Childbirth and Childcare in Qingdao

Last month I had the pleasure and opportunity to sit on a panel for the Qingdao International Business Association (QIBA). The topic of the panel was “Childbirth and Childcare in Qingdao: What are the options for expats?” Check out the “A-listers” I got to sit on the same stage with: Dr. HuYoung, Chair of Pediatrics for Qingdao United Family Hospital Dr. Sally Han, Director of the International Medical Affairs Department at Qingdao Municipal Hospital Dr. Hannah La, an Ob/Gyn at the Qingdao United Family Hospital. Ruth Greene, Doula services, cultural support, and Chinese-English translation for expats in the Qingdao area The panel discussion proved to be very excellent and I hope helpful to everyone in attendance. For more about the topics discussed, click here. For a few more pictures, click here. Video of the event to come soon.

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Four Tips for Obtaining Non-Chinese Citizenship for your Born-In-China Baby

Being married to a Chinese national, I’d assumed that our kids would have dual nationality until they were old enough to decide which one they wanted to keep. Growing up, I knew several military kids had two nationalities, and while it was naive to assume that every country had the same policies, it never crossed my mind to check this out. Until I was three months pregnant. I won’t lie; I felt sick to my stomach when I read on the American embassy’s website that China doesn’t recognize dual nationality. We’d have to pick one or the other for our little one. Luckily, we were in agreement that our future kids should go to the USA for high school and college, to be spared the all-day-and-well-into-the-night study sessions which are the norm for Chinese teens. So it was quite easily decided that we’d give them American nationality. Check Your Country’s Embassy Website Regularly I continued to read the then-current regulations about getting American citizenship for kids born abroad and it’s quite straightforward.

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How to Deal with Strangers Touching Your Baby in China

Most parents, whether they live in China or not, know the frustrations of having to deal with strangers wanting to touch their newborn. Living in China means facing these experiences, on a far greater scale, and in ways that will surely blow your mind. We have had complete strangers pick up our child, and walk away! Many lean in close to look at our son, and then touch his face. To be honest, this infuriated me in the beginning. Trusting that a complete stranger has clean hands, in any country, is a risky game. As your child gets older and their immune system has strengthened a little, these intrusive touches may begin to bother you less, but still many parents are highly aggravated by these actions. By the time that your little one can walk, they will be bombarded by one group after the next, all wanting a photo with this sweet foreign face. Here

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Teaching Kids to Embrace Cultural Diversity

As a couple who have become parents in an exclusively foreign environment, this has been a wonderful chance for us to introduce our child to racial and cultural diversity. We are blessed to be able to raise our son abroad, but since we are from different countries, no matter where we live, at least one of us will always be a foreigner. In our community, and while out and about traveling the world, we come across so many ethnicities. This gives our son plenty of wonderful opportunities to learn and appreciate how different cultures live. Understanding that people are not all the same will enable your children to embrace and value the things that make each person or group of people different. Children really do notice differences, so take the time to teach what is important to each culture and help strengthen acceptance and understanding. Even though we are currently

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The Ultimate Rule Guide for Pregnancy in China

Every culture has different rules for pregnant women. While we were traveling through Thailand earlier this year I was about 5 months pregnant, and on more than one occasion we were told that it was okay for me to drink a bit of alcohol, even though I was expecting. The same opinion holds for some European cultures, but that would never be accepted here in China where rules for pregnancy are extremely strict. Chinese women have a special set of rules to follow. This list in not exhaustive. It is simply the rules that I can remember hearing, or reading about, over the last 9 months of being pregnant in China. Food and Diet Pregnancy is considered a “hot” condition, so to balance the scale between “hot and cold” or “ying and yang”, so called “cold foods” must be consumed throughout the pregnancy. I was therefore told by another pregnant

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Battery Sizes in China

…and how to ask for Vodka, too The other day I went to the hardware store to get some batteries. I knew some of the battery names, but one that I didn’t know was how to say “9-volt battery”. So, I went in hoping that I would be able to communicate with the shop owners what kind of battery I was looking for. After a few attempts back and forth he finally brought out the one I was looking for and said, “jiǔ fútè” (九伏特), teaching me how to say the word “nine volt”. Immediately, I heard the similarity of the Chinese word for volt to the English equivalent, and I said, “vole-tuh”, trying to emphasize the sound to make it sound like the Chinese word. The shop owner said, “bu bu bu, fútè“. I laughed and tried to explain that the word must’ve come as an English transliteration. But

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Gift Ideas for Your Friend who Plans to Breastfeed in China

Preparing for breastfeeding in China requires us informing those around us about it. There is no shame in whether you breastfeed or formula-feed. It is, after all, a choice. However, letting your close ones know your choices would help be aware and be more supportive. In the spirit of these choices, I would like to talk about gift ideas for your friend who Plans to Breastfeed in China. The past couple of years brought in a baby boom among the locals and the expat community. Here in Zhuhai we don’t have a huge number of expats, but someone is having a baby every few months! Recently, the Chinese government has been very much in favour of breastfeeding. And that resulted in nurses constantly encouraging new moms to at least try and breastfeed. In reality, many of them don’t have much training in this area. And per few of my friends

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Big News!

Back in China! The big news is that we’re back in China! After a 4 year hiatus, we’re back in the Middle Kingdom! We are living in Tianjin and looking forward to updating havingababyinchina.com with even more great content! I’m sure most of you are thinking? “Oh, I didn’t realize you weren’t in China.” It’s true. We were back in our home country reconnecting with family. But we’re back now! And we’re super excited to be here! Another Project This in no way has anything to do with babies…or China for that matter, but I am working on a new project. It’s been a dream of mine to create a place for people to learn how to trade commodities without all the pressure of brokers and losing potentially large amounts of money. So, I have finally started working on that dream and am now proud to say that I have

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Medication and Breastfeeding in China

In one of my the previous articles I touched on the subject of medication and breastfeeding in China. I always stress that moms need to advocate for themselves and their babies. This applies to public, private and international hospitals in China (and all over the world, for that matter). Remember: Most of the medication IS compatible with breastfeeding and only a tiny fraction gets through to mother’s milk. When you are prescribed medication you need to ask these questions before you obediently proceed to buy them: Is this medicine compatible with breastfeeding? Will this medicine have any adverse reaction in my baby? And then, be prepared that the doctor might tell you that you need to either pump-and-dump (don’t ever do it!) or stop breastfeeding for a couple of days (he might as well ask you to wean your baby). What can you do when the medication is not compatible

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What to Do if You’re Bitten by a Dog in China

So, in my last post I told the story about how I was surrounded by an angry pack of dogs and ultimately bitten twice by a German Shepherd. If you haven’t read about that experience yet, be sure to click here. After I was bitten by the dog – and the initial shock of the situation – we found our way to a friend’s house and told them about what happened. The dog hadn’t done terrible damage to my leg. However, he did break the skin and my pant leg in the area around my knee and hip. This, of course, meant that I would have to get the dreaded rabies shot. If an animal breaks the skin when biting you, his saliva, which may contain the rabies virus, also gets in your blood stream. Basically, if he’s got rabies – so, now, do you. Now, my whole life, all

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