Government maternity wards and positions during labour

Posted on 19 February 2012 by hulda

Hello all, thanks again for reading.  Exciting things happening and I wanted to share them.  Some of you may be aware of the fact that Franklen and Miranda shared their homebirth story in the Ming Pao newspaper earlier this week and it has raised endless response.  Poor Franklen has had little time to anything else but to keep the home running and take phone calls/emails, and the response is not all good!   Of course, such a controversial topic as a homebirth will always raise more questions and people have strong feelings about this.  To me, this is simply an option in addition to many other good options that Hong Kong has to offer, – it is not a statement to say that other services are not good.

Franklen´s blog: http://continuum-fathering.blogspot.com/

In any case, as a result of demand for more birthing options,  our Annerley Birth Centre will hopefully open not too long from now. Preparations are in full swing and we have felt so much support, thank you all very much.  Any comments, suggestions and birth stories are very helpful to us as we use these to help us make sure the birthing options in the centre will include pretty much EVERYTHING that a woman and family can ask for.  So keep your comments coming, we are listening.

birth options in Hong KongAnother really great thing that I wanted to share with you is that this week I am conducting a midwive’s workshop at the Queen Elisabeth Hospital, where around 30 midwives from the government hospital wards will come and learn how to assist women in giving birth in various different positions, other than semi-upright.  We will cover the squatting position, standing, kneeling, lying on your side, and on all fours.

They are all very excited and I am too. I truly hope that this will help the midwives to continue the great work that they have already started, i.e. to offer more options within the maternity wards.  For women to be able to give birth in a position that they choose is an absolute right in my mind, so if we can equip the midwives to feel comfortable in assisting, then there is nothing holding us back any more!

So this Thursday, the workshop will be on and hopefully all of you going to QMH, POW, QEH, PMH, PYH, KWH, TMH will have access to midwives in the future who will happily assist you in whatever position you would like.

Additionally, together with Katrin — the Icelandic doctor who has been with me for the last 3 weeks in her internship here in Hong Kong — we did a workshop at the Prince of Wales last week for all the midwifery students that are graduating this spring, covering the same topic – positions during labour.  They were very inspired and the class this year was big, 43 students, so this means that the wards will now be filled with students and new midwives that are eager to promote these new positions.

So that this development will continue, it is however, of uttermost importance that all of you, dear pregnant mums, further express your needs during labour, rather than relying on the options that are offered to you.  You must initiate what you are after, and be confident in trying various things.  Then this will inspire the midwives, who will work with you at an advanced level.

So to conclude, more and more birthing options in Hong Kong, positive developments and many great things happening in hospitals and in the community.

I welcome any discussion, please join in!

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  1. Elaine Says:

    Hi Hulda,

    This is great to hear! I gave birth in the POW 9 months ago and whilst the after care was excellent, I found the whole labour process to be quite challenging. Upon Annerley’s advice, I waited as long as I could at home before going to the hospital. My waters broke and then I knew it was time to go! I was 3-4cm dilated so they put me straight into the labour room. They told me my husband wasn’t allowed in until I had a blood test for the epidural. An hour went past and I was left laying on the bed with no blood test and no husband! Midwife (at least I think she was one!) came to check on the monitors every now and then but I was in so much pain I didnt really know what was happening. They wouldn’t let me have any water and I remember being so thirsty!

    Another hour passed, someone came to take blood, they said they had to wait for the results, more time passed and then after 4.5 hours of me laying flat on this bed having contractions and calling out for people, they came over and told me it was time to push. No epidural!!! I insisted that my husband be let in so he was allowed in. It took me over an hour to push and they wouldnt let me change position. Only allowed to lie back, legs up and head down. I had no strength and all they kept saying was: “push harder, push harder!”. The baby was stuck (shoulder dystocia) and in the end they had to do an episiotomy and suction to get her out.

    The room immediately filled with people – I think more than 10 including a pediatrician – and I have to say they took excellent care of the baby and she was perfectly fine after a couple of minutes.

    They let us stay in the delivery suite for a couple of hours just being with our baby and then afterwards the nurses were so so lovely and helpful. I cannot praise the staff enough for the after care but it would have been nice to have a little more support during the labour.

    What are the plans for the Annerley birth centre? That sounds interesting!

    Cheers
    Elaine

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