What to Take to the Hospital

Depending on the city you live in, as well and your financial and insurance situation, you might have many options in regards to which hospitals are available to you in China. Most Western-style hospitals in the major cities of China (Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong) provide similar care and supplies to that of what you might be used to in your home country, or better.

However, getting to one of these cities and/or going to a Western-style hospital in China is not always a viable option for many. If you get to have the experience of having your baby in a Chinese-style hospital, there might be few things that you would expect to be provided by a hospital that are not by most hospitals in China.

Below is a checklist of items that we recommend having prepared if you are planning to deliver in a hospital in China.

Please check with your chosen hospital to see what exactly they will provide.

For the Baby

  • Diapers (5 days worth of multiple changes.)
  • Clothes (5 days worth of multiple changes.)
    *Try to avoid “Onesies” because they restrict access to the healing belly button.
  • Receiving blankets
  • Baby wipes
  • Towel
  • Cap
  • Baby bath tub

For the Mom

  • Food & Snacks (Many Chinese-style hospitals do not provide any food.)
  • Bed sheets
  • Clothes (Sometimes provided, but often made for smaller Chinese women.)
    • Robe
    • Slippers
    • Sweater
    • Shorts
    • Warm socks
  • Toiletries
    • Soap / Shampoo
    • Feminine pads  (Chinese brands available in Supermarkets.)
    • Wash cloths
    • Towel
    • Toilet paper
  • Favorite pillow
  • OTC painkillers (Chinese brands available in Supermarkets.)
  • Lanolin nursing cream (Not readily available in China.)
  • Breast pads
  • Entertainment (Music, DVD player, books, magazines, laptop, cellphone)
  • Pregnancy / Newborn care book
  • Breastfeeding info (Many Chinese-style hospitals offer little to no help in this area.)
  • Hospital Records (Many Chinese-style hospitals do not file your patient history. You must keep it with you.)

For the Spouse / Accompanying Friend

  • Bedding
  • Food & Snacks
  • Entertainment (Music, DVD player, books, magazines, laptop, cell phone)
  • A way to contact family in home country
    • Skype, VOIP (If Internet is available at hospital.)
    • Data-enabled Smart Phone with Skype or VOIP
    • Long distance phone cards
  • Camera
  • Health insurance information (If accepted.)
  • Receipts for any paid birth packages or other services.
  • Cash / Chinese Credit or Debit Card (Chinese-style hospitals do not accept foreign Credit or Debit Cards.)
    *Many hospitals require upfront payment before delivering the baby. Read this birth story.

*Special thanks to Ruth Greene, and our Facebook Fans for their insight and contributions!