Jacquelyn – Pregnancy Update #2

For our 5th baby, we’ve decided to give birth at Tianjin Family United Hospital. This update is a review of the hospital. (Youtube video)

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Getting the RhoGam Shot in China

Getting a RhoGam shot in China is no easy task. Even back in 2006, when we had our first baby, the doctor looked at me blankly when I asked about getting the RhoGam shot. With the typical blood types in China and the one-child policy, getting the RhoGam shot is of little priority to most Chinese. The hospital we’re using for our delivery wasn’t able to provide us with the shot directly, but did give us the contact information of a place that could help. This is just a quick video showing how it arrived. If you’re in need of this shot, please contact us and we may be able to help you out.

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Jacquelyn – Pregnancy 1st Update

Big news! We’re pregnant…again… That’s right, we’re looking to have #5. If you’ve read our About Us you know we’ve had 4 babies in 4 different locations. #5 will be at yet another location. For this baby, we decided to do some video updates. Here’s the first: (Youtube video)

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Importing Your Belongings Into China

Beijing, China As the economy of China continues to grow, the employment opportunities for foreign expats have only expanded. Perhaps your company has offered you the chance to transfer, or maybe you’ve received a promotion that requires moving into the country. Or, you may simply be taking a position with a new employer instead – and are wondering about the paperwork and duties involved when relocating to China long term. The process is an intricate and somewhat demanding one – with Chinese customs requiring a host of specific documentation and compliance with its regulations. If you fail to adhere to these mandates, your belongings could face long delays, added fees or even be denied entry altogether. To help you avoid this type of unpleasant scenario, here is an overview of the relevant information that you’ll need to learn. Duties For Your Household Belongings A Daunting Process Customs procedures, regulations, documentation

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My Life as an Expat Mum in China

This post originally appeared on itisreal.net and is reposted with permission by the author. The life of an expat is often viewed as glamorous, stress-free and full of tasty, exotic cuisine. It’s true, living abroad often does include these elements of fine living. However, my experience as an expat is a great deal more complex that the above description. There are many positive aspects to my life in Beijing. First, the cost of living is significantly cheaper than in London and so living and working in Beijing is a great way to save money. Second, during the 6+ years that my husband and I have lived in China, we have met many incredible people that hail from all over the world. Third, we have found a great community. I spoke about this in a previous blog post but it’s worth repeating. Many of the expats I know live thousands of miles away

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Why Is Breastfeeding So Accepted in China?

When you are getting ready to have your first child, there is a lot to learn about in a little bit of time. You have to learn about the health of your baby, what they will need, ready your home for your new arrival and more. One thing that you will need to consider is the idea of breastfeeding your baby. However, this natural process is frowned upon in many places. If you are in China, though, what can you expect? In this article, we will take a look at the semantics of breastfeeding when you are in China. Why Is Breastfeeding Important? Before we go any further, it is important to understand why you should care whether or not you can breastfeed your baby. After all, why deal with the controversy if there is an alternative like formula? First of all, your breast milk provides your baby with the

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Breastfeeding Infographic

I came across this excellent infographic from the wonderful people over at www.positivehealthwellness.com. Click on the graphic to visit their site and checkout the wonderful things they’re working on.

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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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The Time I Saved my Wife and Unborn Child’s Lives

…Or why I’m (irrationally) afraid of dogs Today, as I was bringing the trash outside, I had a moment where I audibly gasped as fear rippled through my body. I’m not exactly a fearful person, but the sight of an unexpected, large dog only 15 feet away from me and headed my direction will cause it every time. Truth is, I’m undeniably and irrationally afraid of dogs. In fact, one time I was literally standing on a 40 degree roof of a house and was seized with fear because I thought I heard a dog coming at me! I guess that’s the problem with irrational fear – it’s not rational. I haven’t always been afraid of dogs. Growing up I liked dogs. At my friends’ houses I wasn’t afraid to pet their dogs. And I certainly didn’t seize up with fear if I saw one. But we never had a

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Breastfeeding in China – Tongue-Tied, Lip-Tied and What to do About it

