Having a baby as an expat here can be a scary thing to go through, especially when we lack the presence of family and close friends. So, there’s a real need for external support and knowledge. Matilda Hospital staff have looked after new mothers and mums-to-be for more than 110 years. We put 10 questions about giving birth in Hong Kong to Matilda maternity manager Sing Chu.
#1 “What types of rooms are available in the maternity department?”
There’s quite a choice: VIP, private, twin and standard rooms (four beds); all have ensuite bathroom facilities and bedside medical equipment. For shared rooms, there are privacy screens. We suggest ladies let us know their preference at the time of making the maternity booking through the obstetrician. It does depend on availability at the actual admitting time though. Those who are having a vaginal delivery will be admitted to a private delivery room and then transferred to the chosen room category after baby is born.
#2 “Can my partner spend the night with me in the hospital?”
Yes, our delivery rooms, VIP rooms and private rooms come with a sofa bed and partners are welcome to stay at no extra room charge.
#3 “Do I need to pay a deposit prior to delivery at the Matilda?”
There is no booking deposit, but a deposit is required on admission, which will be deducted from the bill on discharge. A booking is made through the obstetrician’s clinic. As soon as the doctor confirms the pregnancy and submits the laboratory and blood test reports, the hospital will check the booking information and send through a confirmation.
#4 “Are lactation consultants on call in the postpartum ward?”
Our breastfeeding rate is over 90 percent, one of the highest among private hospitals in Hong Kong, and we offer breastfeeding support round the clock, either by lactation consultants or health professionals with breastfeeding training.
Early bonding is very important and we encourage this through skin-to-skin contact right after the baby is born. We encourage new mums to breastfeed the baby soon after delivery in either the delivery room or operating theatre. Breastfeeding should be on-demand and we encourage babies to stay in the room with mums to facilitate this.
#5 “How often can I expect to see other specialists like midwives, obstetricians and paediatricians in the days after delivery?”
During the time in hospital, our midwives are there to offer support to mums, dads and baby around the clock. They monitor the wellbeing of mum and baby, provide advice and support in self-care, breastfeeding and baby care. The maternity team plays a key role in communicating with the doctors.
Your obstetrician will visit every day and it’s helpful to write down any questions or concerns, ready to discuss them. The paediatrician will examine baby daily and will be able to discuss any questions.
#6 “What other support and special birthing amenities does the hospital offer?”
Our one-to-one midwifery care provides you consistent, personalised support and encouragement during labour, birth and following birth. As the delivery rooms are private, your partner is welcome to stay throughout and share the joy of baby arriving into the world.
Mobility is encouraged before and during labour and to facilitate this we have a wireless foetal monitoring system that allows you to sit, stand and walk around. Birthing balls, yoga mats and beanbags are available to encourage mobility and support active labour. Some women find sitting on a birthing ball and rocking the pelvis helps to alleviate discomfort. It also helps move baby into the right position for delivery. Warm water immersion can provide comfort and there is a bath tub in the delivery room for relaxation during and between contractions.
To create a personalised ambience and enhance feelings of wellbeing, music can be played in our delivery room or operation theatre, so do bring your favourite tunes. For ladies having a caesarean section, immediate skin-to-skin contact with the baby and breastfeeding can be started right after the baby is delivered in the operation theatre. Your partner can also cut the baby’s cord.
#7 “Do you have prenatal/birthing classes that we can attend?”
We provide antenatal courses for mothers who are planning for delivery. You can call 2849 0357 or send an email to health@ matilda.org for enquiries. Course details are available online at matilda.org/classes/class-calendar.
#8 “Does Matilda run hospital tours?”
Hospital tours can be arranged within office hours from Mondays to Saturdays, with Patient Service Centre. You can call 2849 0355 or email email@example.com to arrange one.
Alternatively, a coffee morning is held once a month for ladies with confirmed bookings to see our maternity facilities and meet our midwife for a question-and-answer session.
#9 “During my stay, can my newborn be in the same room with me at pretty much all times? Or are there specific time slots when they’re allowed in?”
We encourage babies to stay in the room with mum to establish bonding and breastfeeding early. There is a nursery room for times when mums need to rest. Babies who require phototherapy treatment for jaundice will generally stay in the nursery room.
#10 “Will Matilda provide any support services after I return home?”
We have a team of community midwives who help to extend the unique care and support into your home during the first six to eight weeks. The midwives offer guidance as new mums adjust, assess needs and offer advice on the wellbeing of mum and baby, support breastfeeding, talk about safety and provide an important link when needed to the paediatrician, obstetrician and other healthcare professionals. We encourage ladies to book with us early and discuss which postnatal visit package would best suit their individual needs.
Matilda International Hospital is at 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak | matilda.org
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This article first appeared in the August/September 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.