to massage the area to prevent tears (which worked quite well I might add). And if a women is having trouble pushing because of the epidural - they turn down the medicine rather than push on your abdomen.
For my 2008 baby that was born here in Taiwan - I initially thought that I would have a hospital birth but then changed to the Water Birth Clinic around 32 weeks after getting more freaked out by the language barrier & the thought of 'routine' procedures being done to me. It was a great experience. However, if you are set on Chung Shan (& I know that I lot of babies are born there so it can't be all that bad) I would make sure that you have someone with you that speaks Mandarin fairly well and knows what you want or do not want done. It has been my experience in both the States & Taiwan that the doctor only shows up when the baby is close to making its grand entrance to the world. Most of the time you will be dealing with the nurses - which here also means that you will be dealing with people with limited English.
Also, good luck with finding a confinement center - I think that there have been a few posts here if you do a search you may come up with some more information. Being the crazy western woman that I am - I just went back to life as normal pretty much right away after having my baby here and did not follow any of the traditional 'rules'
Sorry for the late reply (busy with my little one), but I highly recommend the confinement center that I stayed at, http://www.yono.com.tw (it is affiliated with Loving Care Maternal Center, a.k.a. the Hsinchuang Water Birth Center). They have several locations throughout the Taipei area; I stayed at the Muzha branch (near the WenShan MRT station). I credit the confinement center with helping me to establish a breastfeeding relationship with my son when we had troubles the first 3 (!!!) weeks of his life since I didn't have to do anything except focus on that. Meals, housekeeping, fresh change of clothes daily, etc. - all taken care of. Staff that I could trust to provide professional and attentive care when I needed a break.
- The facilities were nice, sort of like a 3/4-star hotel (king-size bed, flat screen TV, internet access);
- the head nurses' parenting/baby care philosophy is child-centered (e.g., create a "yes" environment instead of a "no" environment, pro-breastfeeding);
- I enjoyed the food, which was a mix of Western dietary with traditional Taiwanese dishes (so there was sesame oil chicken, but there might have been just a splash of rice wine and a reasonable amount of oil, not like the whole-bottle-for-good-measure chicken my aunt made me, and lots of high fiber veggies & whole grains so that I never had to worry about constipation); and
- it was mid-priced for the Taipei market.
However, I don't think the staff speak much English, although they were pretty accommodating of my less-than-perfect Chinese.
If anyone has any further questions, please PM me.
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