A couple of times a week, I’ll get people asking “So where are you going to give birth?”. I mentioned it in our announcement video but will do a blog post about it too for those that missed it :)
To get straight to the point – I’ll be giving birth in Shanghai.
It’s the best, safest, and nicest option for us.. The downside is that it costs US$15,000 to give birth here in Shanghai, which is paid as a lump sump, up-front. Have you fainted yet?? I nearly did when I found out!! Eek. It actually costs WAY less for us to fly back to Singapore or Australia to give birth… which is probably why a lot of expats prefer to go back to their home countries to… but it just doesn’t work out for us.
Mainly, flying somewhere to give birth would mean I’d need to start my maternity leave much earlier. And since Chris is also working, we’ll be separated for months which is an impossibility (we’re a bit joined at the hip!). Plus, there’s just too much fuss in packing and living somewhere else, when we consider Shanghai to be our home and I’m most comfortable here.
Of course, there is a HUGE variety of options to give birth in here in Shanghai. There are obviously the local hospitals that China people would go to – they’re incredibly affordable, like you would not believe! Safety-wise, I do trust them. Contrary to popular belief, Shanghai is very advanced and modern; it’s not like these local hospitals are gross and you’re giving birth on the side of the road or anything. Plus, there are millions of people in Shanghai giving birth with no issues, so these local hospitals are probably the most well-equipped. However, it was not an option for us mainly because of the language barrier. I don’t even know the word “Push!” in Chinese, let alone hold a conversation with the doctor! Plus, it’s all very ‘production-line’ with no private attention or rooms, since there are so many people there. And finally, hell would freeze over before Chris would agree to that :P
Then there are the expat hospitals, catered for foreigners. Not many, and basically ours (Parkway Health) is the only stand-alone 24/7 hospital that specialises in maternity. It’s just a few mins away from our place, has HIGHLY personalised care and attention, and is all round super. Also, they’re part of the Gleneagles hospital group, the hospital in Singapore where I was born (yes, I was born in Singapore. People always assume I was born in Australia, which isn’t true; I just lived there).
The high cost is also why the doctors and nurses are super attentive – they let me have lots of ultrasounds (and the 4D scans as well), and watch me very carefully. It makes us feel safe and looked after, a huge priority for us when we made our decision to give birth in a foreign country. Their birthing suites are also really nice – all private, where you labour, give birth, and recover all in the same room. Our baby won’t be taken away and put in a common nursery, and medical staff come into the private room to check on him instead. I also like the private bathroom in the suite, and how it’s tucked away so the area is very quiet and serene for me and my family.
So that’s the long and short of it :) To each their own, and everyone has their own opinion and comfort level on where they want to give birth. But anyhow, that’s the rationale behind our decision!
On a side note, I am officially full-term in 2 weeks. INSANE!!!!!!!!