Choosing a Hospital

These are some questions to ask and things to look for when choosing a hospital. Especially look into these things if considering going to a local Chinese hospital.

Labor & Delivery Rooms:
It is common practice in local hospitals for all the women to labor together in one room. This means that no one can be with you during the whole labor & delivery. If you want your partner or anyone else to help you or be with you during labor & delivery, ask well beforehand if private labor and delivery rooms are available and who & how many people are allowed to join you.

Vaginal vs. Cesarean:
When choosing a hospital you should check out the rate of vaginal vs. cesarean births. Like a lot of hospitals worldwide, here in China the doctors & nurses prefer the control of C-section deliveries. If you prefer a C-section, most hospitals are very good at this procedure. If you really want to try and have a vaginal birth, research the hospital to make sure they will work with you and not push you into having an unnecessary C-section.

Some hospitals will allow someone to join you in the delivery room for natural births, but not during a C-Section. Please also look in to this well before the due date. Especially if the doctors and nurses at the hospital in which you deliver do not speak English, make sure they either provide a translator to be in the room with you, or will let you bring someone else in to translate.

Pain Meds:
You may want to ask if the hospital offers pain medication during labor & delivery. Many hospitals in China only give epidurals for those having a Cesarean.

15 comments on “Choosing a Hospital
  1. Sushila says:

    Can you please provide me some information about the charges of those recommended vaccinations in chengdu west china hospital of women and children?

  2. Melsomba says:

    Has anyone had experience with hospitals in Changzhou?

  3. Munguu says:

    Is there any hospital in Shenyang that provides English translation service? Also experienced and professional? Please give me some answer 🙁

  4. Tim says:

    Hi Jeremy & Jacquelyn,

    my Chinese fiancée and I live in Beijing. She is almost three months pregnant, but as we are not married yet, the hospital in our neighborhood won’t start a file for her which means that we can’t have any pre-natal exams there.
    I have been told that there must be hospitals who will admit us even if we are not married,but the international hospitals’ pre-natal packages are way out of our price-range. Plus, we don’t need a “package” as she is going to have the baby either in her home province or in my country. We just want to find a place where we can have a few pre-natal check ups until we are ready to move to where the baby will be born.
    We live in Beijng, so if you knew any hospital here that’s not crazy expensive, it would be wonderful, preferrably in the North (Haidian) as we live far on the outskirts.
    Otherwise, I hope you might have some advice for us on how to find a Chinese hospital that won’t require us to be married before any pre-natal exams. It doesn’t need to be international or have English speakers.

    Thanks very much!

    • Hi, Tim. Firstly, congrats on having a baby in China! Although your situation is tough, having a baby is really awesome. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble your fiancee is having with getting a doctor’s visit.

      Secondly, would you consider creating an account and reposting this question to our forums? I think this is a great question that many people could benefit from. The best way for it to be seen would be in our forums. Plus, other people might be willing to chime in. It’s easy to create an account. Just head here: http://www.havingababyinchina.com/forum/. Thanks so much!

      And thirdly, my advice.

      There are a several options for you:

      1. Local Hospitals: The problem might be, though, that you continue to run into the same issue you mentioned above. But if cost needs to be super low, keep trying different area hospitals.

      2. International Hospitals: Again, there are a lot of hospitals to choose from with lots of different price ranges in Beijing. You mentioned you aren’t looking for the full delivery package so you should be able to just set up some prenatal visits without having to do the full package. It will be more expensive, but since it will only be a few visits, it might be worth it. I would try American Sino (http://www.havingababyinchina.com/beijing/american-sino-obgyn-hospital/) and Beijing Antai (http://www.havingababyinchina.com/beijing/beijing-antai-hospital/) first. You might also try Peking Union (http://www.havingababyinchina.com/beijing/peking-union-medical-college-hospital/). Give a call over and try to speak with them in English and if that doesn’t work, have your fiancee speak with them and see if they can do just a few prenatal visits. My wife and I had our first at Peking Union.

      3. Get Married. From what I understand, being married when having a baby in China makes it much easier. In addition to the trouble you’re already experiencing, I’ve also heard of fines for having babies without being married. This might not make sense for you since you might be moving. But it is something to think about. Do you know if the hospital in her home province is going to allow the delivery?

      Hope to see you in the forums!

    • Rex Remes says:

      Hello Jeremy,

      What did you end up doing?

      I’m in a similar situation. Chinese girlfriend is pregnant and we plan to go to USA (for marriage and for birth). But meanwhile, we will spend the next few months in Beijing and need to make sure we do the necessary checkups and such.

  5. Page says:

    My husband and I are going to be moving to Guangzhou and our baby is expected due date is in December. I am in the process of researching international hospitals in Guangzhou, but I am having a very hard time. I cannot seem to find any personal reviews from expats about their experiences in a Guangzhou international hospital. I am starting to become very concerned about the lack of information. I see that this website has Elizabeth Woman’s Hospital listed, but I still can’t seem to find any information about peoples experiences there. This is a great website, and I am just wondering if anyone can provide me with any more information about hospitals in Guangzhou?

  6. rusanu says:

    Any idea about a english speaking pediatrician or hospital in xiamen, china. got to get my infant vaccinated/ for immunization.

  7. Alessia says:

    wondering about Mary’s hospital… can they speak English? at least doctors… I can do Chinese, but not so confident with medical terminology…

  8. Liora says:

    Mary’s hospital is said to have calm doctors who kind of know how to support natural birth (but they don’t have water birth). BJU allows laboring in the tub (first come first served, there’s only one) BUT they’ll yank u out to give birth. They have no clue. And they want you on your back come hell or high water. I do know a few ballsy women who went in there and did it their way. But certain of the staff did not make it easy for them.

  9. Liora says:

    Antai speaks a little English. Best to have someone close to you who can advocate and translate. A hospital getting good reviews on Beijing Mamas yahoo group is MARY”S HOSPITAL.

  10. Christina says:

    Are these two Beijing hospitals at all English speaking? I didn’t find them on the listing at this web-site. It seems that the three BJ hospitals listed here don’t offer water births.

  11. lioralourie says:

    There are some hospitals doing water births. Changning Maternity hospital in Shanghai. And in Beijing, Antai Maternity and Qinghua University Yuquan Hospital
    (Qinghua Daxue YvQuan Lu Fen Yuan- ,清華大學)

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In the Media
We were interviewed by a reporter at radio86.com. The reporter featured HBIC in a two-part series.
Part 1 talks about our personal experiences in having babies in China. (2011.4.19)

Part 2 focuses on "Curious Traditions". (2011.6.01)

2009.8 - Check out this article which featured our family and our website! Qingdao Expat Magazine