With my first daughter I went through breastfeeding “hell” in the first 6 months. Besides nurses latching her wrong, which resulted in 2 months of sharp pain, I had no clue what was wrong, why she was losing breast, why she never seemed satisfied with nursing, etc. It was 2008, just after the melamine scandal broke in China, and I was terrified of any formula (even though she had to be given formula in the first 24 hours at the hospital), so I bit my lip and suffered through pain and exhaustion in order to make breastfeeding work. And it did. I breastfed her for 2 years and she was weaned 2 weeks after her 2nd birthday. Only years later, when I had my 3rd child, did I realized that she was lip-tied (her tie broke when she fell down on her face at the age of 2 – I

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Tips to Attain Medical Care in China when you Don’t Speak Chinese

Living or traveling to a foreign country can be quite scary especially when you need medical aid and the people around don’t speak English. If you are traveling to China or planning on living in China, here are some helpful hints that will make navigate the Chinese health care system: Tip 1: Where to go in case of an emergency In case of a medical emergency, the main concern most people have is where is the closest hospital. In China, you can’t just ask where is the closest hospital to treat my emergency. Hospitals function slightly differently in China. Not all hospitals will accept all types of patients. Many times patients arrive at the hospital only to be diverted to another hospital. Hospitals have specialties and mostly, only children hospitals will accept children. So, it is a good idea to find out which hospital will treat your problem before setting

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Four Reasons Why Raising your Kids in China Is a Good Idea

Expatriates from Western nations who arrive in China for the first time to work and raise a family may feel overwhelmed by the differences in lifestyle and language. But the easy availability of international schools which use English as a medium of instruction removes all worry about education. The cultural barrier is the most difficult to surmount for adults as children are able to adjust much more easily as they come in closer contact with local culture among school friends. Discipline and Respect As an expatriate you know that Chinese culture is very different from yours and may worry that children will feel alienated when they go back home, but the rich cultural heritage of China can teach them valuable lessons in discipline that they will not learn elsewhere. As a parent you can help your children learn the positives of both cultures so they grow up to be more

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How to Find the Right Gynecologist When You Are in China

Woman’s body is a very fragile and a complex system. A woman needs to spend a lot of time for our regular checks and consultations to keep a check on our system and remain healthy. Choosing gynecologist can be slightly stressful for a woman as she needs to be prepared to share some intimate information with the doctor if necessary. On the whole, a gynecologist may play a significant role in a woman’s health. China is a country which relies on a lot on their traditional Chinese medicine along with the use of advanced technologies.   Gynecology in China – China is one of the most developed countries in terms of technology, but they give a lot of importance to their traditional methods of treatment. Chinese medicine handles the gynecology as complicated procedure in which they try to take a deep insight into the problem. Apart from directly treating a

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Tips While Traveling to China with your Children

Planning a vacation to China with the entire family is not so easy, especially if you’re traveling with kids. China is a wonderful place to visit with its many historical buildings, ethnic culture and local cuisine, not to mention the Great Wall; however your kid’s needs and requirements have to be taken into consideration too before you can plan your sightseeing itinerary. Here are a few child-friendly tips to keep in mind while traveling with your children to China: What to pack Apart from carrying any particular or specific brands of food or toiletries that your kids are used to, you can find almost everything in China’s local supermarkets so traveling light, especially with kids, would be preferable. If you are visiting China’s upscale cities like Beijing and Shanghai then you will have no problems finding western brands of goods that your kids are used to. But if you are

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10 Things I learned about VBAC in China

China is constantly changing and adapting to the rest of the world. However, it is important to have patience and understanding when it comes to certain medical procedures that are still new here. VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) is an example of one of these procedures. Here are few things you need to know if you’d like to attempt a VBAC in a Chinese hospital: Advocate for yourself and investigate which hospitals and doctors are pro-VBAC. The doctor will be the one to give the green light to the hospital, so they don’t suddenly push you towards the C-section. Be mentally ready that you won’t get much assistance during contractions. And be aware that they may not really monitor the baby during labor: in the 16 hours I was at the hospital, I only had the monitor hooked up once at the very beginning. They did mention they would monitor

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Facing Culture Shock in China

