When planning on having a baby in China there are few options that a person can choose when picking a hospital at which to deliver. The most important thing to remember when choosing a hospital is to pick the place where you feel most comfortable.
One choice is to deliver in a big city like Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong. In these cities it is very easy to find a hospital that is like a hospital from your home country. It is more likely that the staff speaks English and follows Western medical practices. If you don’t already live in one of those cities this plan may be a bit costly because of traveling expenses and housing costs. In addition to this, these Western style hospital are significantly more expensive (if you have insurance the majority of the hospital cost should be covered). You will need to plan to go early to the city of your choice as you wait for the baby to arrive or plan to have a Cesarean. Please also keep in mind that you may need to wait a few days to a few weeks before your newborn will be able to travel. (Airlines usually require the baby to be two weeks old before they will let them on an airplane.) All of these costs end up being quite expensive and time consuming.
You may decide that going to a more Western style hospital is too costly or time consuming. For those, it is recommended that you find a local hospital that meets your needs and you feel comfortable. This allows you to be at home as you await your new baby’s arrival, and saves on costs related to travel, housing and “Western priced” hospital bills (if not insured).
Many foreigners advise that a Chinese style hospital is not for everyone. Compared with Western doctors, Chinese doctors can seem more “pushy” and not want to comply with your wants. Because of the cultural differences, for many issues, patients may need to be prepared to fight for different needs and/or wants. However, some foreigners, having a baby in a local Chinese style hospital is not a problem.