Are you a mum-to-be? Congratulations! If you’re newly arrived in HK or this is your first baby, there are plenty of practical details about pregnancy and giving birth in Hong Kong that are useful to know. We asked the team from Matilda International Hospital for some facts and tips.
Newly pregnant in Hong Kong? Here are 5 key things you’ll want to consider
#1 The hospital system in HK, public versus private
#2 The insurance coverage you might need to cover the pregnancy and delivery in Hong Kong (this will have an influence on your choice of medical care)
#3 Where you can get support – forums, support groups and so on
#4 Where you can get all your pregnancy and baby supplies
#5 Learning about laws – for example, maternity leave if you are working
“Do all hospitals in Hong Kong have English-speaking staff?”
Most of the medical professionals in Hong Kong are capable of speaking English. At Matilda, we have a diverse background of professionals to support our clients of different nationalities.
“What’s the best way to choose an obstetrician in HK? What should I look for when choosing one?”
Word of mouth is always a good start. If you’re not sure who to go to, look for a trusted healthcare provider and try their recommendations as a start. It’s important to find the right obstetrician who is supportive of your choice and is patient in giving advice. You can visit a few to see which one works better with you.
“What checks and scans will be needed over the course of the pregnancy?”
Depending on where you have your antenatal checks, your health condition and the advice given by your obstetrician, different tests can be done – some are necessary, others optional. At the beginning of the pregnancy, a series of blood tests is needed to give a general idea of your health status. Screening for Down Syndrome is often done at a very early stage of pregnancy, too.
Throughout the pregnancy, various ultrasound scans are used to monitor the growth of the baby. Towards the third trimester, a glucose tolerance test is done to ensure your blood sugar is at the right level and to monitor the risk gestational diabetes. Before delivering, a Group Strep B test is often done to screen for infection.
What should I do about maternity insurance?
By the time you’ve found out about your pregnancy, it might be too late to make any adjustment to your coverage; so, if you’re planning for pregnancy, find out now if your current insurance plan covers maternity.
If you do have coverage for your maternity care and you wish to go for private healthcare, it’s important to find out the amount of coverage there is for you and your baby before making a decision. Also, check out if your insurer has a direct billing agreement with your desired healthcare provider, so you don’t need to pay out of pocket for the services.
Taking an antenatal course
An antenatal course is an excellent way to learn more about pregnancy in Hong Kong. It’s also a good channel to get to know other expectant parents and share the same experience.
There are plenty of courses here, but you’ll first need to find out if they are delivered in English. You should also learn about the content before you sign up – and don’t be afraid to attend a course even as a second-time mum. Practices are changing all the time, so it’s always good to refresh your knowledge!
If the hospital that you’re going to deliver at has antenatal courses, it’s probably best to go with them, so you get a sense of how they do things and get to know the environment and the midwives. Matilda provides both online and face-to-face antenatal courses for expectant parents with different needs. Find out more at 2849 0321.
Matilda Maternity Care
The Matilda team offers a comprehensive 14-week antenatal package that takes clients through to delivery at the hospital, and includes all necessary antenatal tests and appointments at a predetermined and affordable price. Appointments are all with the designated obstetrician, so the mum-to-be can stay with the same obstetrician throughout their pregnancy. Visit matilda.org/en/services-facilities/maternity for details.
5 tips around hospital admissions and delivery suites
#1 If you’re choosing private care, check with your obstetrician which private hospitals he or she can take you to.
#2 Check if your selected hospital requires you to pay a booking deposit, how much it is, and whether it’s refundable. (Matilda does not require a booking deposit.)
#3 Check your insurance coverage to see which class they cover. In HK private practice, hospital and doctor charges may depend on the room class.
#4 Find out how the delivery will take place – for example, whether you’ll get enough privacy during your labour and if skin-to-skin contact is allowed after birth. Different hospitals have different practices; call your hospital and see if a maternity tour is available. At Matilda, you can arrange a tour by calling 2849 0355.
#5 Obtain a comprehensive price list and check on any additional charges. The hospital package usually covers fixed items and additional charges may be incurred for additional services not related to the delivery, or during emergency.
Finding assistance after leaving hospital
There are plenty of options available in the postnatal period to ensure that you’re on the right path with your parenting journey. Here are just a couple.
#1 Obstetric check
After delivery, you’ll need to visit your obstetrician for a postnatal check to see how you’re getting on. Your obstetrician will be able to assess your psychological wellbeing, check if you have enough support as well as examine your wound (if required).
#2 Community postnatal midwifery
Once you’ve been discharged from hospital, community midwives can bring the same level of care and support you received during your stay into your home.
At Matilda, our midwives guide you as you adjust to becoming a new mum, assess and offer advice on the wellbeing of you and your baby, support breastfeeding, talk about home safety, and provide an important link when needed to your paediatrician, obstetrician and other healthcare professionals.
- Matilda International Hospital 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak
- Matilda Medical Centre 3/F, Prosperity Tower, 39 Queen’s Road Central, Central
This article first appeared in the Winter 2022/23 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.