China’s growth as an economic superpower has opened up opportunities for several multinationals to set up operations here and bring their countrymen to run these branches. It is not surprising for local residents to now have expatriates working as colleagues in these multinationals instead of seeing them as just tourists. The centuries old culture of China that has remained unaffected continues to shock and intrigue expats as they try to assimilate themselves into the surroundings.   Greeting and acknowledging people in China – The usual practice of greeting people in China is putting a smile to those lips and bowing your head down in acknowledgement along with verbal greeting of “hi hao” and “nin hao”. Though shaking hands is not a common greeting among Chinese culture, they have started to practice it with their Western counterparts. To increase familiarity with each other, expats may get invited to their Chinese colleagues’

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Cost of Living as an Expat in China

Moving to China may seem like a daunting task if you have lived in Western nations but lucrative pay package and a luxurious lifestyle lures many to its shores. Though culturally and language wise there may be many challenges, there are several expats from all across the world living in these large cities and have assimilated themselves to local life. Before moving to China for a job assignment, expats should research cost of living in the country and make sure whether it suits there standards or not. Though the cost of living China is low when compared to Western nations, it is increasing rapidly in large and developing cities . For an expat, the salary can be low or high depending on the kind of life they try to lead in China and their attempts to recreate similar lifestyle practices that they are used to. Basic expenses in China –

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18 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding in China

When I had my first child in Zhuhai (Guangdong province), I was quite disappointed as there was absolutely no breastfeeding support from nurses or pediatricians at the hospital. The formula was being pushed, the baby latched so badly which resulted in 2 months of excruciating pain (which I found out few years later was also due to my baby being tongue and lip tied!); a pediatrician at a well-baby check tried to convince me my baby is allergic to my milk when she merely had a reaction to something I ate; I was told by so many people that breastfeeding is bad for me and the baby when they learned I was breastfeeding her past 6 months… I could go on and on! We did formula for a day in the hospital as I had a reaction to anesthesia and was in and out of consciousness. But my baby rejected

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Places to Visit when Traveling to China with your Children

Traveling is an adventure. Traveling with children is an art. Finding the balance between destinations that offer culture and excitement and destinations that are child friendly is the challenge. With a little bit of planning in advance, you can ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time. Traveling to China with children is surprisingly fun. Every major city from Beijing to Hong Kong has plenty of child friendly attractions that are also fun for adults.   Beijing Beijing is a bustling city but it also has many great child friendly attractions that the whole family can enjoy. Beijing World Park One place where children can really enjoy themselves is the Beijing World Part. This place is an extremely educational and entertaining attraction. This theme park has miniature monuments of world landmarks and many great cultural performances. Beijing Aquariums Beijing has two great aquariums – Beijing Ocean Park and Pacific Underwater World.

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Registering Your Baby in China

This article first appeared on Deltabridges.com and is published with permission from the author. If you just had or plan to have a baby born in China, here is some very useful information you should be aware of. When you decided to have a nice birthing experience in China, what you may not have known that there is a law according to which all babies born to foreign parents in China must be registered according to the following procedure within 1 month of birth. It is not about getting your baby a birth certificate, a passport or even a China visa, it is about BIRTH REGISTRATION. The following information should not be dismissed and we hope you carefully study it and follow the procedure precisely. This is how it is done: Get the birth certificate as soon as possible after birth. As exciting and busy your life is overseas with

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Giving Birth to Baby in China – What Expats Need to Know?

Many Expats in China who are expecting a baby prefer to have childbirth in an international hospital, as many of their staff are fluent in English and have an international understanding of Western practices. Many doctors have international experience or are foreign doctors. Comfort of language and a similar-to-home-country experience really go a long way when having a baby in China. Though these hospitals are more expensive then local ones, expats who are covered by insurance can often pay for most if not all of the expenses. Expenses and facilities Expatriates who have a functional usage of Chinese also enjoy the option of choosing between public and private hospitals to have a baby in China. Private hospitals maintain a high level of hygiene and care for mothers and infants. That being said, public hospitals have different levels of care and accomadation for foreigners. For many expats in China, regardless of

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